The arrival of Skyfall at my house this week, along with the announcement that Star Wars will be doing spin-off stories, has had me thinking quite a bit about reboots. It’s funny that a franchise like Bond, which was wallowing in its own mediocrity not even a decade ago, could become the poster child for how to reinvigorate an intellectual property, but I guess stranger things have happened — like J.J. Abrams sitting astride two of the most beloved sci-fi universes that have been or ever will be created. Or Daniel Craig turning out to be one heck of a Bond. Seriously, did anyone see either of those things coming?

But unlike some, I have a great deal of confidence in how Disney is going to go about with the management of Big George’s House. After all, these are the people that took the nerd’s dream of an Avengers movie, and not only executed what they set out to do — they actually made a pretty damn good movie in the process. There’s no reason to think they won’t do the same with a property like Star Wars, which will receive the utmost of care.

But who stands to learn the most about how to reboot a series? Pretty much the rest of the comic book world. With the release of the retread also known as the Amazing Spider-Man, the upcoming Man of Steel and X-Men: First Class, origin stories are the currency that pays for reboots. Especially in the case of Spider-Man, which tackled nearly every single beat that Raimi’s version did in almost the same way. And while I liked the first half of it, I couldn’t help but feel like I had seen the same movie dozens of times over. When one considers that the Nolan Batman era has just ended, it seems like it’s only a matter of time before the Caped Crusader gets his own reboot — which will no doubt be another origin story.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand the supposed necessity, from a studio’s standpoint. Origin stories make for some of the easiest character arcs to kick off a franchise. It’s a built in hero’s journey, from refusal of the call to the hardship to the triumphant finale which involves some kind of Heroic Sacrifice. But is it necessary?

James Bond proves that it isn’t. Here you’ve got a franchise that spans more than 50 novels, 23 movies and 9 Bonds over 70 years, and when they got their most recent Bond, they didn’t feel the need to throw an origin story at their audiences. Instead, they trusted that the culture at large knows who the hell James Bond is, and used the character’s longevity to reboot the franchise through a different lens.

Why can’t comic books movies go about it the same way? Instead of starting the character over from scratch every 5 years (or less), why not just trust that the audience knows who Superman/Batman/Spider-Man is, and give us a new, interesting story about them in the prime of their crimefighting careers? That’s what a really great Bond movie does. Heck, Skyfall even shows Bond learning to cope with the fact that he’s not quite the sharpest tool in her majesty’s arsenal any longer.

Casino Royale didn’t feel the need to show us how every detail of how Bond became Bond, at least not the way most comic book movies would have handled it. It kickstarted its own arc and gave us a much needed new take on the franchise. So why not treat Batman more like Bond? Whenever you want to kick off a new Batman trilogy, DC, just cast a new Batman at your leisure and adapt some of the best stories possible from years of amazing source material. Forget the origin stories. Who cares if we don’t have continuity between trilogies or even Batmen? Bond has been doing it forever and nobody bats (see what I did there) an eye.

And when you find a particular Batman that just works? Stick with him as long as you like. But keep giving him new stories, new arcs, new obstacles to overcome beyond just whether or not he should don the cape and the cowl. It’s been done nearly to death. Let’s just treat Nolan’s version of Batman origin story as the definitive version and move on from there, shall we?

So there’s my rant. What do the rest of you think? Are you OK with origin stories? Are you sick of them? When do you think we’ll spot another Batman film?

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