Image Comics on The Big and Small Screen

This article was originally published at ComicBook.Com on December 18, 2014.

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Over the past ten years Image Comics has emerged the preeminent publisher of creator-owned comics, a fountain of ideas that continues to grow both its readership and its diverse line of stories. The success of creators at Image has not been constrained to comics alone. Hollywood has taken notice of the stories finding a home at Image and flourishing in comic stores, and is working to adapt a wide variety of Image properties.

The best selling monthly title at Image has also become one of the biggest cable television hits of all time: The Walking Dead. The creator of The Walking Dead, Robert Kirkman has another of his series being produced as a pilot now. That comic, Outcast, is another horror-thriller centering on demonic possession. Powers created by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming will be debuting on the Playstation Network in 2015. It is the story of two detectives tasked with investigating crimes connected to superheroes.

There are plenty of Image properties already being produced as television series, more being optioned by networks and studios everyday, and even more that would make for excellent source material. The incredible variety of stories and ideas found at Image Comics has proven to be a feast for executives eager to find new concepts. With so many things being adapted to television and film, it’s helpful to have a little bit of a guide to check out the comics first. Here at ComicBook.Com, we’ve prepared a list of shows that are currently being eyed for TV and movies, and some others that we would love to see brought to the small or big screen.

Take some time to see what catches your eye and check out the comics that will soon be inspiring your new favorite shows.

What’s In The Works?

Pax Romana

1. Pax Romana

Created by: Jonathan Hickman

Earlier this year SyFy announced plans to adapt Pax Romana into a mini-series with creator Jonathan Hickman included as a co-executive producer. The comic follows a group of enhanced soldiers sent back in time to the height of the Roman empire in order to secure the future for Catholicism. Hickman explores themes of power, religion, government, and self-determination in this beautifully designed and exceedingly smart series. The combination of futuristic weaponry and diverse classical settings makes for a striking combination as well that should be an absolute blast to watch unfold on television.

Read more here.

Thief of Thieves

2. Thief of Thieves

Created by: Robert Kirkman

The Walking Dead’s success has brought ample attention to Robert Kirkman’s other comics projects, including the crime thriller Thief of Thieves. The comic follows the exploits of Conrad Paulson, a world renowned thief who attempts to retire, but is continually pulled back into the underworld. It is an exciting globe-hopping adventure with twists and turns in every issue. Kirkman has taken a writer’s room approach to the series including many other talented writers like Nick Spencer and James Asmus. The series is currently in development at AMC.

Read more here.

Wytches

3. Wytches

Created by: Scott Snyder and Jock

Brad Pitt’s production company, Plan B Entertainment, optioned Scott Snyder and Jock’s new horror series Wytches after only the first issue was released. It’s easy to see why though. Snyder and Jock have crafted one of the creepiest and most compelling horror series in years. Wytches is a visually striking series that reimagines an old concept in new and terrifying ways. This would not be Plan B Entertainment’s first comic adaptation either; they produced Kick-Ass as well.

Read more here.

Five Ghosts

4. Five Ghosts

Created by: Frank J. Barbiere and Chris Mooneyham

SyFy is also eyeing Five Ghosts and has ordered a pilot. The series follows Fabian Gray, an adventurer in the style and time period of Indiana Jones. Unlike the famous archaeologist, Gray is a thief who has been possessed by a mysterious crystal providing him with the unique abilities of five ghosts (see image above). It is an exceedingly fun, pulp romp that combines elements of fantasy, science fiction, and horror into a multi-faceted tale filled with action. Five Ghosts is a flexible concept that is perfect for TV, blending short one-and-done stories with ongoing plot lines.

Read more here.

Clone

5. Clone

Created by: David Schulner, Juan Jose Ryp, and Felix Serrano

Clone was announced as being under development at Comic-Con in 2013. The series’ writer Schulner is penning the pilot and is attached, along with Robert Kirkman, as an executive producer. He should be able to maintain the core of this high concept series created along with artists Rose Ryp and  Serrano. The series takes place in a future where Dr. Luke Taylor discovers that he is only one of many clones in the world, some of whom he can help and some who want to kill him. It is a thrilling premise that plays on similar themes to the cult favorite Orphan Black.

