This is a big week for comic book fans. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opens in theatres today and Saturday is Free Comic Book Day. So I thought since many of the television up fronts are starting to roll out for the networks, I would, in that spirit, take a look at my TOP 5: New Comic Book TV Shows.
Both now and in the past, we have been getting some cool and interesting comic book related programming, but starting this fall the flood gates are beginning to open. Currently, CBS is the only network of note that does not currently have a comic book property on air or about to air soon. I’m sure that may change over the course of the next year if the success continues. CBS may be the home to the procedural and 90 year old viewers but it won’t look down on money, ever. There truly has never been a better time for nerds and their entertainment.
Without further ado lets get to the list, but first a quick note on my rules.
Here are the rules…
- Must be based on an existing comic book title/character
- Must be airing this coming season or in production
Sadly while there are many new, upcoming comic book TV shows only a few were worth our time. With that in mind, I wanted to highlight some of the new shows I think are going to be good.
First published in 2007 for Image comics and written & drawn by Jonathan Hickman, this series told the story of a mission gone wrong when the Catholic Church discovers time travel and sends back armed soldiers with modern weapons to help Constantine, the first Christian Emperor retain power. But when the conflict escalates and a power struggle breaks out, things change rapidly. The story was a very compelling revisionist history lesson on what could happen if the church had never lost faith or power. For TV, the story playing out over multiple episodes will be a benefit. But like another on this list, the cost of running a show on a budget dealing with period pieces is always costly and usually doesn’t last. Regardless, I can’t wait to watch, that is until they screw up the plot or some other element needlessly. It will be interesting to see if they keep the alternate future time line flash forwards to contrast the action in the past as in the book.
I got to check this out in the fall of 2013 when it launched. Overall, I liked the idea of where the story was headed but I was in-need of cutting a book so it suffered the fate of many before it. As newly elected President Stephen Blades reads the letter left for him in the Oval Office by his predecessor, he learns this stunning secret: seven years earlier, NASA discovered an alien construction project in the asteroid belt. A crew of heroic astronauts was sent to investigate, and they’re nearing the conclusion of their epic journey. I think this is a comic that can really benefit from a TV show. The premise is simple enough and only has to worry about the usual TV sci-fi effects budget. Having a program show the issues that could affect a sitting President as he deals with a potential Alien invasion is fairly exciting. A strong lead for the President will be required but regardless, this is the one I think has the best chance of getting an audience of non comic readers.
We haven’t seen this version of Peggy since the first Captain America movie but she was a lot of fun to watch. This is the other show that has a little problem with budget. As a period piece, most likely to be set in the late 40’s post WWII or early 50’s beginning of SHIELD era, it will be costly. If they do a limited run it could work out but anything longer could run the risk of being too costly to continue. As a founding member of SHIELD with Howard Stark and Colonel Chester Phillips (Tommy Lee Jones), Peggy Carter is important to the greater Marvel cinematic universe. Especially after the events of The Winter Soldier film, what happened back at the beginning would be interesting to see. Also, it would be nice to see a strong female character other than Black Widow doing some ass kicking in the Marvel cinematic universe.
The most risky of all the coming properties is also one that could be a revelation for viewers. Jones comes out of the pages of ALIAS written by Brian Michael Bendis, a book I missed out on but have never heard anything bad about it. Actually, it and Daredevil from the early 2000’s are the most important comic books from that era that I haven’t read. Knowing that Jones and Luke Cage have a strong bond for various reasons is one component of the story, but also that she was a pretty fully realized female character in a world of dudes is good news for female fans looking for some common ground and someone they stand a better chance of identifying with. Like Agent Carter, it’s another opportunity for a strong female character to exist in a world dominated by men. Here is a chance by Marvel/Netflix to stand up and make a statement about how to portray females in comic properties.
This will become the first big time African American Marvel character. “What about Falcon?” Well, what about him? Or James Rhodes for that matter? Those characters are side dishes to the main course of Captain America and Iron Man. Here, we get a character in Power Man/Luke Cage who is a dude who takes no shit from anyone. He can go toe to toe with Cap and many of the other heavy hitters in Marvel and still walk away clean. This is a great character to launch into Marvel’s expanded universe. Watching Luke kick ass with a street level vibe and to know that he is no slouch in the brains department is nice. Plus depending on his back story, there are extra layers of cool complex storytelling to be had. Sweet Christmas, I can’t wait to check this out.
So there it is, my list. There are so many more that I could have added but I wanted to go with what I think of as the best representatives of the group. If you are looking for something to watch this coming TV season, give some of these a shot.
If you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!