I remember how excited I was when the first Image Comics hit the stores in the early nineties. There were rumours flying about recklessly of movie adaptations and TV shows in the works and I could not wait to see my brand new favourites immortalised on screen! Alas, it all fell apart when the Speculator’s Boom busted.
But now, after the huge success of AMC’s TV version of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead, I have seen a window of opportunity where my teen-hood fantasies can finally come true. So here are the classic Image Comics titles that I think should be the next super TV series (All of you big movie studios types need to take note!).
I know that most of you would shout out names like Spawn or Invincible for this opening spot, but no series needs a second chance to prove how amazing it could have been than Rob Liefeld’s Supreme. He was the ultimate anti-hero: Superman gone bad. What happens when the world’s most powerful man returns to Earth and doesn’t like what he finds? Unswerving bloody chaos is what!
Crossing themes of religion, dictatorship, extreme socialism and capital punishment, Supreme was telling a story that others were too scared to and had me hooked… well, for the first 3 issues at least.
Somehow he got derailed by the ever-changing creative teams and ended up crossed-over, watered down and then insane. But Supreme was the original Irredeemable. In our current climate of international fear mongering and the over extension of government control we need to explore the consequences of what we have done. This is the TV series I most want to see.
MTV managed to perfectly capture Sam Keith’s psychologically confused maybe-hero comic book in its 1995 cartoon series. Every nuance of Keith’s collage styled world was religiously recreated, and mindless action was replaced with the careful twist of mystery, intrigue and honesty. But now is the time to make The Maxx live-action!
Take the Sin City approach of mixing actors with 3D worlds, replacing its black and white tableau with Maxx’s intense colour and texture explosion. Programming on HBO has proven that audiences want smarter drama that challenges their thinking and pushes them emotionally. That describes The Maxx perfectly.
The Astounding Wolfman
A newer series from Image, and another of Robert Kirkman’s fantastic concepts, The Astounding Wolfman mixes my two favourite subject matters – Werewolves and superheroes. There’s none of the teeny bopper Twilight rubbish here. The supernatural is blended with super powers, and for the first time it is evident that the pair are one and the same. A thickly plotted storyline that moves at a lightning pace, echoing Spiderman’s early years but dark and with dramatic consequences.
Wolfman would suffer if it were crow-barred into the restrictions of a feature film, but if it were given the character and story developing breadth of series TV we would be treated to feast for the supernatural soul!
Let’s be honest, there are very few comic geeks who have encountered J. Scott Campbell & Andy Hartnell’s Danger Girl series and not been avidly attracted to it (and I am not just talking about guys here). Sex, action, Bond-style gadgets and a new version of the Third Reich. A simple recipe for pure pleasure.
No more needs to be said. Put it on the screen.
How about this pitch?: The X-Files’ Agent Mulder as a sasquatch who investigates rumours of a monster who skins humans and wears their flesh as a disguise. Call me crazy, but that is something that I want to see. And we could if some plucky Producer were to option the series Proof and turn its first arc ‘Goatsucker’ into a supernatural police mystery TV show!
With a strong female lead and a male protagonist who is over 8 feet tall, they create an unlikely duo that works for the American government to find and protect an array of supposedly mythical creatures. Proof works in subtle themes of the environment, species conservation and questions the impact of man on the rest of life on earth.
The Savage Dragon
This was just going to be a list of 5 titles to adapt to the small screen, but I could not bring myself to wrap this up without mentioning what I consider to be the true landmark series that represented the Image Comics philosophy like no other. Erik Larsen’s The Savage Dragon may have been raw and rough around the edges in all aspects; art, story and dialogue. But the experimentation and revolution that he brought to comics, pushing every convention and creating some ground-breaking issues is what makes Larsen’s creation worthy of adapting. Take a big green policeman who can’t be killed, and then challenge the TV format in the same way that the comic did.
I want to see that.
Discuss: Would you want to see these comic titles turned into TV shows? Which Image Comics series have I missed that should be adapted to the TV screen?
Also check out Simon Gallagher’s 10 Comics That Need To Be Made Into Movies.