It’s nothing new to take popular TV series and feature films and adapt them into comic book series. From “Star Wars” to “Power Rangers,” publishers have been adapting these properties into highly successful comic books. However, there are so many more popular recent films that would make amazing ongoing comic series!
By adapting a film into an ongoing comic series, creators are given an unlimited budget and space to take a great idea from a film and expand it to its full potential. Sometimes that means taking time to focus on individual characters that didn’t get their time to shine in a film, or maybe taking a film franchise and releasing new stories on a more regular basis. Let’s take a look at 15 recent films that would make awesome ongoing comic series!
15. THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS
With the 8th film right around the corner, “The Fast and Furious” franchise is stronger than it has ever been before. The adventures of Dom and his “family” have gone from just simple street racing to death-defying stunts like jumping cars from building to building. This series would make an amazing ongoing comic series because the high-stakes action and strong characters would allow for endless stories.
One of the most common comments about the series is how the action in the film is so unbelievable. These characters are practically superhuman with how they jump from car to car and drive their vehicles through amazingly complex stunts. In a comic book series, these stunts could be even crazier and the characters could do even more superhuman feats. Best part is you don’t have to worry about crazy budgets or cast egos. In the right hands, the heists and adventures that these characters find them in could be at the top of everyone’s buy pile.
Audiences have been waiting for a sequel to “Avatar” for almost 10 years. Director James Cameron has been promising multiple sequels for just as long, but it looks like the first one won’t even hit the big screen until 2019 at the earliest. Why not take the characters and the world that spawned the biggest film of all time and translate that into a comic series? With James Cameron’s guidance, the comic book series based on “Avatar” could expand on the mythology of Pandora and the Na’vi, while not being held back by CGI and special effects that would cost hundreds of millions of dollars.
Of course, the films are going to be released one way or another, so a creative team could tell stories about characters not featured in the film series. Like what Marvel is doing with the “Star Wars” comic series, they could focus on side characters or brand new adventures that take place between films. The history and world of “Avatar” are both rich enough that there’s plenty of action and adventure to be shared by comics and films.
13. FANTASTIC BEASTS
The Harry Potter franchise is one of the biggest media franchises in the world. However, audiences have access to the entire story of Harry and Co. through films and novels, so a comic series there would be redundant. However, the “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” series has just kicked off with no end in sight. The characters and world introduced in that film are perfect for an ongoing comic series.
Focusing on characters and events that book readers and film audiences haven’t seen before, the comic series could be massive. Capturing the visuals that have made the films so magical, while not being constrained to 2 hour run times, the “Fantastic Beasts” comic series would expand the Wizarding World in new and exciting ways. Plus, with J. K. Rowling writing the scripts for the films, there’s not much stopping her from guiding the new comic series as well. The series would instantly become the biggest series in comics and bring thousands of new readers to the medium.
The “Warcraft” film didn’t perform as well as the studio had hoped. Held back by budget and run time, the film wasn’t the greatest example of the massive world that the “World of Warcraft” series of games has created. “Warcraft” has spawned well over a dozen novels and a short-lived comic series in the past. However, with the recent film giving audiences a quick introduction to the lore, a brand new comic series is primed for a relaunch.
The key to relaunching the “Warcraft” series is to streamline the story for mass audiences. Building off the continuity set in the film, the series would take popular bits from the games and novels and create a brand new story that could attract a new audience. There would be no requirement to have played the games or read the novels. Plus, the series wouldn’t be held back by the spotty CGI and acting that plagued the film.
11. JURASSIC WORLD
“Jurassic World” gave audiences a huge dose of nostalgia when it was released in 2015. However, people who weren’t fans of the film talk about how the story basically was a retelling of the classic “Jurassic Park.” So, for a comic series, the story should expand on the mythology of “Jurassic Park” and “Jurassic World” and give audiences something they’ve never seen before.
