As a youngster when Image Comics appeared on the scene they blew me away with their eye catching art and more explicit violence and sexuality. It didn’t take long for the shock to wear off. Some of their titles I had been so blown away by just didn’t hold up very well. As a reader today though I have re-embraced Image titles and look forward to books such as Sex, Sex Criminals, Fatale, Star Light, and Dead Body Road each month. I would now go so far as to say they are producing some of the best books on the market today. With this in mind and with comic adaptations blowing up at the box office (Avengers, even Blue is the Warmest Color) I’d like to put forth six (I don’t subscribe to the idea lists need to be of 10) of their lesser known properties that I know could make some solid films.
Grifter and Zealot
That’s right not Wild C.A.T.s but just these two characters. I eagerly read the early run of this series when it was released, but these were the only two characters I connected with. When they each got their own series I was stoked and truly enjoyed Jae Lee’s Wild C.A.T.s trilogy which made this pair the focus characters. With rich back stories both characters are fully developed and the forbidden affection angle is definitely in right now. If I was producing it I’d ignore or down play the other C.A.T.s and use Wild C.A.T.s trilogy as a base line, with Zealot’s past coming back to confront the two.
In creator Tony Daniel’s The Tenth Esperanza Del Toro is a normal girl who discovers she can harness dark powers that make her a target of a clandestine research team lead by Rhazes Darrk who mixes science and the supernatural creating unstoppable creatures, such as The Tenth. The Tenth escapes from his prison and joins forces with Esperanza. While The Tenth’s art suffered from the huge beast, tiny sexpot art style of its time Tony Daniel’s story was very involved and has a number of cool reveals, from how Esperanza’s mom has ties to Rhazes Darrk to The Tenth’s background and connection with Esperanza. This property has clear potential to be both action packed and genuinely terrifying.
While this book has been running since Image formed it’s nowhere near as recognizable as say Spawn the only other image title that can make the same claim. A Savage Dragon film could be very fun in the same way The Avengers was, and even incorporate some of the old Image Superheroes as background players. Erik Larson created the world of The Savage Dragon as a bright larger than life place, and this could be emphasized to set the film apart from the dark gritty influence of The Dark Knight and Man of Steal. While the Dragon is always front and center Larson gave him a collection of fully developed background characters within the ranks of the police department giving a film many cool roles to cast.
This is one of my all-time favorite series and characters. The Maxx is currently being re-released from IDW in a recolored format that I’m kinda’ uncomfortable with. Sam Keith’s meta superhero book was so incredibly ahead of its time its due for some serious kudos. For those who don’t know this one, The Maxx is a homeless purple superhero who in the real world is homeless and constantly being cared for by Julie Winters a free-lance social worker. The initial arc of the comic surrounds their mental connection which takes place in a surreal world referred to as the outback. In the outback The Maxx protects Julie, or the Jungle Queen as she is known here from the mental scars of past trauma. And that dear readers is the short version. MTV made a very true to the book animated series showing how adaptable this property can be. This could be a combination of live action for the real world and animation in the outback. That is with the exception of Maxx who should be animated throughout helping to establish the surreal feel of Sam Keith’s books.
Jonathan Hickman’s thoughtful and more timely than ever series follows the Hand a terrorist cult dedicated to killing members of the news media for their corruption and failure to serve their job to society at large. Hickman’s book places the reader in an interesting and uncomfortable position. While the Hand’s tactics are extremely hard to justify, their arguments against news media conglomerates are strong and accurate. What could have easily become heavy handed and preachy is carefully balanced in a narrative that asks a lot of its reader, and rewards them for the effort. The slightly weak characterizations in the book could give serious actors as interesting task of trying to elicit sympathy for their character.
The comics have an epic scope as the titular Witchblade moves through time, though I would like to see a film based around Sara Pezzini set in present day Chicago. Producers of a film version could draw from a great wealth of stories, and choose whether to put the focus on action, crime, supernatural fantasy or horror all while remaining very true to the source material. Aside from the plot elements there is a timeless quality to the inner struggle of the bearer of the Witchblade that can give audiences a great way to connect to Pezzini. As franchises continue to dominate at the box office, the Witchblade mythology provides an easy excuse when your female lead wants to bow out. Sara Pezzini can step aside for Danielle Baptise. With all the strong well drawn ladies kicking ass in theatres right now I don’t see a better climate for Sara Pezzini to make her long overdue debut on the big screen.
So what do you think? Did I miss anything, or are my choices just a recipe for disaster? Let me know below.