Comic books being made into movies or television shows is nothing new. That trail was blazed a long time ago. Some of the best movies and shows have been inspired by the wonderful stories that comic books house. There are, however, a lot of great stories in comics that have not made their way to the screen. We have had the same Batman story rewritten and re-cast so many times that even someone who hates comic books knows the fate of the Wayne family. For someone who loves the Batman comics so much, this is extremely frustrating because there are some amazing story arcs that are being overlooked. Not just with Batman though, in all comics really. Here is a list of 10 comic arcs that are worthy of screen time.
Kingdom Come was published as a 4-issue mini-series in 1996. Full disclosure, this is the story arc that got me into comics! Mark Waid is a fantastic writer and I have been an avid fan from the first page read in this comic. Alex Ross is one of the most unique artists working in comics today and his beautiful and classic art style really brings the story to life. The story is set in the future and about the superheroes we know and love being older and out of touch with society. They struggle with the new superheroes that are younger and more reckless. The story has atomic catastrophes, father and son relationships and the hand-to-hand combat everyone loves.
Batman: The Long Halloween
Anyone who is familiar with Batman may be saying that there was already an animated movie based off of the comic. Some may go further and say that not only did Gotham use elements of the story in season 4 of the show but also that Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy pulled a lot from this comic to help create the films. All of this is true however, none of them are a direct to film adaptation that I feel this story really deserves. The Long Halloween is one of the best Batman stories I have ever read. Written by Jeph Loeb and art from Tim Sale, the story takes place in the early days of The Bat. It tells the story of a mysterious killer named Holiday. He gets the name Holiday because he always kills…on holidays. This story has everything we love about Batman, Mob crime, mystery, detective skills and a list of villains such as Two-Face, Scarecrow, Joker, Mad Hatter, Poison Ivy and the Riddler!
Y The Last Man
So, this one may be a little bit of a cheat because it is said that there is currently a television adaptation in the making with FX, but they have been saying this for years and in 2007 a film adaptation was canceled. I will believe the show happens when I watch it. In the meantime, this comic deserves a film! I could get behind a series if it was done right and by a studio who could support the story the way it needs. Written by Brian K. Vaughan and art from Pia Guerra, Y The Last Man is about a man named Yorick who is, well, the last man. All the males of every species on earth dies at the same time, all the men except Yorick and his male monkey. This entire run is full of so much heart and mystery that a film or show would be fantastic to get lost in.
Writer Warren Ellis is no stranger to successful stories, having worked on Judge Dredd, X-Men, Ghost Rider, Daredevil, Batman, Hellblazer and JLA. It is no wonder why his work on Transmetropolitan is on this list. For anyone who is a fan of Hunter S. Thompson or even Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, this is a must read. It tells the tale of Spider Jerusalem, a gonzo journalist in the future. Spider works to fight the power of the crumbling American government (both of them). This is a fun read and would make a fantastic film or television series!
Comic book crossovers happen all the time. If Kingdom Come is my favorite crossover, Blackest Night is my second favorite! Written by Geoff Johns and penciled by Ivan Reis, Blackest Night is about a Nekron, a force of death that uses its powers to reanimate deceased superheroes. Yeah, zombie superheroes! This is such a cool story with tons of epic moments from all the DC heroes. It was published from 2009-2010 but is still my go to comic when someone asks me a good place to start. It is dark, weird and full of fantastic scenes. This story is just begging for a film to be made. DC has not made any horror movies based around comics, but I think this would be an amazing idea for this story.
Robert Kirkman has already arguably created one of the most successful comic books ever written or adapted for the screen, that being The Walking Dead. His superheroes tale is no less amazing and deserves the same treatment. With the first issue published in 2003 (shortly after an appearance in Tech Jacket #1) it lasted for 144 issues and ended in 2018. Kirkman wrote Invincible to tell the story of Mark Grayson, a superhero who is the son of a super-powerful alien hero named Omni-Man. The comic starts out with Invincible gaining his powers and the struggles he has as a teenager becoming a superhero. The underlining tale of dealing with a power he never asked for would make a terrific backdrop for a long form television series.
Think of Dick Tracy with zombies and monsters. That may just be a simplified version of what The Goon really is, but this comic is so much fun. Eric Powell is the writer and illustrator of the comic which was first published in 1999. There are so many reasons why this comic deserves a movie (or better yet a series on HBO MAX or HULU), but one of the main reasons is how Powell mixes action with comedy and violence. One issue may have The Goon fighting a bunch of mobsters and the next issue he could be fighting a skunk ape!
East of West
Set in a dystopian “United” States in the year 2064, East of West tells the tale of “what if the Civil War never ended?” Not only what if it never ended but what if in 1908 a comet hits Kansas. Not only is all of this in the comic but oh yeah, also the four horsemen of the apocalypse. There is so much story in these pages and is extremely entertaining and thought provoking to read. It was published from 2013-2019 and had 45 issues. A limited series or feature film would be a slam dunk.
The last one on the list today is said to have already been sold to Netflix, but again, we will see what comes from that. Written and illustrated by Jeff Lemire, Sweet Tooth is a strange story that follows Gus, a teenager with deer like features. He was raised by a very religious father who hides Gus away until his death when Gus decides to flee. There is so much going on with this post-apocalyptic comic that a series or feature film would be so much fun.
Written exclusively for TheLastPicture.Show by Jacob Ruble
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