COMICS PORTAL: From Comics to TV
To this day, I still can’t believe that Arrow is a show on The CW! Normally, programs on that channel are much more focused on relationships among teens and post-teens. Arrow, on the other hand, has its share of dialogue, but the action and the stories keep me gripped from episode to episode. This week, Barry Allen appears, and I can’t wait to see how they handle this hero-to-be.
Then, too, Netflix is bringing Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist to live-action drama. And the Marvel movies are doing well at the box office.
This keeps me thinking about comics I feel would make good television shows. After all, each comic is really a visual proposal for a TV program or a film. It outlines plot, dialogue, even direction! Just ask Frank Miller about Sin City! And I think Human Target was a really good program, so why not?
LET’S START OUT WITH THE EASY STUFF
Many crime drama comics would be extremely easy to convert to TV. One would rarely have to use special effects or extensive makeup, so this is a no-brainer. DC Comics’ now-retired series Gotham Central, about cops on the beat in the hometown of Batman, would be great. And you’d hardly ever have to show the Dark Knight—just the aftermath of his appearances. Also, Marvel’s Criminal comic by Ed Brubaker would be a wonderful show. I’d enjoy a “movie of the week” that each multi-issue storyline could be turned into. And spy stories like Greg Rucka’s Queen & Country would also be easily made into television fare. It would be fun to see a lady spy in the UK undercover world.
Marvel’s current version of Hawkeye would be easy to turn into a TV show. You only see superhero action occasionally, and it could work very well with Daredevil from Netflix. You just need to keep it different from that other archer show!
NOW THE MID-RANGE IDEAS
I recently read the first trade paperback of Warren Ellis’ Ignition City from Avatar Press. What would make this more difficult than the “easy stuff” is that it would require some large sets that could take some time and money to make. But once that was done, the story a girl trying to find out about the death of her father in an Earth-bound spaceport is a good concept for the small screen.
I know it’s already been made into a despised feature film, but Jonah Hex, especially how he’s done in the current comics, would make a good Gunsmoke-like show. The format could include the little subheads that appear in each issue. Western clothes and small towns might require sets (and attention to detail, like not letting planes or electricity wires show up), but recently the warped-face avenger is in “our” time. (Yeah, that facial make-up would likely be expensive, but if done right, it would be extremely cool.) It could work!
I think a live-action version of Static Shock, formerly a Kids’ WB cartoon and New 52 comic, would make a good program that’s even diverse! And using CGI for the electric effects shouldn’t be all that problematic.
THE BIG CONVERSIONS
The Luna Brothers’ The Sword would be gripping as a mini-series if not a television movie. The abundance of special effects needs, like Dara’s jaw being separated from the rest of her head, for instance, as well as the Matrix-like sky battles would take some doing. However, I think the characters and their conflicts would make it worth the effort.
Marvel/Soleil’s Universal War has a terrific sci-fi premise, and it makes all kinds of twists and turns as it proceeds. Yeah, the space effects and the huge ships might require work, but there are few far-out effects and not a lot of special make-up requirements. I’d like to see it.
Dark Horse’s B.P.R.D. might find the small screen easier to fit than Hellboy would now that the big red guy has appeared in two feature films. There are a lot of fantasy elements and make-up requirements, but if you planned it right, this could be a pleasure to watch and enjoy. Just don’t throw out any of the prosthetics, ever!
OKAY, MY IMAGINATION RUNNING WILD
I love the digital-first comic, which makes me think a live-action Batman Beyond would be awesome! I’ve seen some independent productions that fans have made, and I can only imagine how terrific it would be to see Terry McGinnis and an older Bruce Wayne taking on the futuristic baddies every week. Man, that would be great!
After seeing the JSA appear a while back in Smallville, I’ve said that I’d love to see a Justice Society program. The way they handled Hawkman made this old fan’s heart jump! I never thought I’d see him brought to life that well! More of that would be wonderful!
LOOKING FORWARD TO THE FLASH AND DAREDEVIL
The CBS version of The Flash back in the 80′s was something special. With today’s technology, it can be even better! Costumed heroes should be done like this even now! And with the folks behind Arrow in charge, I’m going to have a tough time waiting for the new show! I’m also anxious to see how Daredevil works out. Could be fun if it follows the current Mark Waid scripting!
I’m sure many of you have great ideas as well! It’s never been a better time to turn our favorite comics into television programs! And hey, it might even help sell more comics!