With so many comics being transformed into TV programs, we we’ve been left wondering, “What’s next?” The major deals seem involve adaptations of mainstream DC or Marvel titles (e.g., Arrow and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the various upcoming Defendors series on Netflix, the planned Gotham), but excluding those TV powerhouses, there still isn’t a whole lot out there for the more discerning comic book fan. As such, we at AP2HYC thought we would give our top alternatives, graphic novels that we think could make a big splash on the small screen.
Starting off our recommendations is a comic book series simply called “X“. A creation of Dark Horse, it features a masked vigilante known only as “X”. He dispenses justice without mercy to the criminals who rule the decaying city of Arcadia. When muckraking blogger Leigh Ferguson snoops down the wrong alley, she gets swept into X’s bloody war with a politically powerful crime lord.
A darker choice for a TV series that might not be to everyone’s tastes, there’s nevertheless nothing currently like it currently on the box. Modern audiences have embraced shows as twisted and diverse as Hannibal and Dracula, so why not X? They might have to tone down the violence somewhat, unless HBO decided to step up to the plate, but this cross between Batman and Punisher seems to offer a more Gothic, even experimental option to the well-known choices. A show-runner could do things with the character of X that they’d never be allowed to with the Dark Knight. It’s all there just waiting to be seized upon and plenty of opportunities to get it right. As for a show-runner, why not Guy Norman Bee, a TV producer/director who has worked on the likes of Arrow and The Tomorrow People, but never been given free reign to express the dark side he hinted at in these shows. Though S.H.I.E.L.D. suggests otherwise, not every comic book film or series has to have Joss Whedon involved nor, as S.H.I.E.L.D. confirmed for some, does his involvement guarantee a success.
Next on the list is Powers, a police procedural comic book following two homicide detectives who investigate murders involving people with superhuman abilities, also known as ‘Powers’. Created by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Michael Avon Oeming, Powers could follow the same path as the CSI series but investigating cases of superhuman abilities. The inevitable comparisons with the once phenomenally popular CSI could potentially work in Powers favor, taking a long-established format and using it to tell a different types of story. Taking a case-of-the-week approach, the show has the potential to run and run and run – the original CSI has been going for 14 seasons – throwing the door wide open in terms of plot lines, character development, etc. With no limitations on what abilities can be used, the show-runner could be as creative as they like. There was an adaptation in the works for FX recently that got as far as filming a pilot, but ultimately it got shelved. We think it definitely has good series potential and is worth another crack.