Top 5 Non-Superhero Comics That Should Be Adapted To Film
Hollywood can become a crowded place, both physically and emotionally, but more importantly, creatively. Original ideas are rare diamonds that are rarely excavated at times when studios are busy trying to outwear the wardrobe of their competitor.
Right now, superheroes are the big dog around town. Raking in billions and billions of dollars, and with the battle of IPs (Intellectual Property) brewing up for another bout in either the realm of television or film, it’s time for the studios to start looking elsewhere.
These comic books may not have superheroes and arch-nemesis, but their stories are impeccably timeless or timely, and plentiful in terms of emotional currency. They are the off-the-beaten-path choice, sure. But these are the stories that are begging to be told, and here are just a few for your consideration:
#5 – Genius
Writers: Marc Bernardin & Adam Freeman
Artist: Afua Richardson
I might be partial to this one because of one of the writers, a down-to-earth geek role model with a kick of self-confidence and out-spoken charm named Marc Bernardin. That same personality can be found throughout the panels of Genius too, a comic based on the premise that every generation has its military genius. (Caesar, Napoleon, Washington, etc.)
What if that military genius was a black girl in South Los Angeles who decided to unite the gang fashions of her neighborhood in declaring war on a corrupt police force? That’s what you’ll find here, and what better story to adapt right now in a time where diversity is in demand by a diverse audience? Can you imagine, Selwyn Seyfu Hinds, Ava DuVernay, Akela Cooper, or even Ryan Coogler adapting this story to the big screen? I know beggars can’t be choosers, but c’mon!
#4 – Y: The Last Man
Writers: Brian K. Vaughan
Artist: Pia Guerra & Jose Marzan Jr.
This one got closer than most, even as far as development with Michael Green, Auda Mashaka Croal, and others attached to write, executive produce, and adapt Brian K. Vaughn’s story. It was reported almost two months ago that FX had canceled the show in mid-development due to creative differences with Green and Croal, but later it was reported that Eliza Clark had been hired to replace them.
It seems this show is getting closer and closer to becoming a reality, and rightfully so, it’s a plot that centers around the premise that one man and his pet monkey are the only living males who survived the apparent global androcide. (the systematic killing of men, boys, or males in general) It is a thrilling and texturized piece of work and unlike the rest of entries on this list, that dream is far closer to becoming a reality.
#3 – Lone Wolf & Cub
Writers: Kazui Koike
Artist: Giseju Kojima
Even if you haven’t read Koike and Kojima’s legendary comic (which is no small task, considering there are 28 volumes, each containing a minimum of 300 pages), you have absorbed the core of that plot in some form or capacity.
It’s the basic story of an aged warrior, drunk in emotional abandon, saving a young kid, and becoming a mentor/protector of this kid in their long journey. It is “Terminator 2” or “Aliens” or “Logan.” It’s a depthful piece of work that is destined to be a long-form, decade-long, epic television series that rivals the textural makeup of “Marco Polo,” and the diversity makeup of “Luke Cage.”
It is one of the greatest serial stories of our time and is a vengeance story that is at its core a western-esque epic that has been begging to be brought to light for all those who have never dared to absorb a frame of its 9000-page long story.
#2 – Transmetropolitan
Writers: Warren Ellis
Artist: Derick Robertson, Rodney Ramos, & Nathan Eyring
If there was ever a time to adapt a story that is essentially a renegade journalist bringing down a corrupt oval office in a dystopian world that is dealing with the struggles of fame and power, it’s right now. Warren Ellis’ run here is incredible, and why a story like this one hasn’t been brought to some screen over the last two or three years or at least pitched and signed into development is crazy.
The best stories remain timeless, able to be applied at almost any point in time, and this one fits into our current jigsaw puzzle practically perfectly. Maybe I’m partial to this one because I’m currently writing a pilot for it that I hope to bring to life one day, but it’s a story so enriched with allegorical makeup that it’s almost impossible to deny it’s resonance.
#1 – The Sandman
Writers: Neil Gaiman
Artist: Sam Kieth (Among Many Others)
“The Sandman” is arguably one of the greatest comic book stories ever written, as Neil Gaiman is arguably one of the greatest comic book writers ever to write. It’s a universe built to provide the latitude and freedom of a “Twilight Zone,” able to talk about civil rights, black life, gay life, or any other central talking point through the lens of fiction at the pull of a trigger or at Gaiman’s whim and desire to do so.
It is a story centralizing around the Dream of the Endless, blending mythology and history in a horrific atmosphere and was made famous by both it’s textural work on the page, but also it’s stunning and encapsulating artwork in drawing the anthropomorphic personification of metaphysical entities. It is a story about stories and the ultimate realization that no matter how much you love the way things are, change is an inevitable force of reckoning.
It’s one of my favorite stories told via panels and speech bubbles, and it’s about time it was brought to the screen.