When people think comic books, they often think of men in spandex fighting other men in spandex to save non-existent cities. They imagine some super guy fighting some epitome of evil and they think that sums up the comic book world. Well, that’s not the case. That covers a very small portion of the comic book world. Yes, there are plenty of superhero comic books which they have made into movies. But do you know why they have been made into movies? Because they are safe and pasteurized for mass audiences. Even something like Watchmen was totally watered down for mass consumption. That’s how it works.
But what about the comic books that are adult, violent, sexual and twisted? What about comic books that clearly were NOT invented in the 50s and aimed at children? What about the work of some modern masters that would even make adults wince? When will we see those in the movies? The truth is, we probably won’t. If you look at the success of Marvel movies, it has a great deal to do with the fact that they are safe, colorful and fun for all audiences.
Let’s take a moment to imagine a world where all comics are made into movies. How much fun could that be? Now keep in mind, some of the following works are not going to be what you are used to from comic books. They might be a little more adult and a little more awesome. Keep in mind, you will see all manners of comics on this list. Here are ten amazing comic books that will (most likely) never get made into mainstream films.
By the way, SPOILERS abound so be prepared.
10. Marvel’s Ultimatum
This is one Marvel book that will drop some jaws. In Ultimatum, pretty much everything goes wrong in the most violent manner possible when Magneto decides he wants to destroy the world. It is like a horror movie invades the Ultimate universe and everyone just goes insane. Many, many superheroes die awful deaths that they actually show in great detail, such as Blob eating the Wasp, bragging about how she tastes like chicken. The story line is brutal and awesome, but there is no way you would ever see this Marvel universe in film.
9. Twisted Sister Comics
The varying art style alone would make this a comic book you couldn’t put on-screen and do justice. The Twisted Sister Comics (not to be confused with band of the same name) is a 1991 anthology made by a team of women that featured some weird tales, some weird art, and a subversive style you just do not get in most comics.
Perhaps it could be made as an animated anthology tale, but we all know Hollywood would not be cool enough to do that. Plus, Hollywood rarely portrays women as they should be, let’s not even pretend otherwise, so the chance of Tinseltown letting a team of women tell their story is sadly very slim.
8. The Invisibles
There’s a very different reason you won’t see this ever adapted as a movie. In most cases, it is because of the sex or violence in these comics. While there is plenty of that here, it will never be a movie because it has become a massive piece of fiction, spanning 1,500 pages.
How do you turn something that size into a 90 or 120 minute movie? You don’t. Add to that the pure insanity of The Invisibles featuring a secret organization battling inter-dimensional alien gods and you have a comic book, although super badass, that has no chance of ever being a film.
7. Kraven’s Last Hunt
Here is the exact reason a Spider Man movie will never do as well as it should, because they always go with the sort of lame, 1950s era origin story. What they need to do is mine some of the more powerful stories that show just how tormented (like Batman) he and his villains really are.
Take Kraven’s Last Hunt, for example. It is easily the one of the best Spider Man stories ever told, because Spidey almost gets killed. With Kraven – the bad guy – thinking he achieved the impossible accomplishment, he takes his own life having fulfilled his ultimate life goal. A storyline like this will never be touched on Hollywood, which is a shame because this would translate into a phenomenal film, arguably better than The Dark Knight films. For real.
This Image comic kicks so much ass and is such a cool spin on super heroes. Anyone into comics or superheroes should give it a shot. It really seems like it would make a great comic book movie… For about a minute. When you reach the Invincible versus Conquest battle and you see how that plays out, it hits you that even if they tried to do this movie, it would need a hard R rating, and we all know Hollywood doesn’t make R rated comic book movies.
Also, it was written by Robert Kirkman of Walking Dead fame, so you know some stuff is just jaw dropping in its shock factor.
5. Wolverine: Old Man Logan
You would assume Marvel’s Ultimatum is the most extreme Marvel book you could read. You would be wrong. Keep in mind, both of these were written by the twisted genius Mark Millar (Kickass, Nemesis, Wanted) and the man has a way of writing very adult stories with some very adult twists. While there may be rumors that Old Man Logan may be working his way into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, do not expect it to be the same character introduced in the comics.
In that story, Hulk is like a God. He breeds with She-Hulk to make a whole clan of inbred Hulks who go on to run the land with assault and violence. Red Skull is president and has killed of all the Marvel superheroes, and it only gets sicker from there. The book is amazing and exactly what a comic for a grown up fan should be.
But on the big screen? Never.
Crossed is like all the sickest books and movies you ever read mashed up together into something even sicker. It’s a horror book through and through, but one that seems to revel in its own cruelty (which can actually be a lot of fun for the readers if they’re not super uptight).
Having stated that, one can easily and safely assume Crossed will never make it to the big screen due to the maturity of its content (and just how brutal and unflinching it all is), things far too graphic to even mention here. It relates the story of a pandemic that causes its victims to act out any evil thought they have, with the infected sporting a cross-shaped rash on their face.
Seriously, go read it.
3. The Complete Robert Crumb
If you don’t know the name Robert Crumb, than you don’t know much about American comics and their history. Robert Crumb has had his work adapted into film (watch Fritz the Cat and be prepared to be massively uncomfortable); the kicker is, the man is very sexual and perverse (to his own admission) and his work is a complete reflection of that.
Granted, there are many documentaries about the man, but his actual work being adapted into the big screen at this moment in time would never happen. It would be all naked, chubby women. Cool? Yes. Possible? No.
2. Punisher: Max
Yes, they have made Punisher movies. Three to be exact, if you count the one with the guy who beat up Rocky. All three of them were weak adaptations compared to the source material. The Punisher is a character who thrives on violence and making the “evil” suffer for their deeds. But the Punisher Max series is like the regular Punisher on a two week drug binge and no sleep.
It could be said that anything by Alan Moore could be on this list – literally, anything the man has ever written. Hollywood keeps trying to make his comics into movies and ends up ruining them in the process. But it’s very safe to assume Miracleman will never make it into the big-screen. Why?
Well, um, where do we even start? Mentioning the chess board made of human body parts seems fair ground. And in the realest of the real, that is pretty much the tamest thing we can mention about this series. If there is a boundary in comics, Miracleman not only pushes it, it breaks through it.