Obviously, with a sequel in the works, the ongoing series would have to deviate from the source material quite a bit to set itself apart. Using that to their advantage, a creative team could run wild with the concept of dinosaurs being brought back to life in modern times. Maybe, they could run with the idea of the militarized dinosaurs that have been hinted at in the film. Militarized dinosaurs is a concept that is scoffed at by many critics because of how unbelievable and campy that would be on the big screen, but in the comic book medium, the story could be done well and be visually interesting.
10. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD
When “Mad Max: Fury Road” was released last year, audiences went crazy for the film. Specifically, audiences went crazy for Imperator Furiosa. Instantly becoming a feminist icon, people weren’t asking about the next story in the “Mad Max” series, everyone was asking for the next story about Furiosa. So, in the ongoing comic, readers would get exactly what they want — more Furiosa!
At the end of “Mad Max: Fury Road,” Furiosa is seen praised by the people that Immortan Joe had been ruling over. Audiences have no idea what happens next. The ongoing comic could pick up right where the film left off and give readers the story of Furiosa’s rise to power, rather than the miniseries of Vertigo one-shots that served as sequels to the film. Is she able to become a great ruler or does she stay in the background and give power to someone else? Does Max stick around to help? With an unlimited budget, a fascinating setting and one of the best new characters to be introduced in years, an ongoing comic series is a no-brainer.
9. JOHN WICK
“John Wick” surprised everyone when it was released. The action was unlike anything else seen in movies before. However, the biggest takeaway for many fans of the film was the world building done by the filmmakers. With an underworld of assassins that exist underneath our noses, the world of “John Wick” is just begging to be expanded.
There are tons options that creators could have with a “John Wick” comic book series. With Keanu Reeves being so iconic in the role already, maybe a story following the character of John Wick isn’t that enticing in the comic book format. The ongoing series should probably expand on the world by introducing new assassins and telling their stories. Similar to the comic series “Criminal,” the “John Wick” comic series could tell multiple-issue arcs focusing on new characters each time, all existing in this underground world. Based at the Continental Hotel, featured prominently in the film series, the ongoing comic could tell a new story focusing on a different guest.
8. THE EXPENDABLES
Most fans of “The Expendables” series of films would probably tell you that the main draw is seeing the actors from classic action films coming back to kick ass. Unfortunately, these actors aren’t getting any younger, and the last film started to show signs of wear and tear. Creating an ongoing comic series based on the film series would allow fans of these actors to see new adventures without feeling like they’re too old to be doing it anymore.
Imagine “The Expendables” but done as “G.I. Joe.” These characters are now basically superhuman fighting machines that shoot and blow up bad guys with an unlimited budget. The same popcorn, borderline-silly fun that is found in the films could translate well to a comic series. “The Expendables” could have all the fun of a Saturday Morning Cartoon, but in comic form, featuring the characters that fans love at their prime physical condition.
7. PLANET OF THE APES
The recent series of “Planet of the Apes” films have been better than most fans could have ever imagined. Telling the story of Caesar and his army of apes, the films have been huge successes with amazing special effects and engaging stories. While the Apes in comics have mostly been relegated to crossover miniseries (with “Green Lantern” and “Star Trek” most recently), a dedicated ongoing series could capture the magic that exists in the films while also expanding on a world that continues to change through the films.
A comic series that tells the stories of the apes without the needed interactions with humans would be awesome. The politics involved in the ape community, with love, battles and betrayals, could be mined to tell stories that the films just don’t have time to tell. With no limits on the budget and studio involvement, the full potential of the “Planet of the Apes” could be explored. The visual nature of comics would allow for issues to be sparse on actual dialogue, similar to the films. Basically, a comic series based on the film world is a perfect fit.
Okay, so “Underworld” might not be the best series of films ever. The films tell the story of the never-ending war between werewolves and vampires, to varying levels of success. Clearly influenced by films like “The Matrix,” “Underworld” never really broke through to become a huge film series, but the story could make for a really great ongoing comic.
The “Underworld” series has been turned into comics before, of course, with most just adapting the films into comic form. There really haven’t been any new stories told in the “Underworld” universe. Since the film series isn’t massive, there would be plenty of room to expand and improve on the storyline. As a horror series featuring various vampires and lycans, the “Underworld” comic could take what works best and eliminate the rest. Following a new “Death Dealer,” the ongoing comic could chronicle his or her new adventure through the world of vampires and lycans.
