On the 7th of May, one of the greatest days for fans of comic books, manga and graphic novels will arrive, for across the world it is Free Comic Book Day!

With so many comic book films set to be released this summer (including Thor, X-Men: First Class, Green Lantern, Captain America: The First Avenger and Cowboys and Aliens), I thought that this would be a good opportunity to list my top five comic books that would make great films and could offer something new for the genre.

Are there any comic books that you would like to see turned into a film? Feel free to let us know by commenting below!

5. The Flash – Created by Gardner Fox and Harry Lampert – Originally Published: 1940
Since Marvel announced that they were making The Avengers into a film back in early 2010, DC has recently been rumored to be making a Justice League film. It is this rumor alone that has gotten me excited at the possibility that some of their classic heroes might make their big screen break and the one I would like to see is The Flash.

It has some major advantages to give a possible film adaptation something special. There are four main characters to choose from under the Flash name: Jay Garrick, who was the original Flash; Barry Allen, the second generation of the superhero agenda who idolized Garrick; Wally West, who was the first Kid Flash; Bart Allen, the second Kid Flash after his time as Impulse. Its other advantage is that we could see super speed filmed in an authentic and creative way to match the character’s abilities. The source material is rich and one possibly idea would be to see different generations of Flashes interacting with one another, either in cameos or in big roles.

One negative aspect is the same reason that some DC heroes have not yet been made for the silver screen and that is the iconic hero does not have many memorable villains, with Professor Zoom being the only one that comes to mind. However, there are numerous DC super villains that have appeared in different comic books, such as Gorilla Grodd and Brainiac.

4. Naruto – Created by Masashi Kishimoto – Originally Published: 1999
While many of you may not be the biggest fans of this popular Shonen Jump manga series, Naruto is also one of their most recognizable characters, managing to sell millions of copies worldwide.

The series follows Naruto Uzumaki, who tries to become the best ninja in the Leaf Village in order to gain respect from many of the villagers as he is a vessel for the giant Nine-Tailed Fox that nearly destroyed the village. We also focus on other characters as well, including his teammates Sasuke Uchia and Sakura Haruno, his teacher Kakashi Hatake and antagonist Orochimaru. The first half of the series focuses on numerous adventures with many of the characters, but it is the second half that has really boosted the series. Taking place three years after Naruto’s absence from the Leaf Village, he is determined to stop the evil organization the Akutski and find Sasuke. Meanwhile, we also get a side story of Sasuke trying to find his older brother, who is part of Akutski, and kill him for murdering their entire family.

As this massive franchise is over five hundred chapters long, it might be a long film series that some might not want to stick with for such a long amount of time. Not also that, but if it was to be adapted in the west, there may be a backlash from manga fans as films such as Dragonball: Evolution have suffered from their box office takings.

3. Maus – Created by Art Spiegelman – Originally Published: 1972
One of the most critically acclaimed and most respected comic books of all time, Maus is an alternative look at the second world war that follows Vladek Spiegelman and his wife trying to survive through Hitler’s European rule. But what has made this a recognizable book is the fact that it features animals as the main characters, with all the Jews being represented as mice, while the Nazis are all cats.

If you were to look at every top ten list of comic books that people want to see turned into films, this always seems to get into these lists and here is no exception as it could be a truly authentic and beautiful animated feature that will not just accompany the beautiful artwork by Spiegelman, but that it will not be like most of the traditional talking animal animated films that are usually made each year.

I don’t think there is much more to say about this already most-wanted source for adaptations!

2. Lost at Sea – Created by Bryan Lee O’Malley – Originally Published: 2005
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World was an unfortunate failure at the box office when it was released in 2010 and is something that I am still a little bit confused about to this day. It had a big director behind it, some recognizable cast members and a lot of visual flare – It was one of my favorite films released last year! But maybe Lost at Sea would be a more acceptable comic book to adapt, both on production costs and for general audience appeal.

Raleigh believes that her soul has been stolen by a cat and has since found any social interaction simply terrifying. But she manages to get involved in a road trip with three of her classmates and we see her journey as she tries to re-discover herself.

From reading the book and having a bit of a quirky take on the road trip genre, it definitely has potential to be a recognizable independent film that could easily cost much less than Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and it would be great to see more female protagonists in comic book films.

1. Death Note – Created by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata – Originally Published: 2003
And the number one comic book that I want to see adapted is Death Note, which is one of the most successful Shonen Jump manga series of all time. Despite the fact that there are already three live-action Japanese films, this is the one remake that I would love to see be adapted for Western audiences (other than David Fincher’s take on The Millennium Trilogy, which will be released this year).

The story of Death Note focuses on Light Yagami, a promising student, who finds a blank notebook on the floor and reads the instructions, saying that it is a notebook that can kill people by writing anyone’s name in it. He is also followed by a Shinigami (fictional beings of death) named Ryuk, who is the original owner of the book and decides to watch Light as he uses the book to make the world a better place. But with the amount of deaths on the world’s criminals, the Japanese police force join the investigation with L, the world’s best and most secretive detective in the world and we see the battle of minds between L and Light as they try to solve each other out.

The original Japanese films mainly focused on the first half of the story, blending some elements of the second half as well. While this was an interesting choice, the second half is what helped to give the mystery that change of direction to keep it engaging and varied until the very end. With rumors for an American take on these books appearing from time to time in recent years, I only hope that it does make it to the big screen for it’s dark, thrilling story with a fantasy twist in it.

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