Referred to as The Big Two in the comic industry, Marvel and DC are not the only game in town. Smaller publishers, like Boom! Studios and Top Cow, with the larger, but not quite corporate behemoths like Image and Dark Horse, also have great series that could be easily adapted into comic book movies. Best of all, not all of them are superhero stories, and all of them are dramatically different from what Marvel and DC are putting out today.
Two series that tell one story from different points of view, sort of, Irreedeemable tells the tale of The Plutonian, the world’s strongest superhero turned the world’s greatest villain. Incorruptible, is the opposite and follows Max Damage, one of The Plutonian’s greatest enemies, as he tries to repair the broken world and become a better man.
Last year, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Jeymes Samuel, director of The Harder They Fall, was adapting the pair into a single comic book movie written by Kemp Powers, known for writing and directing Pixar’s Soul. Since then, not much has come out about the film, but we remain hopeful, as the two series are among the best non-Marvel/DC graphic novels of all time.
4. Something Is Killing The Children
Created by recent Batman writer James Tynion IV, Something Is Killing The Children is an Eisner-award-winning horror series about Erica Slaughter, a woman who hunts and kills monsters. The only one that believes the children of Archer’s Peak, the story keeps getting darker and bigger after the initial five-series run, and grew to include a spin-off, House of Slaughter.
Netflix revealed that it had hired Mike Flanagan (Black Mass) to develop a series based on Something Is Killing The Children, but a movie, focused on the first arc, might be more realistic and likely. With the last update, it was revealed that Flanagan left the project, and the team behind Dark and 1899, Baran bo Odor and Jantje Friese, would be helming the project.
Another horror series, Hack/Slash, takes the horror trope of the “Final Girl” and turns it around, with former victim Cassie Hack hunting down the “Slashers,” either undead killers filled with hatred or psychotic humans; either way, they all bleed the same. Joining her is the mysterious Vlad, a large, musclebound man raised by a kindly butcher. Joining forces, the pair goes to battle with original Slashers and cross-over stars, including Chucky.
Released as a series of one-shots and limited series, with the exception being the 25-issue multi-year run, just one arc of the series could make a great comic book horror movie. My First Maniac, a four-issue limited run, would be a great base, perhaps incorporating the partnership between Cassie and Vlad to flesh it out. Either way, if a movie ever happens, brace yourself for Halloween to be filled with Cassie and Vlad costumes.
2. The Darkness
A former mob hitman and notorious womanizer, Jackie Estacado becomes the latest host for The Darkness, an ancient evil, but he rebelled against it. Trying to quit the mob while dealing with all the other factions vying for his power, Jackie ends up going to hell, gets better, comes back, and, with more control over his power, wages a one-man war on evil using evil as his weapon.
The Darkness is set in the same universe as Witchblade, so if a movie focused on the dark antihero worked out, somehow, a follow-up featuring the popular heroine might finally happen. Though not a movie, The Darkness was a hit video game on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, followed by a sequel. We think it would make a great comic book movie by being darker than anything Marvel has ever done, and if it gets an R-rating like it deserves, more violent than any Batman movie.
From horror and anti-heroes to Chew, the story of Tony Chu, a cibopath that can eat something and get a psychic vision of, say, the cook killing the chicken or eats a berry and discovers the horrifying origins behind it. In the world of Chew, chicken is outlawed following a bird flu that killed millions, but that hasn’t stopped a black market for poultry from popping up. Needless to say, the series is wildly different from any other comic book movie ever.
While it could work very well as an X-Files-style series, Chew could be a hit movie as well, but the story would need to be broken up into “chunks.” Either way, we just want to see Poyo, the lethal luchador chicken, become the next Groot. He’s a murderous chicken in a luchador mask, and he’s not even the strangest character in Chew.