5. TERMINATOR: GENISYS
“Terminator: Genisys” was definitely not a fan-favorite. The film tried to be a sequel and reboot all in one, and ultimately failed at both. However, the history of the series, and the characters introduced in the various films, would make for an amazing comic series. And yes, that means building off the ending of “Terminator: Genisys.”
The proposed ongoing comic would take the ending of the film and continue the story. Previous “Terminator” films have told the story of what happens before Judgment Day and what happens after the robot uprising, but the ongoing comic could tell the story of how Skynet takes over. The main story would tell the story of a John Connor that isn’t a child, but not yet the leader of the humans. Showing his rise to power and how being raised to be a soldier has affected him, the “Terminator” ongoing series would explore a part of the story that hasn’t yet been touched.
4. PACIFIC RIM
Let’s be honest, “Pacific Rim” isn’t a great film. An awesome premise? Yes! Incredible visuals? Definitely! However, the film isn’t the high mark in acting or storytelling. While there is a sequel to the film scheduled to be released, the characters and story introduced in “Pacific Rim” would probably make for a great ongoing comic series instead of a cinematic franchise.
Who wouldn’t want to read a comic series that features huge robots taking on various building-sized monsters? Expanding on the story that was hinted at in the film, the comic series could tell the story of the beginning of the Jaeger/kaiju battles. Showing the world react to the influx of massive monsters, the comic would show how the Jaegers were created and how the world fought back. Arguably, this is the story that should have been told in the first film anyway. Shedding the human actors and small budget, the series would instead tell the stories that everyone wants to read and is only limited by the creative minds of those involved.
Remember “Riddick?” Probably not. Poor Vin Diesel did his best over the course of three live-action films and one animated movie to tell the story of anti-hero Riddick in the 28th century. Each film in the series expanded on the mythology surrounding the character and the worlds he interacted with, but due to various reasons, the film series never caught on with fans.
Whether or not you are a huge fan of the films, there’s no denying that the Riddick character is cool. Riddick is a member of an alien race known as the Furyan. He’s one of the best hunters and killers to ever exist, and his eyes are able to see in pitch black. He has a very interesting look and history, and a comic series telling his further adventures would be awesome. Whether or not you tell horror stories like “Pitch Black” or huge space operas, Riddick is a character that can do it all.
The fact that audiences never saw a sequel to “Chronicle” is a crime. The found footage film told the story of three teens who come across an alien artifact and are given telekinetic powers. The story ends with only one of the three characters left. He still has his powers, but is now traveling the world.
In “Chronicle,” the world was introduced to super powered humans, so now what? What was the mysterious source of their power? These are questions that could form the basis of the ongoing series. Max Landis wrote a script for a proposed sequel, but the studio ended up never producing a new film. Now, the dormant series is probably never going to see a sequel in film form. However, why not take the unproduced Landis script and adapt it into a new comic series? Hell, Landis would probably write it himself! The story could be reworked as an ongoing series telling a grounded, realistic superhero epic following what happens immediately after the first film.
The ramifications hinted at in the ending of “Split” make it an ideal candidate for a comic series. Fans of M. Night Shyamalan’s, “Unbreakable” and “Split” would kill for a comic based in that world. What other characters exist? What happened to David Dunn in between appearances in the films? Is Mr. Glass still as crazy as ever?
It’s unlikely that Shyamalan is interested in telling a straightforward sequel to the film, so the idea of a comic series that fully expands on the ideas put forth in “Split” would be great. There are so many options that could be explored in a comic series. Instead of following The Horde or David Dunn, the comic could tell the story of another character that is yet to be introduced in the film universe. Since there are clearly super-powered individuals, readers could follow a new hero that is discovering his or her powers while dealing with a world that is finally starting to understand that these people exist.
Which film would you like to see get a comic book adaptation? Let us know in the comments!