The trend toward turning comic books into TV series is just getting bigger.
From left: iZombie, Arrow and The Flash have all made the move from comic book to hit TV show. With more new TV shows being made each year – over 400 across the 2015/2016 season alone – TV is definitely in its heyday. That is one of the reasons why there has been a recent surge in shows adapted from comic books. It makes a lot of sense: for one thing, successful comic book series come with a built-in fanbase like The Walking Dead, where the fans were chomping at the bit to see the cult favourite comic book series
come to life on TV, which it did in 2010.
Comic book-based TV shows tend to be horrors, fantasy or sci-fi and with today’s advanced special effects technology, it’s cheaper than ever to make these shows look cool. Plus, like Outcast (starting on FOX, Monday 6 June at 19:00), they’re often pretty violent and gory, something many TV fans want more of. So here’s our roundup of some of television’s top shows based on comic books… What it’s about: Kyle Barnes’s (Patrick Fugit) loved ones seem to be prone to demonic possession in this 10- episode horror, which is getting a season 2. Together with Reverend Anderson (Philip Glenister), they perform exorcisms and try to find out why the devil seems obsessed with Kyle. The comic book: 18 issues have been published since 2014. OMG moment: the show starts with demon-possessed Joshua (Gabriel Bateman) bashing a cockroach into the wall with his head… and then eating the squishy remains. Yuck!
What it’s about: masked playboy-turned-vigilante Oliver Queen aka The Arrow (Stephen Amell) and his friends protect Star City from evil- doers like Malcolm Merlyn/Dark Archer (John Barrowman) and Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough). The comic book: Arrow is based on DC comic book hero Green Arrow, who’s been around since 1941. OMG moment: the deaths of Oliver’s bestie Tommy (Colin Donnell) and mom Moira (Susanna Thompson) in seasons 1 and 2 were pretty shocking – so was the season 2 reveal that evil Malcolm is actually Olly’s little sister Thea’s ( Willa Holland) real dad.
What it’s about: the origin story of Batman and villains like The Joker, Penguin and Riddler has breathed new life in the lucrative Batman franchise. The comic book: the Caped Crusader was created in 1939 and has since spawned hundreds of comic books, eight liveaction movies and over 10 mostly animated TV shows. OMG moment: Penguin’s (Robin Lord Taylor) dad being poisoned in season 2 episode 16 and creepy Dr Strange (BD Wong) resurrecting villainous Theo Galavan (James Frain) two episodes later were huge twists.
THE FLASH (2014-CURRENT)
What it’s about: forensic investigator Barry Allen becomes super-fast superhero The Flash following a science experiment gone wrong. The comic book: The Flash was created in 1956, was killed off in 1985 but was then revived in 2008. OMG moment: the season 2 finale (on Vuzu AMP on Tuesday 7 June) involved time-travel and the reveal of the man in the iron mask.
What it’s about: zombie Liv Moore (Rose McIver) works in a morgue where she helps solve crimes by eating brains and getting the victim’s memories. The comic book: created in 2010, the comic differs hugely from the show. OMG moment: season 2’s reveal that Seattle is about to turned into a citywide zombie-friendly headquarters. NB! See more on p47.
THE WALKING DEAD
What it’s about: zombie apocalypse survivors in the US fight off the undead, but the bigger threat to staying alive is usually other humans. The comic book: after 156 issues, the series is just as iconic among comic book geeks as the TV show. OMG moment: season 6’s “who did Negan kill?”… Noah’s (Tyler James Williams) death in season 5 episode 14 where his face is literally ripped apart… there’s no shortage!