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What-if superhero movies take place in the time of the character's introduction?


Mar 7, 2005
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The inspiration of this thought process of mine comes from an interview with Darwyn Cooke on Fanboy Radio (Episode #346) when he discuss how he came up with the continuity for DC: The New Frontier: "All retcons are irrelevant; the only continuity that matters is the 'prime continuity' established in the first year by the guys who created the strips...following the exact continuity of the original books in the original time they occurred." And that got me thinking: what-if all of the superhero movies were set as a period piece, or with a timeless setting, of the eras the characters first appeared in?

So the Superman movie(s) and the Batman movie(s) would be set in the '30s, Wonder Woman and Captain America would be in the '40s, Flash and Green Lantern in the '50s, X-Men and Spider-Man the '60s, so on and so forth. I guess the exceptions would have to be if let's say; there was a 1938 set Superman movie, but he fights Brainiac in the next movie who didn't appeared until 1958, then the next movie would have to be set in 1958 (up in the air on continutiy between movies).

So what do you think?
I think, artistically, it would be great. But I also think that putting them in contemporary times is great. As long as a good movie is given, I really dont care what time period it takes place in. I would like to see a Batman movie take place in the thirties though. Throw in a little noir setting, but make it better than '89.
With some characters and stories it works really well. You've got to have a Captain America movie start in WW2. It's part of mood setting and establishing a tone.

I've always loved the idea of a Dan Dare movie set in an alternative 1951 because all the designs of the space-ships and so on, lends a real aesthetic charm.

But it's easy to get bogged down in aesthetics and lose entirely your search for coherency, like the Dick Tracy movie (which is cool, by the way, but essentially, an exercise in overcooking the stew).
So you guys see it as a good idea/bad idea?
i think this could be a potentially good idea , i would hope that mainstream audiences would enjoy it as well. i think some characters might benefit from it . it would of been great to see that with superman , but i nver will expect it.
Its a cool idea but most of the original time periods aren't essential to the story of the characters. For example Captain America has to be set in the WW2 era but Spider-man doesn't have to take place in the 60's.

Some movies probably wouldn't be as good if they were period pieces...like Iron-Man pretty much has to be modern day for the majority of the film.

There has to be something in the story or the character that connects them to the time period. A 60's Spider-man movie v.s. the modern day ones isn't going to change a whole lot besides look and speech patterns. Now a 60s X-Men would tie into real life civil and womens rights.
Yeah on the whole it does depend on what the movie or whatever is.
So you guys see it as a good idea/bad idea?

It s not necessary for some superheroes but yeah! I would say it s an original concept .Actually I strongly suggest they do a 70'S version of Luke cage and iron fist!
Although I'd feel it essential for a Cap movie to initially be set in WW2 era, and I'd much rather have the Punisher have his Vietnam origin, I could do without Spidey swinging in the 60's, or even worse, a Batman from the 30's.
It be something else alright... But it would be far from necessary and would turn off a lot of potential viewers.
I think it would be interesting as a one-time deal. Basically all Marvel heroes would be set in the 60s, and that would get old after a while. But it would be cool to see at least one hero in a technologically deficient environment - no computers, no cell phones, no internet, etc.

It could work for a hero who was known for his detective abilities since it would require a more hands-on approach to investigating a person instead of simply Googling the name. We'd see the main character delving into newspaper archives and sneaking into police filing cabinets.

I'd much rather see films take a more timeless approach, i.e. no product placements(Dodge in FF2) or current fads (X-sports in FF) or jokes/references to current affairs (NSync in X2).

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