Avengers has pretty much shown that even the most impossible comic book can be filmed. So it’s time for my wishlist. Here’s 5 superhero comics, along with 5 other comic books, that I’d love to see on the big screen.
Note: I’m not looking at what’s in development. Thanks to how much these projects get stuck in development hell, unless it’s in the theater, I don’t believe it’s happening. I’ve decided not to include comics that were filmed but weren’t filmed well. For the record, I would love good versions of Green Lantern, Jonah Hex, Fantastic Four, and A League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. I am, however, including things that have been made as straight-to-DVD animated movies.
1. Justice League. DC’s been really awful on this whole “comic book movie” thing, being both incredibly slow and making movies of varying quality. If they ever got it together, though, having a Justice League movie would be incredible. There were plans for one at some point before the last Writer’s Strike killed it. I don’t particularly care whether it’s a series of movies leading up to it like they did with Avengers, or just one big damn movie, I just want it.
2. Wonder Woman. Has there even been a female-focused superhero movie since Catwoman bombed? Along with Elektra and Supergirl (yes, there was a Supergirl movie, which by all accounts, I am glad to have not seen), female supers haven’t had the best time. I’m going for Wonder Woman on this for the simple fact that she’s probably the biggest name and the one that could be done best. She has a strong origin, cool powers, and a decent rogues gallery of Greek and human villains to choose from. Hell, just take the Gods and Mortals arc and you’ve basically got a movie.
3. Deadpool. Even though I’m rather favorable towards X-Men Origins: Wolverine, I know that Weapon XI was hardly the Merc with a Mouth. His often ridiculous humor has earned him a lot of fans, although he’s often at his best when it’s balanced. Cable and Deadpool knew how to take his antics and juxtapose them with more serious themes. Giving him a partner tends to not be a bad idea in general. Alternately, a full-on, extremely bloody comedy might just be the right direction for him.
4. Martian Manhunter. This is an odd choice because Manhunter tends to not get books to himself, and I’m not even sure he has a rogues gallery. However, if it was done right, it could be an entirely fascinating movie. I suggest anybody looking for my thought process looks to DC: The New Frontier, where his character is forced to learn his way around the 1960s, stuck in both the fear of the Russians and the Man from Mars. He also got some entirely fantastic moments on the Justice League cartoon. If the right team got together, it’d be gold.
5. Squirrel Girl/The Great Lakes Avengers. Squirrel Girl debuted in a one-shot where she defeated Dr. Doom. Her power is talking to squirrels. She often shows up with the Great Lakes Avengers, which features Flatman (he’s flat…and constantly mistaken for Reed Richards), Doorman (he can teleport people through a wall), and the Grasshopper (a legacy hero where the running gag is that the dies quicker in each GLA series/one-shot). It’s entirely fun and hilarious, and considering how much Marvel is loving lighter movies, it could be perfect.
6. Bone. There was a Bone movie in production at one point, before Nickelodeon wanted kid actors and pop music, causing creator Jeff Smith to kill it. As he explained, you wouldn’t put pop music on Lord of the Rings. Bone might not be on that level, but it’s hard to deny that it is a fantasy epic, one that deserves a great movie. Or, preferably, a trilogy of movies.
7. Preacher. Preacher is the kind of comic that was going to be a TV series, but HBO decided it was too dark. Something this crude, offensive, and line-crossing clearly deserves a movie. The first few arcs are definitely arcs, but with a bit of editing in the process they could easily make a movie with room to spare for sequels. And yes, we must bring up the discussed casting choices: Samuel L. Jackson as The Saint of Killers (the Saint is white, but I’m pretty sure nobody would care, since this one was suggested by fans) and Shia LaBeouf as Arseface. I think it’d be his best role.
8. Transmetropolitan. Warren Ellis’ more episodic storytelling style might work better as a TV series, but Transmetropolitan’s fully realized crapsack future could only be done as well as it is in the comics with a movie’s budget. The comic’s main arc could probably be condensed down into a single movie, but it’s the details that are important here because it’s the details that make the book.
9. The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck. Life and Times may have been Don Rosa’s love letter to Carl Barks’ Scrooge McDuck work. But standing on its own, it’s also one of the real all-ages masterpieces of comics. It’s full of adventure and comedy, but is also plenty emotionally touching. You know, like every fantastic Pixar movie. I think you can see what I’m getting at here.
10. The Sandman. Scripts for Sandman have come and gone. Executives have taken perfectly good movies and turned them into something Neil Gaiman instantly vetoed. A script for one of the Death spin-offs seems more likely to get made into a movie than this at this point. But if a studio can do Avengers, I’m pretty sure Warner Bros can do Sandman.