Cracked cracks the comic book movie code

| April 29, 2008

Cracked, which I (rightfully) disdained in my youth as a poor imitation of Mad Magazine, has reinvented itself brilliantly in the Interwebz Age by publishing a steady (one might say relentless) stream of articles listing “the <adjective> <number> <items> <further qualification>”, such as these:

Most of these are at least amusing (if occasionally profane — ok, frequently profane), and some are actually educational and/or informative.

A few, however, are brilliant, and one of the latest lists — “8 (Pointless) Laws All Comic Book Movies Follow” by Henry A. Lee — qualifies as such. His insight is not just in the few cliches that we might immediately think of but in the consistent trends in comic book movie franchises that extend to 3, 4, or even 5 movies. I don’t want to give away much here — he deserves the traffic, and his revelations unfold in a measured way — but stop and think: in how many comic books movies have you seen the pattern of “the Brain, the Bod, and the Bumbler” among the villains? (And that’s not even one of his major laws, merely a side observation. My own observation is that it also appears among the heroes: think “Hellboy” and “Pirates of the Caribbean”.)

More than anything, his article explains why a certain numbing sameness tends to set in with comic book movie franchises: they all tend to follow the same patterns through the first, second, and third films. All Hollywood producers, directors, and screenwriters who work on comic book films should read this piece — but I’m not holding my breath. ..bruce w..

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Category: Humor, Main, Movies

About the Author ()

Webster is Principal and Founder at Bruce F. Webster & Associates, as well as an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Brigham Young University. He works with organizations to help them with troubled or failed information technology (IT) projects. He has also worked in several dozen legal cases as a consultant and as a testifying expert, both in the United States and Japan. He can be reached at, or you can follow him on Twitter as @bfwebster.

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