The comic book movie genre is flourishing. While many detractors are predicting audience fatigue, the likes of Venom and Avengers: Infinity War are proving the contrary. There's so much money to be made, and you can bet that every studio is rubbing their hands in anticipation.
Of course, we'll see more films about the usual suspects, such as Batman and Spider-Man, but there is also a plethora of lesser-known properties that deserve the big-screen treatment. Some of these titles are published by indie companies, while others have been published by DC and Marvel. In no particular order of preference, let's look at comic books that deserve to be turned into movies.
10. The Astounding Wolf-Man
Werewolves have become a common trope in cinema. However, it's been some time since we've seen a mesmerizing feral film, especially since Stephenie Meyer turned them into puppies in the Twilight series. All is not lost, though, as there's a howling-good werewolf comic series from Image Comics begging to be made.
Robert Kirkman and Jason Howard's The Astounding Wolf-Man was first released in 2007. It's a tale about Gary Hampton, a successful businessman and family man, who is attacked by a werewolf while on vacation. Of course, Gary gains powers, but it also ends up being his curse. Sadly, the series ended after 25 issues in 2010.
9. Joe Frankenstein
You know, the last decent Frankenstein film we received was Tim Burton's Frankenweenie in 2012. Since then, one of cinema's greatest monsters has been on the periphery of things – it didn't help that Universal Pictures messed up its Dark Universe with its first effort, The Mummy, either.
If the studios are looking for something in the vein of '80s teen horrors, then they need not look any further than IDW Publishing's Joe Frankenstein. Created by Chuck Dixon and Graham Nolan, the limited series follows Joe Pratt who discovers he's the heir to the Frankenstein name – and the children of the night want to ensure the legacy ends with him.
8. Dream Gang
It's been a while since we've seen a trippy movie that fries your brain. You don't see many filmmakers attempting to release their own hazy twist on Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas nowadays. It's sad, really, because there should be a place for boundary-pushing films in 2018.
Well, Brendan McCarthy, co-writer and concept designer for Mad Max: Fury Road, raised his hand with the opus, Dream Gang. Released by Dark Horse, this psychedelic adventure follows a new generation of the Dream Gang who have to stop a psychic bomb from putting humanity into a catatonic state. It's mind-bending and kaleidoscopic to the point where you question what's real and what isn't.
It should come as no surprise that many people saw Image Comics' Haunt as a rip-off of Venom. From the character's appearance, it's easy to see where the comparison comes in — but the story is much more different from Eddie Brock's. In fact, being known as Haunt could be seen more like a merger of Spawn and Venom.
Created by Todd McFarlane and Robert Kirkman, the comic book series is about two brothers, Daniel and Kurt Kilgore, who aren't on good terms with each other. When Kurt passes away, his spirit merges with Daniel's body to generate ectoplasm. This gives birth to the being Haunt, who comes complete with nifty powers and the ability to cause a lot of damage.
6. The Immortal Men
It's unfortunate that DC's The New Age of Heroes hasn't gone as planned. Too often, we complain about the lack of originality and new characters in comic books, but we don't get behind fresh initiatives such as this one. Created by Jim Lee and James Tynion IV, The Immortal Men channeled the tone of '90s X-Men with the Legion of Super-Heroes.
Sadly, the series has already been canceled, but that doesn't mean it can't live on in other mediums. The whole immortal angle of the heroes, as well as the self-discovery and coming-of-age tale of Caden Park, would make an excellent action-adventure superhero movie.
5. Bully Wars
Bully Wars might be a brand-new comic book series from Image Comics, but it's already captured our hearts. Skottie Young and Aaron Conley's bodacious teenage comedy feels like a throwback to a different time when kids were playing with their Game Boys, listening to Green Day's "Dookie" on repeat, and watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Considering the success of Stranger Things and other nostalgia-laced productions, a film adaptation could take the crazy, over-the-top elements of Bully Wars and turn it into a world-renowned phenomenon. It's so Nickelodeon that even Ren and Stimpy are waiting for a cameo in it already.
Warren Ellis needs no introduction. He's written more than his fair share of instant classics. In Transmetropolitan, which Ellis created with Darick Robertson, it was an arc that lasted over 60 issues and built up a cult status among comic book fans.
This cyberpunk, futuristic series, featuring the rebellious journalist Spider Jerusalem, was nearly turned into a movie several times years. At one point, there were rumors that Tim Roth was being earmarked to portray Spider on the big screen. Nothing has come to fruition, unfortunately, but we'd love to see something similar in tone and style to Pete Travis' Dredd.
3. Shirtless Bear-Fighter!
While there's an absurd amount of comic books being released every Wednesday, not many of them capture the sheer insanity of the medium quite like Shirtless Bear-Fighter! did. The whole concept of it sounds like it started out as one big joke, but it actually turned into a highly enjoyable action-comedy series from Image Comics.
The premise of it is exactly what the title indicates: a shirtless man who punches bears. Created by Jody LeHeup, Sebastian Girner, and Nil Vendrell, a Shirtless Bear-Fighter movie is the perfect vehicle for Gerard Butler. Hey, he's been wasting away in all these serious action roles lately, so here's something a little different for him.
2. American Vampire
Scott Snyder might be best known for what he's done with Batman and Justice League, but his creator-owned work might be even better. Created by Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque, American Vampire is one of Vertigo's most entertaining series in recent years. Yes, it's about vampires – but these ones don't sparkle; they actually rule here as we discover a whole secret world and history of the bloodsuckers.
The series even featured a story written by the legendary Stephen King, for goodness' sake! So, tell us, why isn't this the next big film from Blumhouse Productions? It certainly will get the horror fans talking.
1. Red Dog
This year we've already seen a film about a boy and his robotic dog in the shape of Oliver Daly's A.X.L., but there's a comic book series from 451 Media Group that did the concept better. Written by Rob Cohen and Andi Ewington, with art by Rob Atkins, Red Dog is a picture-perfect fusion of BraveStarr and Treasure Planet.
The series doesn't give you a breather, as you encounter a whole new world on Kirawan, with its own promises and dangers. Additionally, who wouldn't want more movies about dogs? Once you meet Kyle's robotic dog, Red, you'll instantly fall in love with him.