Comic Books That Need TV Shows
After Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D premiered and blew up the ratings scale, I think every network rushed to find the next big comic book television show. Over the years we’ve had a few, some good others have been really bad but we’re starting to find a happy medium. Even recently, shows like Arrow exhibit how easy it is to bring a well-known character onto television with the genuine feel of him being a superhero, not just some pseudo imitation of what a character’s supposed to be. More than likely the big names are going to be saved for the big screen, so don’t expect to see a serialized Superman, Batman or Spider-Man television show.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D isn’t filled with dozens of cameos from the Avengers or other heroes, but their presence is still there in some fashion or another. To be fair, it’s early, it’s still a small branch growing on the marvel tree.
There’s no telling how the current shows will play out but they’ve done enough to inspire a full scale mining process. Constantine and a Jim Gordon show are just the beginning. Keep in mind, these shows don’t have to show up on networks like ABC,CW,NBC or Fox. Comics like Image’s “Chew” almost landed on Showtime. If these shows are done, they should be done right, no censorship or creative restrictions. The Walking Dead is a perfect example of giving a creator the freedom they need to create to quality of content that fans want.
So since it seems like we’re already in the full swing of the comic book “gold rush”, here’s a few comics I wouldn’t mind watching once every week or maybe binge-watching on Netflix.
Jeff Lemire’s Sweet Tooth is one of the best comic books I’ve had the pleasure of reading. It’s also one of the few I reread every now ad then. It carries a similar tone and has a strong likeness to Cormac McCarthy’s incredible novel, The Road. Sweet Tooth focuses on a core group of characters but mainly a hybrid boy/deer named Gus. Raised in the woods, entirely severed from humanity, he one day finds out that he and thousands of other hybrids are the result of a disease that has stricken civilization and crippled it to it’s weakest point. Together Gus and his companions search to find the source of the problem. The book packs one of the most potent emotional punches as it explores every aspect of humanity that you can imagine. The characters, the setting, everything meshes together wonderfully for a story that aims to pull every string your heart holds. The only bad part about making it a TV show is the fact that we’d have to watch it end all over again.
Y:THE LAST MAN
Writer Brian K. Vaughn has one of the best post-apocalyptic tales in Y: The Last Man. The story follows Yorick, a magician who wakes up one ay and finds himself to be the last living man on the earth.Women have remained unharmed, but for some reason he was the only male on Earth to survive this plague and he needs to find out why and hopefully find a cure. Yorick has to venture through a new-age Amazonian landscape that has taken the role of government, making it extremely hard for the only man on Earth to get around.Vaughn lays out depth in every aspect of this book and it’s constantly engaging. Letting a TV show expand upon all the content in Vaughn’s dystopian tale would be awesome.
HEROES FOR HIRE
I love Iron Fist, I think he’s a hero that doesn’t get the attention he deserves and since Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction’s series The Immortal Iron Fist ended, it seems like he’s take a very deep back seat on Marvel’s priority list. Even before Brubaker’s and Fraction’s revitalization of the character, some of his best moments occurred with his buddy Luke Cage. Together they founded Heroes for Hire and ensued on a incredible series of adventures. Heroes for Hire is exactly what it sounds like. You pay some superheroes and they take care of your problem. There are endless possibilities in the direction that they can take these characters as well as the others that eventually join their group of on-call ass-kickers.
The Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense is a product of the “Mignolaverse”. You may be familiar with it if you’ve indulged in any Hellboy comics or movies. B.P.R.D handles all those nasty things that go bump in the night and believe me, you should be glad they’re around to do so. With a cast of crazy and lovable characters, the crew of B.P.R.D is able to handle all kinds supernatural situations. The world of B.P.R.D also has history that reaches all the way back to World War II, so there’s a lot of content to go off of. A appearance from the big red guy might be a possibility too. He has no big screen plans for now, so who knows? But even without Hellboy, there are a bunch of character’s that demand just as much attention, they all carry powerful stories propelled by their own personalities.
Swamp Thing is more than just an enormous walking plant. Inside all of that green diverse verdure was a man at one time. Now his transformed self constantly searches for his place in the world. But at the same time he devotes himself to bringing balance in between the worlds of the “green” and the “rot” or as we know it, life and death. It’s hard to be on the outside looking in. His perspective on things we take for granted make for some of the most thought provoking narratives in comics.
Fatale is pulp at it’s finest. Sure, crime shows are abundant on television but they’re all cut from the same cloth, Fatale is a lot different from your “Law & Order’s” or “NCIS”. There aren’t many books to fill the genre in the world of comics, but Fatale makes up for that almost singlehandedly thanks to the current king of comic book noir, Ed Brubaker. The story embraces the classic mystery ambiance, braided with horror and supernatural elements as well, which many say resembles H.P. Lovecraft’s style. Although the story is still blossoming, it easily has a large enough platform to elaborate on.
