Ever since Bryan Singer's X-Men graced our screens (gulp) seventeen years ago, it's fair to say that comic books as a whole have held a certain kind of synonymy with the film industry. On the surface, at least, this link would seemingly imply that comics and cinema were simply made to be, evidenced by the nigh-unprecedented popularity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and its ability to engender near universal critical and commercial acclaim with each successive outing. But why isn’t there the same link between that medium, and TV?
It’s not as if the industry hasn’t ventured there in the past (and with considerable success, mind you). Smallville, after all, ran for a staggering 10 seasons before getting axed off in 2011, and it’s fair to say that Marvel are completely killing it when it comes to Netflix at the moment. But (and it’s a big but), only a select few titles are able to match the brilliance and bombast of their cinematic counterparts, marred by budgetary constraints and, in the CW’s case, by the temperamental quality of their comic book productions.
Levelling the playing field isn’t as hard as it would seem though, as is evidenced by the aforementioned Marvel/Netflix partnership that has taken a light to the company’s underrepresented and indeed, more underrated properties. Ultimately, Marvel’s approach to TV adaptation provides a valuable lesson to their rivals. They’d do well to learn from it.