Comic book movies?

It hasn’t been a terrible summer for comic books movies. Unexpectedly I enjoyed The Amazing Spider-Man. The Avengers delivered exactly what I wanted, with a little extra Hulk goodness. And The Dark Knight Rises was a perfect ending (in my humble opinion) to a great series. Not to mention that we still have Dredd 3D to look forward to in about a month.

Over the next few years we’re going to be treated to more of the Marvel stable. With films from Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, Wolverine, X-Men, and another Avengers. Great, I’m looking forward to them all. Next year we’ll also get something from DC: Man Of Steel. I love Superman, so this makes me very happy. Very, very happy.

But not all movies have to be in a series. Comic books have been going for decades and there is a wealth of source material. We don’t always need another reboot (I really hope that’s not what they do with Batman), and we don’t always need the next in continuity. Not only do we not always need that, but I also think, sometimes, that a lot of us don’t even want that.

And what about non-superhero comic books movies? I honestly don’t know of any that are coming up, and that could be down to my own ignorance. In the past though we’ve been treated to some great adaptations. Movies like Scott Pilgrim, From Hell, The Crow, A History Of Violence, Road To Perdition, and Sin City are all either engaging or stunning or just fun.

These are just a few movies I’d love to see put all over the big screen. Or even just on the small screen, as a special series… On HBO, where all the good stuff goes.

(I’m leaving out Sandman and Preacher. We all know that they should me made into something. Or many somethings. If it happens in my lifetime I’ll be both surprised and delighted).

Midnight Nation

I have no recollection of buying this book. But I do remember that in the years since I’ve owned it I must have read it at least ten times. To put it briefly: A man kind of dies, and then he takes a journey to save himself. I’m not writing any more about the story since I really think you should read it, it’s worth the time and effort.

At it’s heart it’s a very simple story, but one that’s very personal. It will take a different toll on every reader as it encourages self contemplation and awareness. How does that adapt well into a movie? It’s not great dialogue and solid male and female leads. The setting is wonderful, from big city, to desert, to hell city (yes, HELL city, but enough of that). And if done right you’ll fall in love with at least one of the characters.

The Boys

How do you feel about excessive violence, bad language, sex, drugs, and general insanity? Like it? Me too!!

I won’t lie, I bought this because Wee Hughie was based on Simon Pegg, and I thought that was hilarious. Also, one role cast instantly! It helped that it came from Garth Ennis too.

In the universe in which this is set the heroes are pretty much all complete bell-ends  much in need of a talking to, or more often, a smack in the head. The protagonists could be described as anti-heroes, but they’re so much more than that. They ‘watch the watchmen.’ And they do it to extremes. Wonderful, savage extremes. Were this to be a movie there would be no tears shed in the watching of it, oh no, just laughter, wonder, and disgust.

The books are as entertaining as Ennis’ stuff usually is, so if you’re into that kind of thing, check them out.

Superman: Red Son

This is one of those ‘What if’ tales, or ‘Elseworlds’ as DC like to describe them.

Superman is a Soviet. What happens if you give the most powerful being on the planet a completely different upbringing, one where he’s a socialist, and where he uses his power to do some very naughty things?

Apart from a great story, that would allow some great freedom in costumer creation and development, this movie would also drag people into the mythos and fun of Superman well beyond the usual ‘born on a planet that blew up, then grew up on a farm, now works at a paper, pretends he’s a dope, scores hottest girl in Metropo-whatsit, beats Luthor.’

This book also has what I consider to be my absolute favourite ending of any one of these stories that I’ve ever read.

Batman: War Drums & War Games

In this story we’d be getting a great collection of Gothams heroes and villains: Batman, Robin, Nightwing, Spoiler, Batgirl, Oracle, Catwoman, Tarantula, Onyx, Orpheus, The Black Mask, The Penguin, Lynx, and The Ventriloquist all make an appearance.

Yes, yes, I know. Casting this would be a nightmare of epic proportions. But it would be amazing. No ramp up, no wind down, just a straight jump right into the middle of chaos. Bad stuff is happening everywhere, and it’s pretty much Batmans fault. Now control needs to be exerted, if at all possible.

It’s a great series of books, exposing one of Batmans ultimate flaws. He plans for everything, worst case scenarios in every direction, it allows him to strategise and turn things to his favour. But what happens when someone else starts following his own rule book, and for the worst possible reasons? Absolute madness, that’s what.

Lucifer

Introduced by Neil Gaiman in his Sandman comics Lucifer is the Angel King Of Hell who gives up his throne. This is a great scene in the book, and it’s drawn incredibly well, this is the only mention of Sandman here, but if you haven’t read it you really should.

This was followed by Lucifer getting a long series of his own. A lot of this is the usual stuff you’d expect from something about such a character: Heaven, Hell, good, evil, magic, naughtiness… But the character is so intriguing, and so engaging that it drives good books into better territory.

There’s so much scope for imagination here that it really comes down to the creativity of a writer/producer/director and their collected ability to reign in the epic insanity to make something cohesive and interesting.

 

 

 

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