Posted October 23, 2013 by Mikael Angelo Francisco in Columns

KYLE-O-PHONE: Five Comics That Should Never Be Made Into Movies


At some point during the past week, Tony realized that my last KYLE-O-PHONE post was a little over three months ago. Naturally, he sought to rectify this, and…


Kyle: “Good afternoon mamser, welcome to Mekdonals!”

Tony: “Ah, good afternoon, I’d like a double cheeseburger, and- waitaminute, I didn’t call McDonald’s! Kyle! Knock it off.”



Kyle“The number you dialed is not yet in service. The number you dialed is not yet in service. The number you dialed-“

Tony“Kyle. I’m calling about work. FlipGeeks work.”

Kyle“Am I getting a raise?”

Tony“No, will you listen for-“


Tony“Kyle, I swear to God, if you don’t stop being…being…well, being you, I won’t give you Superior Spider-Man #19 for review.”

Kyle“…Oh, oh hi Tony! Sorry, reception here sucks donkey testicles.”

Tony“Right. Remember what I told you I gave you permission to write your own column?”

Kyle“What, that you didn’t know why you kept me on your *coughimaginarycough* payroll?”

TonyNO. Just…just shut up for a minute and listen. I told you that you could go ahead and write your column only if you could update it consistently.”

Kyle“…Ah. Er. Well, life got in the way. And depression. Lots and lots of depression.”


Kyle“Er, sorry. Working on it now.”

Tony“Good. Anyway, I expect it to be up by Monday, like you promised me months ago. Months. Ago.”

Kyle“Sure thing, bossman! By the way, where’s my copy of SSM #19 for review?”

Tony“Oh, about that. It kinda sold out, so no copy for you this week. Who would’ve thought that people would actually be able to stand reading a book with Otto Octavius as the star? Well, technically, it’s Otto Octavius in Peter Parker’s body-“

Kyle“You can stop now, it STILL hurts, you know-“

Tony“-taking a more proactive approach to crimefighting, finally getting a PhD as Parker, and proving himself to be-“

Kyle“No, no, no, stop-“

Tony: *in a singsong voice* “-the SUPEEEERIOOOOOOOOR Spider-Man!”


Tony“I swear to God, this never gets old. Heh.”


Right in the Superior nads, every single time.

Anyway, moving on. Because my boss promised to stop calling me if I could keep this thing up and running on a weekly basis, I’ll try again.


Many would say that it’s a great time to be a comics geek. With the successful marriage of Hollywood and comic books, we’ve enjoyed a ton of great adaptations. Why, from Marvel alone, we got Blade, Blade II, Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, X-Men, X-2, the Iron Man trilogy, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, The Wolverine, and that team movie about Avenging or something. Meanwhile, from DC, we got… the, uh, Nolan Dark Knight trilogy and the upcoming Batman/Superman movie (where the titular characters supposedly start by punching each other’s lights out and then teaming up in predictably comic booky fashion). In a couple of years we’ll be seeing Dr. StrangeAnt-Man, and even the frigging Guardians of the Galaxy on the silver screen, which proves that (1) pretty much every character/franchise with some semblance of a following has a chance of being considered “ripe” for cinematic treatment, and (2) filmmakers are hell-bent on seeing just how far they can reach into the realm of comics before the entire universe explodes and we’re all forced to sit through endless film reboots of Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth with our eyes taped open.

Unfortunately, there are some comic book properties that would translate into film about as well as pickles go with milk. Here’s a list of five comic books that should stay well out of Hollywood (or, in some cases, some comic books that never should have been printed in the first place).


Let’s get this out of the way – the entirety of Ultimatum is about as entertaining and fun as tuberculosis. This bizarre gorefest of a book was written by “post-Sam” Jeph Loeb, which makes insulting Ultimatum feel like a crime. Out of respect for the guy who wrote some of my favorite stories (the Marvel “color” series with Tim Sale, Superman for All Seasons), let me say that making fun of Ultimatum is a near-joyless experience.

However, it STILL manages to give me more joy than reading this freaking mess.

Set in the alternate continuity that is the Ultimate universe and spinning out of the almost-as-terrible Ultimates 3, Magneto vows vengeance on the world for the apparent deaths of his two children, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. He proceeds to steal Thor’s hammer and floods Manhattan, which makes the superhero community realize that (a) they should have taken those goddamned swimming lessons last summer, and (b) virtually every superhero is based in goddamned Manhattan. As a result, half of the Ultimate universe’s known heroes drowned, including Nightcrawler (who could have teleported out of harm’s way), Beast (who could have climbed walls and was agile enough to swing across very high places in order to not drown), and Dazzler (who can make things sparkle… wait, nevermind). Magneto snaps Prof. X’s neck, Doctor Strange’s head pops like a grape after being strangled with his own cape, and Daredevil is found dead on top of some building, because of course he didn’t, uh, see any of this coming. Of course. (Straight to hell I’m going, oh yes.). The surviving heroes end up hunting and killing Magneto in his floating citadel, but not before Wolverine gets reduced to a metal skeleton and sinks to the bottom of the ocean. Oh, and by the way, Cyclops gets shot between the eyes, almost everyone gets blown up by the Multiple Man, and Hank Pym walks in on the Blob eating the Wasp’s intestines. What a comic, huh?



