The big debate raged for months without resolution. Thousands of fanboys were outraged about the choice, and who could blame them? It was controversial, to say the least.
“He’s just not the right actor to play Time Man,” DannyCMack69 wrote on one of his favorite message boards. “His shoulders are too broad, and his face doesn’t look at all like the way ‘Rad’ Barnstorms draws him in the comic. His chin is too pinched at the bottom, and there’s no cleft.”
TimeManLuvR031393 saw it differently: “I can’t believe you’re saying this. Finally they get around to making the Time Man movie and you just want to bash away. You’re a hater, DannyC. Rance Hartley was a good choice and I’m sure he’ll do a great job with the role.”
“I’m struck by how passionate you are about this when we know for a fact that this movie will sux0rz,” observed DoomBringer316. “No one has ever directed a good adaptation of a comic book—or a good adaptation of anything, for that matter. Everything gets worse when Hollywood takes over.”
Advil4Life weighed in with a lengthy recounting of what he or she believed to be the most successful book-to-movie adaptations of all time.
“That’s all bullshit,” DoomBringer316 responded. “Micah the Cat was the worst fucking movie ever made. You can see the wires on the cat puppet, for Christ’s sake!”
LttlAngel warned the board about lapsing into blasphemy, an admonition that was met with an outpouring of disdain.
Gengar59 put in his two cents: “No way, the worst adaptation was Jesus versus the Astronauts.”
“Dude, that was from an original script, and besides, it’s Brian Powell’s most underrated film,” replied an irate DoomBringer316. “He was trying to make a shitty movie. Why else would he have cast Jennifer Capriati and David Keith?”
DannyCMack69 sought to calm the board by clarifying his position: “Look, I didn’t mean to get everyone fired up. I’m just saying that Time Man has a very recognizable physical type, and Rance Hartley isn’t the person who comes to mind when I think of that hero. I wasn’t trying to suggest that Rance Hartley isn’t a good actor. However, it really matters to me that they try to get it as close to the comic as possible. It’s bad enough he’s not even going to have all of the time in the world, which is his primary superpower.”
It went on like this until the movie came out, at which point the fanboys joined forces in heaping scorn upon it. The movie actually pleased crowds and critics alike, but even this base level of cinematic competence wasn’t enough for people who refused to accept anything but perfection from their spandex idols. Rance Hartley’s Time Man costume didn’t have the big viridescent clock in the center, and that was unforgivable. How could they have gotten it so wrong?
It almost goes without saying that each fanboy purchased a full priced ticket to watch the sequel.