Adaptations have seen a rebirth in comics. Series like “Hellraiser,” “The Crow,” “Ghostbusters,” and “Ash and the Army of Darkness” show that certain famous stories are far from over. Adaptation is a delicate art. Capturing the spirit of the original piece can be tricky and sometimes nigh impossible.
Given the right creative team any book is possible. So with that in mind, here are some of the best stories that could benefit from adaptation. Be it through a continuation of the original story, or a complete overhaul of the original material these are adaptations that could breathe new life into older properties.
Halloween has arrived. Celebrate with me by sharing which of your favorite films you’d love to see adapted into comics. This is my list, and while some are films that are perfect in their own right, others are vastly in need of some help. These are all stories that can benefit from new energy while bringing new types of stories to the shelves.
“Event Horizon” is one of those films that has all the right elements, but got everything so terribly wrong. The film follows a rescue crew investigating a distress call from the Event Horizon, a starship that disappeared seven years ago. Upon their arrival to the titular ship, the rescue crew is tormented by horrible visions and pushed to the brink of insanity.
The film proved to have hollow characters and dull visuals. However, given the nightmarish premise, and the opportunity to explore the seduction of evil in space, Event Horizon could make for an incredible ongoing series. The ship itself serves as the primary antagonist, and Dr. William Weir can be the embodied face.
Someone like Jeff Lemire would masterfully handle the horrific and personal visions caused by the ship. His previous work shows that he is capable of delivering appealing and flawed characters that would be right at home on the verge on insanity. While Lemire’s fantastic oblong visual style would give the story the visual flourish it so rightly deserves. Plus, it’s high time Lemire tackled a horror book, who wouldn’t want to see his wonderful take on paneling a vivisection across a two-page spread.
“Tremors” is a 1990 cult classic. Providing an original and humorous look at killer underground worms called Graboids. These creatures rely on sound to locate their victims, and put up one hell of a fight. The property has spawned several sequels, but the story of Val and Earl was only just beginning by the end of the first film.
The movie boasts a western feel while completely embracing the absurdity of its premise. The fact that the Graboids use sound allows for creative use of onomatopoeia to create tension. An ongoing series that sees the siege of a small town, the evolution of the worms from the sequels, and the progression of Val and Earl’s relationship would be engaging, horrific fun.
A creative team that has yet to do horror might benefit from embracing a book like this. When thinking about who would be best to carry on the cheeky humor of the original Sam Humphries and Dalton Rose kept coming to mind. Their work on “Sacrifice” showed a team with incredible talent. Rose’s work would bring the Graboids to life in all of their glory, while Humphries could weave an interesting backstory for the worms deeply rooted in history with snappy comedic dialogue.
While not technically a horror movie in its own right, “Dark City” is so full of haunting visuals, grand ideas, and intriguing characters that its almost staggering to consider a comic book adaptation has never existed. The rosy ending of the film could easily be undone with a quick rewrite that would make for a compelling ongoing series.
The movie follows John Murdoch as he awakens in a hotel bathtub, suffering from amnesia in a city without daylight and wanted for murder. The resulting story deals with the nature of individuality, memory, and extraterrestrial life. The entire movie is a beautiful love letter to neo-noir sensibilities with science fiction influence.
Every frame of the film is constructed with meticulous attention to detail. Scenes ooze with personality, and the city itself isn’t just shrouded in darkness, it’s shrouded in dread.
An artist like Colin Lorimer would do justice to the haunting stature of the city. His incredible attention to detail and post-apocalyptic work in “UXB” will make you certain of this fact. A writer like Joshua Hale Fialkov would slide into this world with relative ease. His work on “The Bunker” shows that he is capable of calling the nature of individuality and destiny into question. Which also happens to be some of the primary themes “Dark City” puts forward.
“The Thing” is probably one of the most beloved horror films of all time. It’s a damn near perfect look at what it means to be human, and the special effects still mind blowing to this day. So needless to say, an incredibly talented team would need to carry this story to incredible new heights for it to be considered a success.
For the uninitiated, “The Thing” follows a group of American researchers posted at Outpost 31 in the Antarctic. They find a being trapped under the ice and upon removing it, find out that this thing… can take any form it chooses.
The film proved to a triumph on every level but ends with one hell of a cliffhanger. Two survivors are left, and one of them is infected. Since Dark Horse owns the rights to the property it only makes sense to revitalize it with a look at those two lone survivors, their eventual rescue, and the ongoing evolution of the of monstrous creature.
The proper writer for a book like this would be one who is able to call into question characters motivations without ever laying it all out on the surface. The thematic power of “The Thing” is that absolutely no one can be trusted, and the comic could play off of this thread very easily with someone like Tim Seeley behind the wheel. He’s already established himself, and with his work on “Revival” it’s clear he’s capable of blending humanism and horror.
Once the monstrous form of “The Thing” finally reveals itself, a talented artist needs to be there to bring these awful beasts to life. Someone like Steve Pugh would be the perfect man for the job. After seeing the horrible monstrosities Pugh created every month on “Animal Man” its clear he would be right at home among Carpenter’s horrible creations.
While “Phenomena” may not be the obvious choice for an Argento adaptation, it’s batshit crazy premise and incredible characters deserve to continue. The film follows Jennifer, a young woman who arrives at her new boarding school to discover its plagued by murders. With the help of an entomologist she seeks to solve the whole ordeal.
Seems normal, but this is before the physic bug controlling powers, and the chimpanzee come into play. The film absolutely revels in absurdity, but tells a chilling tale that is all too often overlooked.
The visual style of Argento is incredibly hard to emulate. However, one man was born for the task: Francesco Francavilla. His work screams Argento. His use of lighting, paneling, and heavy lines harken back to the glory days of Italian cinema. Francavilla’s art would make any Argento adaptation feel like a natural extension of the original work.
While a writer like Joshua Williamson would do wonders for this story. Already Williamson has an incredible blend of genres with “Ghosted.” He’s proven he has the chops to be a top name in horror. As his story has gone above and beyond to entertain and surprise. “Phenomena” has some absurdist elements but is grounded in real terror. Williamson could create a story that would evolve the characters and the premise into more than a one off adventure. With the sharp dialogue it would need to survive.
Think I missed something? Think I’m absolutely full of shit? Or want to tell me what adaptations and creative teams you’d be eager to see?
Sound off in the comments.