Marville attests to the unfair stereotype that executives tend to know diddly squat about the creative side of business. Controversial Marvel executive Bill Jemas, under the misguided notion that writing comic books is as easy as counting dollar bills, made a bet with Peter David, claiming that he could write a comic book that would outsell PAD’s. Jemas envisioned a satirical take on comic books, making use of his insider knowledge by poking fun at the tropes and practices of the industry in an intelligent manner. Thus, Marville was born – a series that would go down in history as one of the most WTF titles ever published by Marvel.

Comic readers knew they had a winner in their hands when they opened the first issue and were greeted with a page EXPLAINING every single joke in the book. Come on. Have you ever seen Russell Peters start a routine by saying “Hallo, tonight’s jokes will be funny because I am a Canadian of Indian descent, with prominent Indian features, who pretends to be racially insensitive”? Anyway, Marville focuses on Kal-AOL, some dweeb from the future who decides to travel to the present and become a superhero, despite his complete lack of powers. If the character’s name and this cover didn’t already make it painfully obvious, Kal-AOL is a not-so-subtle jab at Smallville. Each issue got progressively worse – choice bits include Wolverine actually being a time-displaced otter, God revealed to be a black dude named Jack, and a stupid sequence where Black Panther stops Iron Man from saying the “N” word, all in the name of COMEDY! or something – and the fact that it even reached 7 issues HAD to be because it was Jemas who was writing it. It was so bad that the 7th issue wasn’t even a real issue: it just contained submission guidelines for Marvel’s Epic Imprint. I guess that’s the executive equivalent of euthanasia, and the closest thing to an apology comic book readers ever got.



If you joined the Marvel party during the late 2000s, you’d probably say that Franken-Castle was the worst thing that ever happened to the Punisher. Sliced and diced by Wolverine’s son, haphazardly stitched together, and turned into a reanimated drug junkie – nothing could possibly be worse than that, right? In that case, I’d laugh nervously, sigh, and slowly point in the direction of the buffet table, where The Punisher: Purgatory is busy lapping up all the punch with his tongue while trying to see up the Watcher’s skirt.

After Frank Castle decides that the last person left to punish was himself, he takes his own life and finds himself turned into an agent of Heaven, complete with divine spiritual guns and all. Oh, how I wish I were making this up. His back story was swiftly retconned to reveal that the ruthless mobsters who gunned down his family were in fact demons, and this four-issue limited series dealt with him coming to terms with his new role as the lamest attempt in the history of comics to out-edge Ghost Rider. Thank God it didn’t stick; pretty much everyone these days pretends that this never happened (I am so, so sorry for even bringing it up in the first place).

So yeah, don’t even think of going near that punch bowl.



You know how society tends to let people like Chevy Chase get away with all the offensive things they say from time to time, just because they were revered and respected in their youth? I guess I could say the same for Frank Miller. After all, the guy revitalized and repurposed Daredevil, kick-started the whole “grim and gritty” trend in comics, and gave us masterpieces like 300 and The Dark Knight Returns.

Unfortunately, when he decided to, er, “Strike Again”, the results were less than spectacular.

Whatever magic Frank Miller’s mind and hands had at the time of TDKR seemed to have been completely absent by the time The Dark Knight Strikes Again decided to roll into town. Virtually every way to offend every kind of sensibility was exhausted by Miller in his apparent bid to create the most disappointing follow-up in the history of anything. The art was rushed, dirty, odd-shaped, and garishly colored, and the story and dialogue were terrible. Heaps upon heaps of disrespect were dumped on every character in this story (Hawk and Dove being among the most painful examples), and the villain of the piece – Dick Grayson as the Joker – had character development and motivation so thin, you could use it as toilet paper. Then again, what else can you expect from a book that devoted five pages to showing Superman and Wonder Woman having sex in the sky?



Published by BroadSword Comics, Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose is written and illustrated by noted cheesecake artist Jim Balent.

There is nothing, literally nothing in this book that would suggest turning it into anything other than a direct-to-DVD gore porn flick. There’s gratuitous nudity – and definitely not the tasteful kind – as well as gore and violence in buckets. Buckets of blood. Combine that with some of the most terrible lines of dialogue ever, and the result is something that even Hollywood executives would be afraid to touch with a ten-foot pole.

Want proof? Here’s a panel from a typical issue of this magnificent comic book.

Get out of here, dear reader! For your sanity’s sake.


The exchanges in this article are either purely fictional (see: phone conversation with my boss, who is actually a pretty nice guy) or exaggerated for comedic effect.

Also, click the funky KYLE-O-PHONE banner at the top of this post for more ways to waste your time. Please?

Mikael Angelo Francisco