Joining Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Arrow are Constantine, Gotham, and The Flash. We’ve seen the plucky Agent Carter and we’re awaiting The Defenders, featuring the first of four Marvel Netflix show.
It’s an exciting time for comic book fans and those new to these properties. It’s not all about superheroes either, as bear in mind that The Walking Dead is one of the most successful TV shows currently on the air as of right now.
So, which comic books should join those listed above on the small screen? Here are some of our top picks, including this one, which is already coming our way…
10. The Punisher
Considering the fact that Marvel once again hold the rights to The Punisher and have put the focus on street level superheroes for four Netflix series’ (Daredevil, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage), it made sense for Marvel to bring this to life, which it will this year featuring Jon Bernathal.
After the reception to each of Frank Castle’s frankly mediocre movies, you can’t blame them for being cautious about giving the violent vigilante his own series. Regardless, this is a character who could easily hold his own in a 12-part run of episode. With the right team working behind the scenes, this one has a lot of potential.
9. American Vampire
The Strain has received mixed reviews, and if you’re looking for a REALLY good vampire comic book to adapt which would give The Walking Dead a run for its money in terms of horror and gore, look no further than the amazing American Vampire.
Written by Batman scribe Scott Snyder, the series focuses on a number of characters, including a man in the old west, Skinner Sweet, who is the first of a new breed of vampires (they don’t have a a vulnerability to sunlight and are super strong and fast). The focus also shifts to Pearl Jones, a woman who is turned into a vampire by Sweet and hunts down the classic European vampires that once tried to kill her.
It’s an expansive series which covers a lot of ground and with both the right cast and a network happy to not hold back in terms of the dark tone, this has the makings of a real success story.
The Walking Dead is about to enter its eighth season, and a big part of why it has succeeded is due to the fact that it i be based on a fantastically written comic book series. Robert Kirkman’s Invincible has released more than 100 issues now, and with all that material to mine, a television series seems like the perfect place for Mark Grayson.
The writer presents a very different and unique take on the superhero genre with Invincible thanks to some great twists and turns, plenty of likeable supporting characters and extremely bloody violence which is always shocking to see in this colourful world.
An issue here is whether a TV budget could ever do the expansive series justice, especially as the action so often features massive battles and even trips into outer space. Find a way to deal with all that though, and you have another hit.
7. The Wake
The Wake is a great example of a comic book which feels custom made for a True Detective-like 8 episode run. A murky and moody underwater horror story, this series focuses on a small team of scientists who are trapped in an deep sea base and surrounded by hideous monsters that events reveal may in fact be genetically related to humans.
The series jumps into the past and far future, something which would provide a good opportunity to allow the series to explore a world outside of the military base. Though this in some ways doesn’t do The Wake justice, think Deep Blue See crossed with The Thing and you’ll have an idea of just how great this claustrophobic psychological horror could be if adapted for TV in the right way.
Chew is another of those comic books which there is always talk of adapting, but never any real progress. That’s a great shame though, especially as the hilarious and offbeat series has all the makings of a TV show which could really be something new and refreshing.
Focusing on an FDA agent named Tony Chu, the lead has a unique ability which allows him to get a psychic impression from anything he eats. That’s obviously helped him become a very effective detective, but the stuff he has to chow down on? Yuck! With the right cats and team behind the scenes, this action comedy drama could end up being a stylized piece of madness unlike anything ever seen before on TV, and that should make it a priority for a small screen adaptation.
Chances are that even if you’re just a casual comic book fan you will have come across Mark Waid’s fantastic work at some point in time (Daredevil, Kingdom Come, Superman: Birthright). Out of all his work though, Irredeeable makes sense as a TV show for a number of reasons.
It asks the interesting question of what would happen if the world’s greatest hero decided to become the world’s most featured villain? Telling the story of Earth’s struggle against the Superman-like Plutonian, the violent series also put an emphasis on exploring how a great hero could turn his back on the people he protected for so many years.
Budgetary issues could once again play a role in how faithful an adaptation this would end up being, but the potential for a really amazing series – even if was just a 10-part big budget effort by a network like HBO – is huge.
4. Young X-Men
With Fox looking to further explore the X-Men Universe with Deadpool and a New Mutants spin-off, TV seems like the next logical step with which to put the spotlight on some of the lesser known mutants inhabiting this corner of the Marvel Universe.
It’s no exaggeration to say that there are literally hundreds of characters to choose from who could be included in a series about a young group of X-Men, with far too many names to list here. A Young X-Men show could be loosely tied to the movies or a direct continuation of something we see in a future release starring the X-Men, but fans would undoubtedly tune in regardless.
Based on what we’ve seen in other superhero TV shows it would not be at all difficult to convincingly portray the powers of these mutants either. It also gives Fox the chance to take advantage of some lesser known characters while saving the likes of Wolverine, Cyclops and Magneto for the big screen.
With fans and non-fans alike all demanding more diversity in their superhero movies and TV shows, there’s not a better choice than She-Hulk when it comes to which Marvel character should be next to get the small screen treatment.
With the ability to control her transformations and retain her intelligence when she does so, Jennifer Walters is a lot different to her cousin, Bruce Banner (better known as the Incredible Hulk). Finding the right actress and a clever use of CGI could make this one very easy to bring to TV on a budget.
The fact that she’s also a lawyer adds another dimension to a potential series…think a much better Ally McBeal, but with a Gamma irradiated lead and cameos from Marvel characters and you’re onto a winner.
2. The Suicide Squad
Ok, so David Ayer’s badly-received may put a stop to this TV show happening, but as Arrow and The Flash are apparently completely separate from the DC Comics movies, perhaps not…
A very early iteration of this villainous team – who are forced to take on dangerous missions for the government in exchange for time being taken off their prison sentences – had a whole episode of Arrow dedicated to them in season two, and it was well-received by fans.
The CW series has done a great job with their villains so far, and seeing them all fleshed out in their own series would work perfectly, especially if the fantastic Manu Bennett was drafted in to reprise his role as Deathstroke. Those involved with Arrow have even said it could be possible, and seeing this one come together would be great.
Brian K. Vaughan worked on Lost and helped to bring Under the Dome to the small screen, so having him adapt his and Fiona Staples’ award winning Saga to TV seems like a logical next step, especially as it’s impossible to imagine a movie ever doing this critically acclaimed series justice.
Focusing on two star-crossed lovers caught in the middle on a galactic war between their two races, Alana and Marko also try to raise a child amidst the chaos that has become their lives. Despite the fact that Saga features a varied range of aliens and weirdly exotic locations, it’s actually easy to imagine this one coming a reality with the right make-up team and minimal CGI.
It’s a series which still feels like it’s very much in its infancy as Vaughan continues to peel back new layers, but the ultimate destination for Saga has to be as an amazing TV show.