Comic books have been dominating the movie theaters for the last several years. Now they've set out to conquer television. DC Comics made the initial incursion into live action television with the successful Smallville series; they followed up with Arrow, and have announced that new shows about the Flash and Gotham City's Commissioner Gordon are in the works. Marvel Comics, not wanting to be left out of the loop, premièred its new show Agents of SHIELD last week. Marvel has also announced that it's working on a new show featuring Captain America's WW2 girlfriend, Sharon Carter.
What these series have in common is an emphasis on humanity over superheroics. While a superhero movie can afford to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on spectacular visual effects and set pieces of enormous scope, a television show does not have that luxury. The necessity of creating a new story every week on a limited budget means that any comic series must be more limited in scope. With that in mind, here are 10 comic books that could easily be adapted into great television shows.
See also: 5 TV Spin-Offs We Want to See
The Punisher Although there have been three unsuccessful movie adaptations of this character already, he still has potential as a television franchise. Frank Castle is a well-armed vigilante on a mission to punish all crime he encounters. This show could be a throwback to the maverick action programs of the '80s, like the A-Team or the Equalizer, showing the Punisher traveling from town to town and helping the innocents he finds fight back against their criminal oppressors.
Damage Control When superheroes battle, they leave a huge amount of destruction in their wake; Damage Control is the organization that is responsible for cleaning up afterward. A team of engineers, construction workers, and bureaucrats, Damage Control is responsible for fixing damage on a massive scale.
This series would display the unseen cost of superheros, as the team must deal with crashed spaceships, giant monster attacks, and collateral damage on a scale that would make the most jaded construction worker weep.
Night Force The Night Force is a team of psychics, mystics, and paranormal researchers that investigates the supernatural. Organized by the mysterious Baron Winter, this team fights against the forces of darkness that traditional law enforcement is not equipped to deal with. Given the right script writer, this series could be a cross between Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the X-Files.
Top 10 This is a cop show in a city where everyone has superpowers. The city of Neopolis houses a large population of superbeings, mythical creatures, robots, and aliens, and it is up to the members of the 10th Precinct to maintain order. This would be a police procedural with a twist, where the officers must deal with everything from vampire domestic squabbles to anti-robot racism to deicide.
Skrull Kill Krew The Skrulls are a race of warlike shapeshifters who intend to infiltrate and eventually conquer the Earth. The Skrull Kill Krew is composed of former prisoners of the Skrulls, who have escaped and now intend to hunt Skrulls down and kill them as violently as possible. A mix of humor, gore, and paranoia, this show would follow the seemingly futile efforts of this team as they try to fight an enemy they cannot see, and which might already be among them.
STAR Labs STAR Labs is the high tech laboratory of choice in the DC universe. This is where the world's top scientists and engineers solve problems outside the scope of traditional physics. STAR Labs would be similar in tone to the SyFy show Eureka, where a team of egg-heads must learn to get along with each other to fix issues (often of their own creation) that no one else can.
Goodman, Lieber, Kurtzberg, Holliway, and She-Hulk The law offices of Goodman, Lieber, Kurtzberg, and Holloway is the premier legal service for the superhero community. She-Hulk, who is a lawyer in her civilian identity, is hired on for both her legal skill and her familiarity with their clientele. This would be a courtroom drama that deals with issues that no other law show has dealt with before. Are real estate brokers liable when the buyers claim their new property is haunted? How does the American constitution apply to stranded aliens? How much force is excessive force when stopping a supervillain with the power to destroy entire city blocks?
BPRD The Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense is a spin-off from the Hellboy comics. They are the government organization tasked with protecting the world against supernatural and occult threats. With members that include a girl that can create fire with her mind, an amphibian, a golem, and a sentient bag of gas, this organization must protect an unsuspecting world from ancient wizards, hordes of demons, and extra-dimensional invasion.
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Set in 1970s New York City, this show would follow the adventures of two heroes for hire: a bad-ass bruiser who grew up in the inner city and a millionaire martial arts expert. If done with the right touch, this could be a fun, funky period piece with a lot of kick-ass fight sequences. Sweet Christmas!
The Challengers of the Unknown When four adventurers survive what should have been a fatal plane crash, they decide to devote their remaining time to solving the mysteries of the unknown. This series would be an adventure show like Indiana Jones with a science fiction twist. The four heroes would travel to exotic locales and confront problems that no one else has ever seen.