When we hear about comic book stories, the first thing that comes to mind is the image of a largely built superhero in spandex and a cape, trying to save the universe with his superpower. But that’s not exactly true for every comic book adaptation that has made it to the television screen.
Just recently, the Marvel Cinematic Universe celebrated their 10th anniversary and released Avengers: Infinity War, which surpassed a billion-dollar mark, making it the fourth highest-grossing film in the box office history. Avengers is one of the most popular comic book film franchises of all times, but there are many other television shows that you’d probably have never guessed were based on famous comics. Maybe your favorite is on the list too.
Comic Books To Film To TV
It was during the 19th century when comics started gaining traction among Americans especially after the country was stricken with Great Depression. The newspaper cartoon industry started to grow and Superman of DC comics, the most famous superhero of all time, was created in 1938. However, during the Golden Age of comics, it was Captain America of Marvel comics that claimed the popularity title especially due to wars being fought at the time.
Time went by and the film industry started making huge strides in the 21st century. The advanced technology definitely helped with special effects needed to make better science fiction films. Since most of them didn’t have the budget for a big screen phenomenon, more and more production companies started bringing comic book adaptions to television screens. Some of the shows have been airing for years and are either loosely based on comics or are literal adaptations of them. Here are some of the most popular comic-based series today.
It was between 1940s and 1990s when Archie comics became one of the most popular ones of their kind. Starring Archie Andrews together with his friends, Jughead Jones, Betty Cooper, and Veronica Lodge, Archie comics first launched in 1942 and have become the longest-running publication with the most recent one published in 2015.
In 2015, the CW Network developed a teen drama series inspired by the characters of Archie comics, called Riverdale. The plot was first pitched to Warner Bros. as a movie but the idea was declined and turned into a series instead which ended up being a huge success.
After terrific ratings for its first season, Riverdale was renewed for two more years, and its third season premiered only recently in October. Rumors are also circulating that there could be another spin-off series in the works, based on a different Archie comic about Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
The Walking Dead
This next one is actually an incredibly successful series, but not a lot of people know that it was adapted from a comic book under the same name. The original comic book called the Walking Dead was first released in 2003 and surprising, like the Archie comics, this publication is still an on-going project.
— The Walking Dead AMC (@WalkingDead_AMC) July 20, 2018
Props to advanced special effects and the art of makeup, this show became the closest thing to a real-life apocalypse ever witnessed on television which left the audience hooked for almost 9 seasons. The series, which premiered in 2010, is now in its ninth season with 6 episodes aired so far ever since the premier in October. Ever since its debut 8 years ago, the show has managed to win several prestigious awards.
This list of small screen comic book adaptations wouldn’t be complete without Super Girl herself. Warner Bros. is iconic for producing some of the best superhero films of all times involving classic comic book characters like Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. So naturally, they had to bring some of the talent to the television industry as well.
The show, which debuted in 2015, is currently on its fourth season and is based on the same universe as other series like The Flash and Green Arrow.
Last but definitely not the least is the popular crime drama series that is basically an adaptation of the DC comics, but unlike others, this one actually focuses on James Gordon of the Gotham City Police Department instead of a superhero like Batman or Superman. The show is obviously set in the Batman universe but the story goes back to the time when Bruce Wayne hadn’t become Batman yet.
The series became some sort of a prequel, especially with the origins of the famous Batman villains like Penguin, Catwoman, Poison Ivy, and more. Fox recently announced that Gotham will have its fifth and final season although dates for its premier haven’t been revealed yet.