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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Five Comic Books That Deserve Movies

Okay, so there are plenty of comic book films being made these days.  This year alone gave us Kick-Ass, The Losers, Iron Man 2, Jonah Hex, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World and Red, while 2011 has Thor, Priest, X-Men: First Class, Green Lantern, Captain America: The First Avenger and Cowboys & Aliens on the schedule.  Some of these wlll be great, some will disappoint and some will be so insanely bad you can't believe how they were even made in the first place. 

As a comic book fan of over three decades now (Yeesh...), it can get a bit frustrating at times to see the films that make it to the big screen over the ones that don't.  So for your consideration (and possibly my own desire to vent), here are five comic book properties that, in my humble opinion, are currently being overlooked and deserve some overpriced movie theater love:

1.  The Doom Patrol -- There are two ways to adapt this into a film.  One is the straightforward superhero route with the original DP team of Robotman, Elasti-Woman, Negative Man and The Chief as a somewhat-strange team of heroes that would otherwise be freakish outcasts saving the world.  The other is to go the more surreal take developed by Grant Morrison featuring Robotman, Crazy Jane, Rebis and The Chief encountering bizarre villains like The Brotherhood of Dada, Red Jack or The Scissormen.  Either way could be interesting and potentially groundbreaking if handled properly, but I imagine the more traditional superhero approach would sell more tickets.




2.  Sleeper -- Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips' modern gem was optioned in 2008 by Tom Cruise and Sam Raimi with Cruise reportedly to star as the series' lead character, Holden Carver, but there's been little to no development on it since.  Essentially a superpowered version of the TV series Wiseguy, Sleeper features a man impervious to pain and also able to use that pain on others placed undercover inside a criminal organization.  If you think of the film along the lines of The Departed with superpowers, it's easy to see why Sleeper could do some killer box office.







3.  Scarlet -- I know, the Brian Bendis and Alex Maleev series is all of two issues old so far, but it's shaping up to be a very memorable book and one that would presumably make an interesting film as well.  The story of an ordinary girl whose boyfriend is killed by a corrupt police officer, driving her to declare all-out war on the establishment sounds like an action/revenge movie on its own, but Bendis' sharp fourth-wall breaking storytelling would make this movie stand apart.  Picture Moonlighting meets Mad Max and you'll get an idea of how unique a Scarlet film could be.






4.  Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. -- One of Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen's lighter concepts, Nextwave mixes extreme superhero violence and comedy to brilliant satirical effect using various minor Marvel superheroes that could never land a movie of their own.  Now, superhero comedies traditionally don't do well at the box office, but the sheer insanity and fun that permeates this series may be able to overcome that expectation.  At this point, it would be nice to see a Marvel Universe film that doesn't take itself so seriously and broadens the superhero genre a bit in the process.






5.  Camelot 3000 -- To be perfectly frank, it amazes me that someone hasn't turned this classic series by MIke W. Barr and Brian Bolland into a movie before now.  Camelot 3000 takes everything Arthurian legend fans have been desperately wanting to see in a film since 1981's Excalibur and rockets it into the year 3000.  The idea of a resurrected King Arthur and seven reincarnated Knights of the Round Table coming back to save 31st Century Earth from an alien invasion led by his evil half-sister Morgan Le Fay is so epic that only film could do the story justice.  At a Watchmen-sized length of twelve comic issues, the film adaptation could end up being close to three hours, but that certainly didn't stop the Lord of the Rings films from being all kinds of incredible, now did it?

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