There are few graphic novels that I read where I actually want to lend the books out to my friends. When I do come across them, I want the whole world to know that these epic stories blew my mind. Here is my short list of graphic novels that should be made into movies (but probably won’t).
5. DC’s Identity Crisis
Writer: Brad Meltzer
Artist: Rags Morales
Top Players: Superman, Flash, Green Arrow, Batman, Zatanna, Hawkman, Elongated Man, Dr. Light
Probability of it becoming a movie: Fat chance, fan boy!
Synopsis: The Justice League mourns over the death of Sue Dibney, Elongated Man’s wife. An investigation surrounds the criminal network over who killed her and rouses up the entire super hero community to question the effectiveness of their hidden identities. This arc ends with a satisfying murder mystery plot twist.
Why it would make a great movie: DC looks past the superficial exterior of heroes running around in long johns saving the city and looks at the psychology behind their behavior. Identity Crisis represents the top DC heroes as adults with responsibility to protect their families and use their powers for good. Readers can feel the struggle and the helplessness as the world’s most powerful people on Earth cannot save their loved ones and question their purpose as heroes.
Why it will never get made: It has taken forever for DC to build any credibility with Batman and Superman and it will take just as long for them to add Aquaman and Wonder Woman. A movie that requires a flurry of B-list characters might be way too tricky.
4. Marvel’s House of M
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Olivier Copiel
Top Players: Wolverine, Professor X, Magneto, Scarlet Witch, Spider-Man
Probability of becoming a movie: Maybe in 2030 if Marvel gets back the X-Men license
Synopsis: The House of M is an alternate reality created by the Scarlet Witch in which the homo-superiors rule society and the homo-inferior race is looked down upon. Magneto has taken over society after his revolt and Wolverine is the only one who realizes that things are not what they seem and tries to free his fellow compatriots from living in this alternate dimension forever.
Why it would make a great movie: I love the fresh coat of paint on this Marvel Universe. We get to see a Spider-Man that is openly respected in NYC and lives happily with Gwen Stacey. Iron Man has joined with his father to build robots that fight in tournaments. The X-Men are worshiped as celebrities and Captain America is an old man with no powers. It’s the reverse of Marvel’s world where humanity fears and hates metahumans.
Why it will never get made: Marvel is so tied up in its own universe continuity that the mere thought of adding a different universe that breaks all those rules would be unthinkable.
3. Project Super Powers (Dynamite)
Writer: Jim Krueger and Alex Ross
Artist: Alex Ross
Top Players: The Fighting Yank, Pyroman, Dare Devil, The Green Lama, The American Spirit, The Black Terror
Probability: Half Past Never
Synopsis: After World War II,the Fighting Yank trapped all of his super hero buddies in a cursed urn in hopes they would vanquish the evil inside it. They are released in modern day to fight a greater evil…the privatized government!
Why it would make a great movie: This whole series is a tribute to the American super heroes of the Bronze Age. This is a time when black and white was clear and every hero under the sun had the word America in their name. This is not a commercial franchise trying to put young and hip heroes in a city, but a nostalgic look at the heroes of old fighting the modern problems of today. It draws in the mature comic viewer.
Why it will never be made: The world will never get excited about the Black Terror as much as I do, nor will the fans demand that the Fighting Yank get his own series.
2. Kingdom Come (DC)
Writer: Mark Waid and Alex Ross
Artist: Alex Ross
Top Players: Superman, Batman, Captain Marvel, Wonder Woman, Lex Luthor
Probability: Mayyyyyybe….who am I kidding?
Synopsis: In an alternate DC Universe. Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman are older, making way for a new generation of undisciplined super heroes. The results of letting the new ones run wild is apocalyptic. Especially when one of them accidentally blows up Kansas.
Why it would be a great movie: The movie is a mirror to the book of Revelations. There is a huge battle that is coming between the old heroes and new heroes and the narrator alludes it to the plagues, horns and the seals of the biblical source material. The heroes of old are bitter, retired or disheartened that the new heroes running crazy and making a mess of things. It’s about how we see heroes as gods and the price of power when it goes unchecked. The story ends with a massive war between the new heroes and the old ones bringing the death of lots of innocent lives.
Why it will never be a movie: This would make a great spin on the DC universe and probably worthy for a straight-to-DVD animated feature. I don’t think this story will be high in the queue of reputable graphic novels.
1. Fray (Dark Horse )
Writer: Joss Whedon
Artist: Karl Moline
Top Players: Maleka Fray, Harth Fray, Erin Fray, Icarus, Urkonn
Synopsis: Maleka Fray is the chosen vampire slayer of the futuristic New York. She must slay her vampire twin brother, Harth, while getting trained by a demon named Urkonn.
Why it would be a great movie: It is funny, action packed, and full of good character development. Every positive aspect of Whedon’s writing shines in this spin off of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I dare you to read this novel and not fall in love with the characters.
Why it will never be a movie: This one has potential to be a movie, but right now Joss Whedon is transfixed on his projects with Marvel. Yea, I guess anyone could take this and make a manuscript, but fans might not watch it unless Whedon is directly involved. Perhaps, in the future, when Buffy the Vampire resurfaces there will be more interest in vampire slaying movies, but for right now we are going to see more super hero projects.