(Image via flickr)
It's summertime, and you all know what that means: more comic book movies than you can shake a Mjolnir at (that's Thor's hammer, for you normals). This summer, comic book fans will get the chance to see RED 2, The Wolverine, 300: Rise of an Empire, Kick-Ass 2, and 2 Guns.
Personally, I'm pretty excited to see some of these and... not so excited to see some of the others. Despite the fact that the comic book movie has become one of the most lucrative parts of the Hollywood machine, there are many great comics which will never make it to the big screen—but still deserve the Hollywood treatment. Big producers looking for future summer goldmines, take note! Here are my suggestions.
Animal-Man: Though DC has a huge stable of well known characters, Animal Man is the lone wolf who's become most compelling in the last few decades. Buddy Baker is a simple family man who loves his children and wife. The only fly in the ointment is that Buddy can't deny his amazing power to tap into the animal kingdom and fill himself with, say, the strength of a rhino or the speed of a cheetah.
When the evil forces of The Rot threaten to consume the world, Buddy must use all of his skills and strengths to win the day. If executed well, “Animal Man” could be DC’s answer to “Iron Man:" a B list character with an A list film franchise.
Moon Knight: Marvel is well known for its flawed heroes, and few of those heroes are as flawed as Moon Knight. Poor Marc Spector has some serious mental issues. And I'm not talking about wimpy problems like Peter Parker’s low self esteem or Wolverine’s dangerously excessive drinking.
No, Marc has multiple personality disorder, which doesn't make anyone's life easy, let alone a hero's. In the most recent incarnation of the “Moon Knight” comics, Marc’s disorder forced him to believe that he was a group of other heroes like Wolverine, Spider-Man, and Captain America. Since the majority of the Marvel characters are under one banner at Disney, now would be a perfect time to bring the tale of a hero who thinks he is other heroes to the screen. With the right director this could be a total winner—perhaps David Fincher is looking for a series.
Poison Elves: Enough of those shiny, happy, fun-having Elves in Lord of the Rings. It's high time to get down and dirty with the most misanthropic elf of all time: Lusiphur. Originally titled "I, Lusiphur,” Poison Elves is one of the funniest independent comics I have ever read. Though creator Drew Hayes has passed away, the story of Lusiphur lives on through other writers. A movie version might be a bit of a gamble, but it could also be a huge franchise, as Hayes wrote and drew over 75 fantastic issues of the series. Sequelmania, anyone?
Queen and Country: Heroine Tara Chace is a cross between Jason Bourn and James Bond. With its focus on behind-the-scenes action at the Secret Intelligence Service as well as the exciting, death-defying action missions that Tara undertakes, “Queen and Country” is for the action fan who wants some substance to the story.
Spanning multiple comic book stories and three full length novels, this is another series with plenty of movie-ready material. Plus, it's high time that the world gets another kick-ass female hero to root for.
Transmetropolitan: Starring Jackie Earle Haley? Directed by Terry Gilliam (or Ridley Scott)? Perhaps a movie about a journalist sounds like something for awards season, but Spider Jerusalem is not your normal, everyday journalist (and how could he be, with a name like that?). In a future where everything and everyone is hooked into electronics at all times, Spider Jerusalem seems to be the only man seeking the truth amongst the glut of lies, half-truths and infotainment. Spider is the first ever "action journalist"—in other words, he lets his fists do the talking.
And understandably, no one can hide the truth from him for long. Transmetropolitan would be a perfect vehicle for Jackie Earle Haley, who looks like Spider incarnate. Then just throw Terry Gilliam or Ridley Scott behind the camera and you've got a guaranteed hit.
Kabuki: Set in a near-future Japan, Kabuki follows the exploits of Ukiko, a young woman and member of the mysterious law enforcement agency The Noh. Ukiko is a brutal warrior who is part seductress and part terminator. Her work leads her down a long and winding path full of self-discovery as she attempts to stop the Machiavellian machinations of crime boss Ryuichi Kai. Creator David Mack wrote and drew this story as his college thesis project, and while it's amazing to think that a person that young could create a book so simultaneously beautiful and brutal, I'm sure that a young, sharp-eyed director could make it into an even more impressive movie.