The Comics 8 Ball 5.12.14: Top 8 Live-Action Comic Book Shows
Posted by Anthony Kennedy on 05.12.2014
From The Walking Dead and Wonder Woman to Smallville, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and more, 411's Anthony Kennedy counts down the top 8 best and worst live-action comic book shows of all-time!
Welcome back to the Comics 8 Ball in the Movie Zone! Per usual, I'm Anthony Kennedy and I'll be your guide in our intellectual trip through comicdom. As always, we will be tackling a topic and providing you the top 8 selections related to comics. One thing to please understand, these are meant to be my personal takes and not the definitive list on the subject. Although I do consider myself somewhat an expert, feel free to disagree and I'll freely admit you're wrong. (No hard feelings tho?) With that in mind, let's get to this week's topic!
As has been expected Gotham (FOX), Flash (CW), Constantine (NBC), Agent Carter (ABC) received series orders to debut in the fall. But in somewhat of a shocker, the Vertigo series iZombie was also tabbed for a series run to premiere on the CW's fall schedule as well. With Preacher joining The Walking Dead on AMC and five Marvel shows to run on Netflix, comic book fans have 11 television shows adapted from comics to look forward to, but I'm not sure that's an altogether good thing.
I'm pretty unfamiliar with iZombie but the premise has me intrigued. CW has produced a string of good offbeat shows like Vampire Diaries, Reaper and The Tomorrow People while only laying an egg with the horrible Birds of Prey when it comes with comic book properties so I'm not worried about Flash. AMC will make sure Preacher does not fail. With their track record of critically acclaimed shows, I'm not betting against them producing another hit. Constantine is the perfect series to pair with the great Grimm show on Friday nights. Hopefully, the low profile placement will allow them to build an audience and avoid major tinkering from the terrible (mis)management of NBC.
Gotham and Agent Carter, I do not have very high hopes for either success. The DC themed police procedural is a risk by FOX as they're banking on the Batman franchise without delivering the Caped Crusader. If you'll note, the show was initially going to center around a young Commissioner Gordon, but common sense hit them that not having Bruce Wayne in some form would hinder this show from being a runaway success. Trying to capitalize on the massive box office appeal of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a safe bet, S.H.I.E.L.D. has not been a runaway success by any means. And it has only been one season. Shouldn't they take more time to establish what type of show S.H.I.E.L.D. is long-term before fragmenting their audience that might decide to tune into the more film established and likable Peggy Carter, when their flagship Marvel show has so many flaws that viewers continually point out? ABC clearly hasn't learned from the debacle of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland of having too similar of a niche premise may do more harm than good. We shall see.
After washing away the stench of ASM from this column I now return you your regularly scheduled segment of ….READER FEEDBACK
Gil: I had a Spider-Man comic when he had cosmic powers and the cover was him Dragon Punching the Grey Hulk. And it was Todd McFarlane. McFarlane was awesome when all he did was draw.
Yes~!, Yes~!, a thousand times YES~! I loved this cover as well and a huge oversight on my part. This should have been Top 8.
Thank you to everyone who contributed. Do enjoy the debate that occurs in the comments section and look forward to this week's feedback.
Top 8 Best & Worst Comic Live Action TV Series Adaptations
Inspired by this week's news of network series orders for some great comic book themed shows, this week's 8 Ball will take a look at the Best and Worst live action television shows that were based on comic books.
Adventures of Superman: "Truth, justice and the American way!"
The Amazing Spider-Man: If you can't make it look good, let's not do it at all.
Birds of Prey: So much potential and got it all so wrong!
Flash: Underrated show hurt by Geoff Johns coming along 15 years too late to make his rogue gallery awesome for this series.
Lois & Clark & the New Adventures of Superman: I'll always hate that this show forced the marriage of Superman and Lois in the comics.
Superboy: Forgotten late ‘80s shows that managed to tell some good weekly stories.
Tick: Fun show that was too hip for most to get and DOA!
#8 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Got Right: Cross over with the Marvel Cinematic Universe to let fans know this series matters and has an overarching reach. Got Wrong: Slow pacing and sense of nothing happening for first half of the season. Best Remembered for in Pop Culture: Lola lifts off.
#7 Wonder Woman
Got Right: The look, for the most part, and portrayal of her powers. Got Wrong: Them big ass granny pannies on Linda Carter. C'mon son, ya'll know them things looked ridiculous on her. Best Remembered for in Pop Culture: Introducing us to that Wonder Woman transformation spin.
#6 Incredible Hulk
Got Right: The origin story along with Bixby's portrayal of Bruce Banner's neurosis. Got Wrong: Making Banner an on the road Fugitive as opposed to focusing on more sci-fi nature from the source material. Best Remembered for in Pop Culture: "Don't make me angry…you wouldn't like me when I'm angry."
Got Right: Incorporating the look and feel of Smallville and adapting classic Superman characters. Got Wrong: The producers focusing too much on the Clark and Lana long past the audience caring when we know he ends up with Lois Lane. Best Remembered for in Pop Culture: Objectification of Kristin Kruek.
#4 Blade: The Series
Got Right: Creation of the vampire underworld that True Blood borrowed heavily from. Got Wrong: Casting of Sticky Fingerz as the title character. He did not have the personality and charisma to replace Wesley Snipes. Best Remembered for in Pop Culture: Blade merc'ing that vampire girl leader. Child murder, I'm okay with it.
Got Right: Bringing the Dark Knight's awesome rogue's gallery to live-action television. Got Wrong: Ushered in the campy tone of Batman that would last till Frank Miller's seminal work, The Dark Knight Returns. Best Remembered for in Pop Culture: Da Da da da da da da da da BATMAN!!!! and the Batusi.
Got Right: Slade and the Malcolm Merlyn's integration on the show. Got Wrong: Utilizing too many angsty television troupes of "you lied to me" and "how can I trust you when you're keeping secrets?" Best Remembered for in Pop Culture:Citywide genocide...twice!
#1 The Walking Dead
Got Right: Anyone can die at any time. Where today's network TV teases a death that ends up being a minor character, Walking Dead is willing to break from that formula and stay true to it's comics roots by killing big players Got Wrong: Horrible drawn out second season. Best Remembered for in Pop Culture: "Carl stay here." "Where's Carl?"
That's my list, let me know where I completely missed and what didn't deserve inclusion at all. Join me next week for another edition of the 8-Ball! Have a great week and don't forget to read the many other great columns, news articles and more here at 411mania.com! I still real to me damnit!