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date: 21 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Chapter 23 approaches the phenomenon of the comic book movie as a complex and dynamic adaptation process. While superhero movies and other comics-inspired franchises now dominate the global box office, it is rare that they adapt comic books’ formal features in a meaningful way. By foregrounding three comic book movies that have largely been considered failures, the essay discusses innovative ways of adapting comics to film through a media-archaeological approach to the genre. The films Popeye (1980), Dick Tracy (1990), and Hulk (2002) can be read, each in its own way, as provocative “roads not taken” by the Hollywood film industry.

Keywords: comic book, superhero, media, Popeye, Dick Tracy, Hulk

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