Read more here.

What Else Do We Want To See?

Nowhere Men

1. Nowhere Men

Created by: Eric Stephenson and Nate Bellegarde

Nowhere Men is a concept destined for the silver screen. It combines large scale human drama with the scope and style of a film like Interstellar. Stephenson and Bellegarde’s story centers around four scientists who are as popular and influential as The Beatles. They’ve long since gone their separate ways, but are drawn back together by experiments that are transforming the world and the people around them. It is one of the most visually dynamic series to be published by Image, one that would look absolutely stunning projected in a theater.

Read more here.

Deadly Class

2. Deadly Class 

Created by: Rick Remender and Wes Craig

Deadly Class is a favorite series at ComicBook.Com featuring prominently on our Best of 2014 list. It follows Marcus Lopez, an orphan in 1980s San Francisco who is inducted into a secret school for assassins. The concept is rife with action and drama, but is also one of the most compelling and resonant narratives being produced in comics today. Blending the emotional turmoil of high school with the highest stakes imaginable, it is a powerful story. The combination of high tension crime elements and Craig’s incredible presentation could potentially create a spiritual successor to Breaking Bad.

Read more here.

Criminal

3. Criminal

Created by: Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips

Brubaker and Phillips are masters of crime noir, as shown in their newest collaboration The Fade Out. Yet it’s one of their oldest and longest running series, Criminal, that seems the best fit for adaptation. The comic tells a variety of stories steeped in noir sensibilities all set in the same world. Criminal moves between characters and settings though allowing each story to have a definitive ending, but still creating recurring elements and characters. It would be a perfect fit for an anthology series in the style of True Detective or Fargo.

Read more here.

The Fuse

4. The Fuse

Created by: Antony Johnston and Justin Greenwood

The Fuse is another crime drama from Image, but one told from the perspective of the police… who are also in a space station orbiting around the Earth. The station known as The Fuse is populated by people from all over the world and has created a microcosm of humanity with levels that separate the wealthy from the poor. Police on The Fuse are understaffed and overwhelmed, creating a stressful environment rife with compelling cases and social anxiety. The Fuse could be marketed as a fascinating combination of Law & Orderand Battlestar Galactica (minus any Cylons).

Read more here.

Revival

5. Revival

Created by: Tim Seeley and Mike Norton

TV watchers have shown their love for both the rural crime in Fargo and zombies in The Walking Dead. Revival merges these two concepts beautifully, telling the mysterious tale of a small town in Wisconsin where the dead return to life. The creepy elements of self-repairing bodies, madness, and ghosts stalking the woods are all excellent and visually compelling. Revival‘s real drawing point though is its fascinating diverse cast of characters. It’s possible that Seeley and Norton’s comic could give even The Walking Dead a run for its money in the ratings game.

Read more here.

This may seem like a long list of ideas already, but it barely scratches the surface. Image Comics is truly the most diverse publisher of comics today and they are continuing to grow. There’s more than enough candidates for adaptation to create stacks of lists like this. In the last year alone, they’ve begun to publish excellent series like Rasputin, Southern Bastards,Black ScienceLazarus, The Fade OutAlex + Ada, and so many others.

There are so many great comics being published that television producers and studio execs are hard pressed to select what they might like to adapt. Whatever genre or style of story you may enjoy, odds are that Image Comics is publishing something to your liking. It goes to show that it’s a great time to be a comics fan.

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About chasemagnett

Chase is a mild-mannered finance guy by day and a raving comics fan by night. He has been reading comics for more than half of his life (all 23 years of it). After graduating from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln with degrees in Economics and English, he has continued to research comics while writing articles and reviews online. His favorite superhero is Superman and he'll accept no other answers. Don't ask about his favorite comic unless you're ready to spend a day discussing dozens of different titles.
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One Response to Image Comics on The Big and Small Screen

  1. Pingback: Non-Superhero Comics You Should Be Reading Right Now - Threadless Blog

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