Garth Ennis’s Preacher is long overdue for a television series. With Preacher, Ennis has one of the most dark, brutal and contentious tales ever written in comics, it’s very Quentin Tarantino-esque. In Preacher we find Reverend Jesse Custer, a minister in a small town with a dwindling faith in the commitment he devoted himself. Paired with a best friend/vampire and a hitman who happens to be his girlfriend and some proof solid proof that the God he thought was gone is somewhere out there, the trio set out to help Jesse get some answers to questions he has burning inside him, with absurd events happening every step of the way. Preacher pushes the boundaries for sure by presenting a lot of themes that have barley been touched by comics in their entire existence.
Prophet is top tier science-fiction. That’s not just something lacking in comics, but in television as well. After a short run years a go by creator Rob Liedfield, Prophet was revived in commanding fashion by the team of Brandon Graham and Simon Roy. The comic follows John Prophet, a man who awakes from cryosleep on Earth to find all that’s left is this eradicated shell of what the planet used to be. Now he’s alone and he has to transverse through a ridiculously dangerous world to accomplish a mission that may be mankind’s last hope. It’s a gritty, rough look at humanity filled with ideas that push sci-fi boundaries to their limits.
Yes, I already know we have one archer on TV, with Oliver Queen watching over Starling City and Hawkeye already has a gig on the big screen, but that doesn’t mean he can’t pull double duty. If you haven’t been reading Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye than you are missing out one the development of one of the best comic books in the last decade. It establishes Hawkeye’s uniqueness and true character, onto a stage that we’ve never seen before. He’s funny, relatable and a lot deeper than we think. Even though the Avengers team has, a giant green manifestation of rage, a super-solider, a genius wrapped in the most dangerous piece of technology in the world and the best spy, Hawkeye still garners a lot of attention—for good reason. Hawkeye is just a guy with a bow, taking on baddies capable of crushing him like bugs under their feet, but he still goes out and saves the world. He’s a true hero and that’s something worth exploring.
Considering the direction that Marvel’s taking their new wave of movies in, I wouldn’t expect to see the Punisher in theaters anytime soon, shooting up every bad guy within his range (which is pretty far). I’m okay with that if we can see him somewhere else where censorship is not an issue. If I see the Punisher I want to see the gritty, furious wave of vengeful wrath that is Frank Castle, not some watered down version.
Bill Willingham’s Fables is about all those fairy tell character’s and creatures you probably remember from the stories you or your parents read to you as a kid. Y’know, the Big Bad Wolf, Snow White, Prince Charming, Pinocchio, guys like that. Once kept safe in the mythical lands of folklore where they originated from, they now have been forced into the real world where they have to find a place where they can fit in. Even though you might recognize the names of these character’s they are totally different than you remember, I promise you that.The story kicks off after Snow White’s rowdy party-girl sister is murdered and the man who was once and still is feared by most fables (the fictional characters) Bigby a.k.a the Big Bad Wolf serves as a detective in hopes of solving the case. The series has countless adventures that follow, making for a roller-coaster ride of ridiculousness.
When you find out your parents were some of the worlds worst super villains, your life takes a huge turn. In Runaways, a group of children find out that they’ve been living under an umbrella of lies as their parents are exposed as super villains. With no other options they come together and form a team known as the Runaways. The comic already has a diverse cast of characters varying from witches, aliens to mutants. It also brings the younger part of the Marvel universe into focus, which gets no attention aside from Spider-Man.
The chances of seeing a Batwoman in her own movie are extremely small right now and they probably will be for a while, its hard enough to get a Wonder Woman movie or show off the ground. But that doesn’t mean she should be barred from every screen all together. Batwoman would be a great addition to television. Not only does she operate away from the main members of the “Bat family” (for the most part) but she is also the most unique member of them all. The most recent incarnation done by writer J.H. Williams and W. Haden Blackman (which is unfortunately coming to an end) has elevated this character to an entirely new level. While trying to figure out who she is Kate Kane (Batwoman) is balancing relationships with her family, girlfriend and a cousin who wants to play sidekick, she’s got a lot on her plate. Incorporating anything along those lines would make for one hell of a television show. And a cameo from a member of the Bat Family wouldn’t hurt either.
I’m sure the first thought that struck your mind was the Jonah Hex’s movie that left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth, but as fans of Jonah know, he’s a lot more than that. He’s a character with a tragic and compelling history, one that fuels him with an everlasting vengeance and a twisted set of morals, but it all makes for one of the most enthralling character’s in the DC universe. He also brings a nice change of scenery for a comic book character, you don’t find many in the old west and that where most of Hex’s best stories take place. He’s a complex anti-hero with a lot of layers to peel back, a television show would be the perfect opportunity to begin this process.
