Like all good things, the comic book hype cannot last forever. But now is as good a time as any to be a comic book nerd. As someone of such ilk, I’ve seen just about every comic book film there is, good and bad, animated and live-action. But there are still some standout graphic novels out there that haven’t been given their adaptation to the big screen or straight-to-DVD.
Today, I am going to list 10 of my personal favorites that should have their own movie adaptations, in no particular order.
#10 – Batman: White Knight (2017) by Sean Gordon Murphy
Starting off with a story that just recently finished a month or so ago, Batman: White Knight is a story that is not part of the main DC continuity, but is am amazing read. The basic premise of this is that it tells a story of The Joker going sane, and turning Gotham City against Batman. It changes how readers view The Joker as well as Batman himself as characters and who they are in a bigger picture. Plot twists, epic moments, tragic moments, White Knight would be a hell of a film to watch, especially with Roger Craig Smith playing the voice of the Dark Knight and Troy Baker as the White.
#9 – Wytches (2014) by Scott Snyder & JOCK
Wytches is a book about a tribe or a clan of witches that live in a forest, where people who are “pledged” to by worshippers are taken and killed by these witches in a rather horrifying way. Haunting at its least, downright terrifying at its best. A Wytches film would have anyone at the edge of their seats or hiding under a blanket.
#8 – Slots (2017) by Dan Panosian
Stanley Dance is a bastard. A former boxer who burned just about every bridge a man could burn without completely drowning in the water below. He decides to turn his life around and help his old friends the only way he knows how: his way. Dan Panosian writes and draws a story about redemption with humor and cleverness, a little treachery and guile to make the story a whole lot more interesting, which would make Slots a pretty sweet movie for Netflix or Hulu. Stanley Dance is a bastard, and one can’t help but cheer for him every step of the way.
#7 – Unworthy Thor (2016) by Jason Aaron & Olivier Coipel
This one would be a little tricky. The reason being you’d have to go all the way back to Marvel’s Original Sin story back in 2014 and follow the Thor line of comics up from there to Secret Wars (2015) until Unworthy Thor and somehow explain all that in a way that makes sense as a film. While I’m not particularly fond of what came prior, Unworthy Thor is a spectacular story. In a nutshell, Thor Odinson has been deemed unworthy to lift Mjolnir, his original hammer. Instead, someone else becomes worthy (no spoilers). But despite this, Odinson is informed that there is another hammer out there for him to pick up. It’s a story that gave me chills reading it because of how it writes Odinson as a force despite not being Thor anymore. Like I said, context wise it would be tricky to do as a film, but I think with the right team behind it, it would be nothing short of great.
#6 – Thor God of Thunder: God Butcher (2013) by Jason Aaron & Esad Ribic
I put this story over Unworthy Thor because a.) It’s awesome and b.) It has something to do with the plot of the previous entry. So God Butcher is about a creature named Gorr, who dreams of a godless age. He believes that gods are arrogant, full of hubris, and aren’t deserving of the worship that they get. So what he does is gain the power of a weapon called the Necrosword and lays waste to the pantheon of gods in the Marvel Universe. And it is up to the combined might of THREE versions of Thor from 3 points of his life (young, present, and old Thor) to try to stop him. This is an epic tale by Jason Aaron who, personally, is writing some of the best Thor stories of the modern day, and to see this as a live-action film would be a sight to behold.
#5 – Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet (2016) by Ta-Nehisi Coates & Brian Stelfreeze
I’ll admit, I’m not partial to super political stories. I mean, I enjoy them once in a while, but not as regular reading material. But A Nation Under Our Feet is a definite exception. Black Panther is losing control of his kingdom, there are those in his kingdom, and even in his inner circle who threaten to overthrow him to usher in a more democratic system. He has to find a way to settle the matters at hand without everything going to pot. I could definitely see this story as a great plot for the sequel to the first Black Panther movie and after Avengers 4, especially in an age where Black Panther beat out the Justice League in terms of movie ratings.
#4 – World War Hulk (2007) by Greg Pak & John Romita Jr.
If the title alone doesn’t make your heartbeat quicken, then I don’t know what else to tell you. The Incredible Hulk, at his angriest, wages war on the entire marvel superhero community, and almost no one has the power to stop him. Iron Man, The X-Men, the Fantastic 4, Doctor Strange with the powers of an inter-dimensional threat, could not stop the Hulk. This story is a sequel to Planet Hulk in 2006, so to have this as a film sequel to the Planet Hulk animated film would be a definite welcome. HULK. VS. EVERYONE, people!
#3 – Old Man Logan (2008) by Mark Millar & Steve McNiven
As much as I loved the Logan movie, I wish this was Hugh Jackman’s swan song as Wolverine because Old Man Logan is the best Wolverine story there ever was, in my opinion. So this takes place 50 years into a future where all but a few superheroes are dead. The villains have taken over, and Wolverine or Logan as he’s called, lives on a farm in a land run by the twisted Hulk family. Logan has become a pacifist but is taken along a mission with Hawkeye across this barren America. I think this would be an amazing R-rated film for platforms outside of Disney-Marvel, where we could be shown the how dark and messed up this story is.
#2 – Arkham: A Serious House On Serious Earth (1989) by Grant Morrison & Dave McKean
I don’t even know where to begin with this story. What I will say that the art blends so well with the writing and that it is a descent into absolute madness. So the basics are that Batman is trapped in Arkham Asylum and is forced to undergo a gauntlet against his rogues’ gallery while simultaneously learning about the Asylum’s dark history. This story was actually heavy reference for the Arkham Asylum video game back in 2009. And to see this as a movie or at the very least a film done in a motion comic style, would be a rollercoaster of insanity indeed.
#1 – Batman: War On Crime (1999) by Paul Dini & Alex Ross
As much of a die-hard Batman fan that I am, I’ll admit that the way Batman’s been depicted a lot of times is downright ridiculous. Being able to survive Darkseid’s Omega Beams in Final Crisis is an example. The infinite depths of the utility belt is another. Paul Dini & Alex Ross take all of that away. Batman: War on Crime is a film adaptation that needs to happen, with a team that vows to stay true to the essence of the story: No major villain, no high-tech gadgetry (not even the Batmobile), no wildly fantastical plot. It’s a simple yet absolutely beautiful story about how Bruce Wayne fights crime on two fronts: As himself and as Batman. I can only hope and dream that if DC ever decides to make this into a film, that I am alive for it and that it’s as beautiful as the source material is.
- Batman: The Long Halloween (1996) by Jeph Loeb & Tim Sale
- X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills (1982) by Chris Claremont & Brent Anderson
- Batman: Hush (2002) by Jeph Loeb & Jim Lee
- Justice League of America: League of One (2000) by Christopher Moeller
- I Hate Fairyland (2015) by Skottie Young
- Justice League: Identity Crisis (2004) by Brad Meltzer, Rags Morales & Michael Blair
- Spider-Man: Back In Black (2007) by J. Michael Straczynski & Ron Garney
- Hellblazer: City of Demons (2010) by Si Spencer & Sean Gordon Murphy
- Batman: Noël (2011) by Lee Bermejo
- Punisher MAX: In The Beginning (2006) by Garth Ennis & Lewis LaRosa
- Red Hood & The Outlaws: The Dark Trinity (2017) by Scott Lobdell & Dexter Soy
- Wonder Woman The Lies (2017) by Greg Rucka & Matt Sharp
- The Mighty Thor: Thunder In Her Veins (2016) by Jason Aaron & Russell Dauterman
- The Trinity Rebirth (2016) by Francis Manapul
- Superman: Peace on Earth (1998) by Paul Dini & Alex Ross