We’re all used to your generic “superheroes save the world followed by an inevitable sequel”-type film, but don’t you sometimes wish that Hollywood was a bit more willing to take risks? Instead of the usual squeaky clean, selfless hero, don’t you wish there were more films about protagonists who were less outwardly heroic?
As such, here are five decidedly offbeat comic book series that would make great movies if studio execs decide to start green-lighting more than just the next X-Men/Batman/Spider-Man/Superman sequel.
Spawn was previously adapted into a rushed out, watered down pile of PG-13 crud back in 1997. Since then, several attempts have been made for a reboot to be made, with Jamie Foxx recently expressing interest in the role.
Launched by Todd Macfarlane in 1992 after his enormously successful run on The Amazing Spider-Man, Spawn was one of the first titles published by Image Comics and helped them go on to become one of the most prominent comic book publishers in the world. Spawn would become one of the best-selling comic book series of the 1990s and the fact that the series has now been running continuously for over twenty years is a testament to its popularity. Macfarlane now enjoys huge success as the owner of Macfarlane Toys and Macfarlane Entertainment.
The series centers around Al Simmons, a former CIA assassin who was betrayed and killed by his boss, Jason Wynn, before being resurrected as a demonic Hellspawn, destined to either bring about the destruction of mankind or be its saviour. Throughout the series, various imaginative and unique characters have been introduced, such as a sinister clown – a demon called The Violator in human form – Malbolgia, ruler of the Eight Cirlce of Hell, the Cyborg assassin Overtkill, and the Neil Gaiman-created Angela, who now exists in the Marvel Universe.
One of the most popular, well known and original comic book franchises around today, Spawn is well overdue a second chance in Hollywood. Let’s just hope that they get it right this time.
4. The Darkness
After the huge success of Spawn, another highly successful Image Comics series was The Darkness, before the series was moved to Top Cow Productions.
Jackie Estacado is a young enforcer for the mob, who, on his 21st birthday, inherits a supernatural power in existence before the universe, known only as The Darkness. He uses this slight advantage to rise through the ranks and become the head of his crime family, and even briefly becomes the ruler of a small South American country.
Created by Marc Silvestri, David Wohl and Garth Ennis (more on him later), the series has been adapted into two video games, but the closest that it ever came to hitting the big screen was a failed attempt by the Pang Brothers. It’s time we had a film about someone who uses their powers for personal gain, rather than for good.
And speaking of bad “superheroes”…