What would happen if the devil himself just up and decided to leave hell? Lucifer was never the type of person to listen to the “Big Guy” upstairs. As you can imagine, it’s a lot different than quitting just any job. After the character departed from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, writer Mike Carey decided to continue his story by writing a solo series for the character, one that would be contend as one of DC’s Vertigo imprint’s best comics. Lucifer is a constant philosophical battle characterizing the fallen angel as both a villain and a hero, continuously pressing moral arguments that lead to deep stories. Plus, if a Sandman show was in the works, the two could play off each other rather nicely
Vampires have surely seen a lot of attention these last several years, thankfully Scott Snyder’s American Vampire is nothing like any of that fluff that’s taken over. Snyder recaptures the true horror these creatures of the night hold and reminds us of what they are really capable of. The story has a lot of different avenues and hits various parts of history. Though it hits all over the place everything leads leads to a charismatic outlaw, Skinner Sweet, who just happens to be a vampire with a side so dark the sun couldn’t shine through, not that he would want it to anyway. He crosses paths with a young actress, Pearl Jones and from then on a crazy story unfolds. Once she finds out his dark secret, saying things get interesting is an enormous understatement.
Brian Wood’s DMZ is a politically-charged story set during the second, yes the second, American Civil War in Manhattan, which has become a desolate, abandoned aberration of what it used to be and has now become a demilitarized zone (DMZ) for the broken country. The series follows an photojournalist intern named Matty who’s left all alone after the crew he accompanied was killed surveying the horrors of this war. Now left alone, Matty is the only source of information out of the DMZ and garners nationwide attention because of it. DMZ is controversial but it also depicts the true ramifications of war. Wood provides absorbing ideas that could only be explored in this catastrophic hypothetical future.
Fear Agent is grade-A science fiction and Rick Remender’s homage to all those great old school sci-fi flicks filled with those funky looking ray guns, aliens and space ships. Fear Agent puts forth the story of alien exterminator from Texas, Heath Huston. You’re average 9-5 kinda guy who just likes to get the job done and enjoys a little too much to drink. But once he finds out that a race of aliens have a plan to try and eradicate the Earth. Watching Heath transform from some run of the mill nobody to the last Fear Agent, Earth’s only hope for survival. It’s fun, fast-paced and filled with twist and turns that come way out of left-field.
Yes, Brian K. Vaughn made my list twice but he has too many good ideas to ignore and this is one of best. Saga is probably the most acclaimed comics out right now. Not even at 20, issues yet but it’s already flowering into one of the most amazing stories to grace the pages of comics. The duo of Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples have manifest a world that is visually stunning and filled with some of the most extraordinary characters that you will ever read. Vaughn and Staple’s Saga focuses on two solider’s fighting for two worlds waging war on each other and somehow they come together and do the impossible, they have a child together. This taboo forces these star-crossed lovers to take their baby and go on the run, while facing complications from both places they’ve decided to abandon for the sake of their love and precious child. It’s a gripping story and once the run gets deep a television show should totally be on everyone’s radar.
Despite how enticing it would be to see Neil Gaiman’s Sandman up on the big screen, there’s too much to condense into a few hours or so. I don’t want to see this masterpiece chopped up and shrunk into something it’s not suppose to be. A television show would let us explore the entire story, flesh out the characters and immerse ourselves in this magical world that Gaiman crafted. The story begins with Dream (Morpheus) being captured in a spell that was targeted at Death. After freeing himself from dozens of years in captivity he is forced to find a way to reclaim his power and set the world of dreams in balance again. This is one of the few books that everyone should read, I don’t care if you don’t like comics you have to give this story a chance.
Invincible is a superhero comic with a immense amount of genuineness. If superheroes were real they’d probably be a lot like the characters in this book. It’s very down to Earth but at the same time it’s full of crazy action, that’s the only reason I’m afraid of it jumping to TV too soon. It’s got levels of destruction in every other issue that rival Man of Steel’s chaos. I don’t think technology has caught up with TV enough to present another one of Robert Kirkman’s amazing series’ in a decent enough fashion.
Before Jim Gordon’s show was announced, I thought Gotham Central would make a perfect TV show to help elaborate on the wold outside of Batman. There’s no Batman, slight hints here or there but he’s barley in the series, so it would be able to maintain a strong focus on a core group of people that try and take care of business when the Dark Knight has to much on his plate. The team of Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka roll out a story that brings life to this city and shows how much of an asset the GCPD is to the city and to the caped crusader himself. Most people probably wouldn’t have glanced the series once they heard it’s a book set in Gotham City with no Batman. But the short lived series remains as one of the best ever set in the Dark Knights stomping ground.
I know they already have a Constantine TV show in the works but with the network that’s courting it, there’s a significant chance that their portrayal won’t resemble the crooked, back-stabbing, chain smoking charmer that fans know and love. First appearing in Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing just as a side character, Constantine developed into one of the most magnetic characters in comics and he has a overabundance of history and stories that deserve to be shared.
Are there any comics that you guys would like to see on TV? Share your thoughts below!