The Emmys were dominated by various nominations in almost every category from HBO, and it finished with HBO winning most of them. “Watchmen” won the best-limited series at the Emmys and with this, it also became the first comic-book adaptation to win such an award. So, what does it mean to the future of television? Are we going to see more social matters to be raised through comic-book adaptations instead of just general entertainment? In such a case does major comic books from DC and Marvel have the potential to give and address such social issues through their shows.
“Watchmen” won a total of 11 awards including Outstanding Limited Series, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie (Regina King), Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special, Outstanding Sound Editing for a Limited Series, Movie or Special, Outstanding Casting for a Limited Series, Movie or Special, Outstanding Music Composition for a Limited Series, Movie or Special, Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Limited Series or Movie, Outstanding Fantasy/Sci-Fi Costumes, Outstanding Cinematography for a Limited Series or Movie, and Outstanding Sound Mixing For a Limited Series or Movie.
“Watchmen” is based on the acclaimed 1986 graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons about a world in which costumed vigilantes are real, the nine-episode series is not very accurate to the comics as it adapts the events to the current time.
“Black Panther” and “Joker” were also earlier nominated for the best picture at Oscars, making them one of the few comic-book nominations. This does show that comic-book adaptations have great potential to highlight various, one of them I would like to highlight is Marvel's X-Men franchise. X-Men films/series have highlighted various social issues, including racism, but not to a great extent.
In the X-Men universe, humans have divided into two species, one is mutants who have superpowers and the other are normal human beings. The fact that most of them hate each other gives any writer a platform to write a script that can highlight a few issues up to a large extent.
However, in recent times X-Men films have more focus on visual effects and superhero problems rather than focussing on larger problems to give a broader message. “The Gifted” did one of such experiments to highlight issues of racism and hate but wasn’t fully honest with the presentation. When a studio is creating such shows, they need to tell the audience before its arrival on what they can expect.
The audience has to understand that time has come for comic-books to adapt according to the current social issues and play a bigger role in giving a positive message to society.
After the win, ‘Watchmen’ creator Damon Lindelof dedicated the Emmy limited series win To Tulsa 1921 massacre survivors and victims, he said “The fires that destroyed Black Wall Street still burn today. The only way to put them out is if we all fight them together.” Yahya Abdul-Mateen II who won the best supporting actor for ‘Watchmen’ dedicated it “To All Of The Black Women In My Life.”
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