6 Image Comics That Deserve Movies

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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

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.

The Tenth

the tenth image

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.

Savage Dragon

savage dragon

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.

The Maxx

the maxx

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.

Nightly News

nightly news hickman

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.


Witchblade 45_Painting of Hell

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.

S#!T Talking Central

  • kixxxers

    Grifter and Zealot and the whole WILDC.AT.S TEAM

  • Kondorr

    I do not know about the rest, but at least the Pez is set to be in The Darkness movie… and some comments suggested a shared origin story.

    Quick quote by Mark S.:
    First we were kind of worried, how do you, two origins, but it started to come together.

    I finally finished yesterday reading everything Witchblade/Darkness related up to the Ron Marz run… and there is some narrative adjustments to be done, but as you wrote… with Sara you can go where you want…
    Conspiracy thriller, Abusive/toxic romance coming of age, X-Files, Pure and simple action, horror, down to earth crime drama… whatever they do, just please do not make her into a teen-flick…

    And you can build up a superb mythology in the background leading to the Avenger-clone called Artifacts…
    (The other plus point is, there are no paralel universes, and alternate storylines… Top Cow universe is pretty straight forward…)

  • Jaron Supajintendo Felix

    The Rock as Savage Dragon…or nah?lol

  • tj

    Man fuck this hipster. 1. Should be “Spawn” ! A full r rating spawn! Spawn was the most iconic, different influential anti hero of the 90s, “the maxx” was basically trash. It was stupid. Number 2. Should be the darkness! Its games were dark and brutal, i feel the first game was great! When you see your gf die u just lose it! Before any of these “second rate, rip off comics” they need a reboot/or continuation of “spawn ” but a rated r version. Or the drakness. Or medival spawn. Everything esle image comics put out is utter trash. ‘The maxx” is okay, but seems to be written for whiney teenage hipsters. Get over yourselves. And savage dragon is a pathetic attemp for an “image” hulk.

    Spawn got an okay hbo series,and a couple shitty games(there would of been a new “spawn animated series’ and new spawn movie but this hack wont agree to any contract!). The darkness at least got great games. But i stopped reading spawn because todd mcfarlene became as self infloated egotistical asshole. When hes now a hack. Spawn has been unreadable for over 10 years. He makes crappy inferior figures, and thats were most his time goes into now. BAD FIGURES(he doesnt even release spawn figures anymore !) Its only sports figures, and bad halo ones!( jesus the halo 2 figures whoeve made were amazing, but then mcfarlene gets the contract and his halo figures are half the size, and complete garbage.)
    Necca makes WAY BETTER MOVIE / game figures! Case an point! Mcfarlenes past predator figures vs Necas predators.
    Winner Necca! They have indivual dreds, different hands, and correct proportions

    I spit on my predator 2 mcfarlene figure, necas pred 2 was amazing!
    Next, mcfarlenes assassins creed figure vs necas assassins creed 1 and 2 figures
    Winner neca.

    I hope todd mcfarlene dies. This is why some artists should lose rights to thier creations, just like the state taking someones kid. Someone should take over all image, and take spawn away from this asshole! (Just like george lucas! He needs to lose all rights to any star wars anything!)

  • John Withers

    Invincible! Tech Jacket! Science Dog! Kirkman needs some love on the list.
    Savage Dragon is the top of my list too, and the most worthy–although Witchblade and Darkness could be fun. It’d also be nice to see Super Patriot show up in theaters while the Marvel Movies are huge and show a different take on what super soldier programs can do to a person over time.

  • Julz

    I’d Say Angela already has a foot in the door, and could bring back a failed spawn. and to Agree with TJ Everything Image puts out should be rated R to set apart & make an great example.

  • Daniel Brongers

    Grifter and Zealot are part of WildC.A.T.S and that is part of the Wildstorm Universe (which in turn is part of the DC Universe), so I doubt that they will get a movie.

    That being said; I would like to say that The Savage Dragon, Witchblade, Darkness, Invincible, Cyberforce and Super Patriot (among others) definitely deserve a big screen treatment. Heck, maybe they could even bring back Spawn for the fun of it (I enjoyed the first movie in 1997, though I think they should reboot Spawn for the next movie if they want to create an Image Cinematic Universe).

    Would LOVE to see those films!