6 Comics That Need To Be In 3D — Rendered In 3D!
Despite the fact that even William Castle — the B-movie auteur who once attached giant joy buzzers to theater seats in order to get audiences interested in The Tingler — was tired of it fifty years ago, modern moviegoing audience are witnessing a resurgence in the popularity of 3D! And as though gimmicky, headache-inducing films with inflated ticket prices weren’t enough, the desire to add a few other layers to things — visually speaking, anyway — is now making its way to comics with Brian Haberlin and Philip Tan’s Captain Wonder 3D.
Of course, 3D comics aren’t exactly new; they’ve been around for decades. I distinctly remember having a Rocketeer comic when I was a kid that came with a set of cutout glasses that were meant to look like the Rocketeer’s helmet, and even the legendary team of Jack Kirby and Joe Simon once dabbled in it with what might just be their most obscure creation, Captain 3D: The Man From The World Of “D”!
Even so, recent advancements allow for creators to do full-color stories (like the 3D pages in Superman Beyond and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier), and considering how much money James Cameron’s Avatar pulled down, it might be time to give the technology another look. That’s why today, we’re going through our archives to find The Six Comics That Need To Be 3D. Bonus: We’ve even made our own 3D versions of the comics, so grab a pair of glasses if you have one handy!
If ever there was a comic that was downright asking for a visual gimmick that makes everything look sort of weird and glowy, it’s the one about the people who fly around fighting crime by using their magic space-rings to make giant glowing versions of whatever they can imagine.
It just makes sense.
Honestly, I’m surprised that it hasn’t happened already. Even Batman got a 3D comic back in the ’90s, and while I love to see a vigilante brain a crook with a bat-shaped piece of metal, it isn’t exactly something that requires the third dimension to enjoy. Green Lantern, however, could actually really benefit from it, with ring constructs flying off the page in the heat of battle — especially if they go back and 3D up that one issue where Hal and Guy Gardner accidentally leave their rings in a bar, where they’re picked up by a couple of rednecks who make giant raccoons and chainsaws.
Admittedly, things might get a little complicated considering that there’s an entire rainbow of Lanterns around now, meaning you’d have to keep switching out sets of glasses to avoid running into the problem where Atrocitus was suddenly invisible for four or five pages of intense, standing-around action. But on the bright side, it might actually be the one thing that could actually give these characters a little depth.
Considering that Marvel’s favorite mercenary breaks the fourth wall so often that I’m surprised his comics aren’t held together with duct tape, they might as well just go all out and have him bust through the panels visually, too.
After all, for a character so thoroughly rooted in the ’90s, Deadpool largely missed out on the poly-bags, chromium covers and other highly collectible annoyances enhancements of the era, and while they’ve done their best over the past few years to make it up by throwing him onto as many variant covers as store shelves across the country can physically support, 3D suits him a lot better. In fact, I’m pretty sure that a story that saw him leaning out of the panel, chatting up the reader while casually blowing away enemies without even looking would be the platonic idea of a Deadpool story.
And seriously? Since 2008, we’ve gotten Deadpool, Deadpool: Merc With a Mouth, Deadpool Team-Up, Lady Deadpool, DeadpoolMAX, and Deadpool Pulp, among others. At this point, Deadpool 3D isn’t just a possibility, it’s a mathematical certainty.
Much like Deadpool, the Punisher lends himself to a 3D story for the pretty obvious reason that he is all about shooting bullets at people and occasionally throwing them through windows. Pretty much everything that dude does lends itself to having objects, explosions and the occasional severed limb flying at the reader without the creators even trying to go for 3D.
If he did end up in a 3D book, however, there’s only one thing I’d want to see: The Punisher’s Gun That Shoots Swords.
Introduced a few years ago by Matt Fraction an Ariel Olivetti, the Gun That Shoots Swords has been sadly ignored ever since, but it would be absolutely perfect for 3D. I seriously want to see Frank Castle shooting people with that thing for 22 — no, let’s go ahead and make it 48 — pages. Seriously, Marvel: Do this, and you can go ahead and start clearing off that spot on your shelf you’ve been saving for the Eisner Award for Best Comic Book Ever.
If film has taught us anything, it’s that horror lends itself to the effects of 3D better than any other genre, with the possible exception of paper-thin allegories about giant blue cat-people. Either way, a phenomenally successful horror story that’s had success on both the page and the screen seems a pretty likely candidate for the 3D treatment:
Unfortunately, the differences in pacing between reading and watching a movie would probably undermine the scare factor enough so that it wouldn’t be quite as fun, since even if it’s hidden by a page turn, you’re always going to be expecting the zombies to jump out.
Still, it’d be pretty neat to see in practice, even if it is thoroughly inferior to my proposed alternative, a combination pop-up/scratch-and-sniff (rotting flesh) book where the zombies actually reach out and claw at the reader. If I could figure out how to make them slimy without ruining the comic, I’d be golden.
I’m still not quite sold on the viability of 3D in comics, but if publishers really want to go for it, then I’m of the mind that they should go big, and while DC’s Final Crisis had a small sampling of 3D thanks to Superman Beyond, the next step would be to base an entire event around it.
As a friend of mine likes to point out, DC’s Crisis On Infinite Earths — in which DC jettisoned a good portion of the characters and stories they’d published over the previous 50 years in favor of a more streamlined universe — is the biggest possible story, because everything was at stake, with things actually changing at the end of it (for a few decades, anyway). And once you’ve put everything in the story at risk, then the only way to get bigger is to actually endanger the readers.
Now, I’m not saying that comic book publishers should actually put their readers in danger of cosmic destruction — though if you would’ve asked me back when I worked at a shop, I probably would’ve been all for it — but I could totally go for the illusion that Dr. Doom was coming out of the comics to subjugate the world his own damn self.
But while that — and the possibility of hearing Dr. Doom refer to “Doom’s own damn self” — would be good, it’s not book that most needs to happen:
Yes, this is obvious, and no, I’m not proud of it. But for real:
Get Amanda Conner to draw Power Girl in 3D, throw in Catwoman as a guest star, and put an Adam Hughes variant cover on it? You would sell one million copies. And I’m not gonna lie: At least one of those would be going to me.