I would say that comic book adaptations are having a renaissance these days, but, really, there was never a time when so many comic books have been turned into so many popular movies and television shows. I’m not even talking about the MCU and the DCEU, but rather independent comic books, even ones you might not think came from a comic book, like I Am Not Okay With This or Vagrant Queen. But they do.
So now here are a list of comic books that I believe would make excellent shows. So here goes.
Fell by Warren Ellis and Ben Templesmith is a weird comic by design. After all, this is Warren Ellis (Transmetropolitan, Injection, Trees, the Castlevania anime) and Ben Templesmith (30 Days of Night, Wormwood: Gentlemen Corpse). It was weird with a side of strange.
It’s about homicide detective Richard Fell, who was recently transferred to Snowtown, a rundown, poverty-stricken “feral city,” where there are only “three and a half” detectives (one has no legs) to cover the entire city. Fell quickly gets himself involved in solving various crimes, but also the unusual mystery of the sigil that appears spraypainted across numerous buildings and a nun in a Richard Nixon mask who must be up to no good. But Fell himself has secrets that nobody knows about.
Unfortunately, Ellis and Templesmith never finished the comic (a hard drive crash caused Ellis to lose a majority of his work at the time), but a show would then be free to create its own ending.
Joyride by Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly, and Marcus To, is a paean to rebellious youth, but with the added bonus that they aren’t stealing a car...they are stealing a starship.
Uma wants to get away from Earth, whose fascist government has placed a shield that surrounds the planet and blocks out the stars themselves, all to keep people “safe.” So she takes her best friend and an Aeryn Sun-like soldier and blasts off into the unknown wilds of space to find action and adventure. Of course, the fascist authorities on Earth can’t allow this flagrant display of rebellion to remain unpunished, so they send out interceptors to find and capture them.
Think Space Cases plus Farscape plus a more lighthearted Blake’s 7 starring young adults. Or maybe ignore all that and just read the book.
God Country, by Donny Cates, Geoff Shaw, John J. Hill, and Jason Wordie, is a combination family drama and balls-to-the-wall crazy fantasy epic.
Emmet Quinlan is an old man in Texas suffering from dementia while his son and daughter-in-law try to help him, but when a massive storm knocks his house down around him, he stands up suddenly with all his faculties intact and feeling better than he has before.
This is all due to the fact that Emmet finds himself holding Valofax, an “ancient, indestructible, enchanted twelve-foot sword” that’s also alive and granting Emmet god-like powers. Now all Emmet has to do is use those powers to stop the Gods that will be coming to claim the sword and kill all those who stand in their way.
Clean Room, by Gail Simone, Jon Davis-Hunt, and Quinton Winter, is a horror comic unlike any other. For one thing, unlike a lot of other horror comics, this one genuinely unnerved me.
Chloe Pierce’s fiance killed himself after reading a self-help book by guru Astrid Mueller. Now Chloe is determined to use her journalism skills to investigate Astrid and her company, which holds secrets within secrets, including the hidden “Clean Room.”
The more the investigation continues, the more horrors that Chloe uncovers and the more Astrid becomes convinced that all of her plans, the salvation of the human race itself, depends on getting Chloe over to her side. Even if it means showing her exactly what’s behind the curtain.
Southern Cross, by Becky Cloonan, Andy Belanger, and Lee Loughridge, is a strange science fiction story about one woman’s search for the reason her sister died.
Alex Braith is going to Titan, a refinery moon, in order to pick up her sister’s remains. Unusually, however, the company that employed her won’t tell Alex how her sister even died.
So now Alex is on the Southern Cross, tanker flight 73 to Titan. But there are unusual things happening on this ship — someone or something is watching Alex and there are strange apparitions and people seem to be vanishing. Can a spaceship be haunted? And could the ghost be Alex’s sister?
It’s a “a crucible of creeping anxiety and fear as Braith struggles with the ghosts of her past on board a ship that holds secrets best kept buried.”
Casanova, by Matt Fraction, Garbiel Ba, and Fabio Moon, is, uh, a bit hard to explain in one go. But let’s see if I can do it:
Casanova Quinn is a thief and the black sheep of the Quinn family — his father is the head of a spy organization E.M.P.I.R.E. and his twin sister was their best agent before her untimely death. But then Casanova Quinn gets kidnapped and brought to an alternate universe where he has to replace that Earth’s greatest secret agent...Casanova Quinn.
Yeah. It’s weird. And it gets weirder still as Casanova encounters alternate versions of his father and his sister as he tries to untangle the lives of himself and his double. And then question then becomes...does he even want to return to his own world? Could he?
Something is Killing the Children, by James Tynion IV, Werther Dell’edera, and Miquel Muerto, is a horror comic with a twist.
The children of Archer’s Peak have begun to go missing and the cops don’t have a clue why. And then they start turning up...dead and dismembered. The only survivor of one of these attacks claims a monster did it, but nobody believes him. Except one woman who comes to town and calls herself Erica Slaughter.
Erica is here because she knows about monsters. She has been killing them her entire life. She is here to identify the monster in Archer’s Peak and make sure it never kills any other children again. Too bad the people of Archer’s Peak keep getting in her way.
Grendel, by Matt Wagner, is a study in violence, from the present day to the far future.
It began with Hunter Rose, a successful author and master criminal, who recently made himself into a mob kingpin by killing all by competition as his other half, Grendel. Grendel is elegant and violent, cutting his enemies down with his electric forked staff. But when he kills someone and finds their orphaned daughter, he decides to take pity on her and adopt her.
But Hunter’s deeds are being investigated and he’s being hunted by a supernatural FBI agent, Argent the Wolf. And soon, their stories will collide in a battle of blood and revenge. They will fight to see whom the future belongs.
Everything, by Christopher Cantwell and I.N.J. Culbard, is a surreal black comedy-drama about a brand-new department store called Everything.
In Holland, Michigan, Everything is here and it has, well, everything. At least, everything you could possibly want. And everybody is happy that Everything is here. In fact, they are so happy, they are going to be throwing a parade for Everything.
But not everybody has been drinking the kool-aid. Out-of-towner Lori, recently diagnosed with a brain tumor, finds herself immune to Everything’s charms, but suffering from strange hallucinations herself. And a local named Rick, partially deaf from too many concerts, finds himself searching for a suspicious hum around the town...and getting caught up in a conspiracy that larger than Everything.
A Walk Through Hell, by Garth Ennis and Goran Sudzuka, is a super creepy and surreal horror comic.
Special Agents Shaw and McGregor of the FBI are called to a Long Beach warehouse because there’s something wrong. Two fellow FBI agents went inside and never came out. When some police officers then went inside to find them, they came out after few minutes and killed themselves.
Shaw and McGregor are burnt out from the toll their cases have taken and all they want is to figure out what’s going on. But there’s something wrong inside the warehouse. As the agents walk inside, they black out and then wake up to find no time has passed, but strange things have occurred. Impossible things. Nightmarish things.
And there is nothing they can do to stop them.
So there we go. Ten books primed to be adapted into shows and I would love to see any of them.