Once upon a time, comic books were seen by many in society as purely for children, or for geeks. The brightly colored pages filled with stories of superheroes and impossible beings became the stuff of children’s dreams and fantasies. However, these comic books couldn’t stay in the bedrooms of children for long. With darker and edgier stories coming through, as well as the creation of the graphic novel, some comic book stories soon found themselves solely for adults, and now comics have a wide array of fans of every age, race, and gender.
When the movie industry started using comic books for inspiration, they started in the same family friendly way and produced movie after movie of mainstream superhero fun, with the likes of Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man. With the odd misfire of R-rated comic book adaptations, it wasn’t until the huge box office successes of Deadpool and, more recently, Logan, that movie studios started to think that adult comic book movies could make big money. Now, there’s a whole new market for these not-so-family-friendly comic book tales on the big screen. With that in mind, here are 15 comic books that we’d love to see as movies. But not just any movies, if these were to get made then they would need to get the R rating that the source material requires.
15. Y: The Last Man
The first entry on our list is a popular comic book that could really benefit from a big screen adaptation. In Y: The Last Man, everyone with a Y chromosome, i.e. men, have been wiped out leaving only one man in the whole world alive. Escape artist Yorick and his pet monkey Ampersand find themselves in a world falling apart and must help prevent mankind from becoming completely extinct.
Over the last decade or so there have been many attempts and rumors in which movie studios have tried to get Y: The Last Man into our movie theaters, but as of yet, nothing has come of it. The depth and storytelling that this comic book has gives it potential to be the next big franchise. Y: The Last Man wouldn’t benefit from just one stand alone movie, but a franchise could definitely unlock it’s potential. If movies of this comic book were to get made, then an R-rating would be needed if it was going to stick closely to the source material.
14. The Authority
Starting life out as an homage to DC’s famous superhero team, The Justice League, The Authority soon took on a life of its own to become equally, if not more, popular than its inspiration. Unlike your everyday run of the mill superheroes, The Authority’s powers are metaphysical like a psychic bond to cityscapes and a power that comes from the spirit of the 20th century. The range of stories is also ripe for movies as they tackle such subjects as the existence of God and Man’s place in the universe.
As well as being a different take on the superhero genre, The Authority is also famed for, not just having an openly gay hero, but an openly gay relationship. If the giants that are Marvel and DC start to over saturate the comic book movies then The Authority could be a game changer for the genre and may even save it. That is if the studios are bold enough to take the chance.
If we put aside Deadpool and Logan for a moment, which also aren’t strictly speaking part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, then the MCU has been very much family orientated. With the light-hearted Avengers movies at the center of their universe, Marvel have gone for the mainstream bucks and so far it’s worked better than anyone would have thought possible.
However, with recent movies such as Suicide Squad hitting our screens, Marvel may well want to dip into their gallery of bad guys for a similar villain led venture. There have been many members of the Thunderbolts over the years, both heroes and villains, so there is a wealth of characters that the MCU could call upon in order to make this movie truly great. The chances of making such a movie could be quite high, however, given the MCU’s track record for making lighter movies, we could see a Thunderbolts movie for kids. We truly hope not, as a movie like this would need the R-rating to keep in with its bloody and violent nature, not to mention the many foul-mouthed members!
12. Judge Dredd
Judge Dredd hasn’t had the best relationship with the movie business. Whether it’s the big budget Sly Stallone led adaptation or the recent “family friendly'” reboot, Judge Dredd has been a bit hit and miss on the big screen.
Set in a dystopian future in which Street Judges roam the streets in a martial law city, Judge Dredd is the central figure who has the power to arrest, convict, sentence and execute criminals as he sees fit. Coming on to the comic book scene back in the 1970s, Judge Dredd has a wealth of great stories to draw upon and could really flourish on the big screen if it’s given to the right people. There’s still a lot of talk out there about a sequel to the rebooted franchise. If that is the case then Judge Dredd needs to get the R-rating in order to really tell the story of this character and the world he inhabits.
11. Doom Patrol
The X-Men are big business both on the big screen, the small screen, and in the pages of the comic books that they came from. But just before the X-Men came on the scene, DC published Doom Patrol, a band of misfit heroes that all have “gifts.” Although not Mutants as such, they share a lot of similarities with The X-Men, except for a few differences, most notably the extremely messed up members of the Doom Patrol. Dubbed “The World’s Strangest Heroes,” Doom Patrol inhabit a strange, surreal world which could really change the predictable and stale comic book movies that we now seem to be getting.
Having screwed up members, with some of them having some serious multiple personalities, such as one who has the personality of a male transvestite, the true essence of Doom Patrol is very grown up and would need the R-rating in order to do any of it justice, or at least for any of the stories and characters to make sense.
Unlike previous entries like Judge Dredd, Blade has had a fairly decent outing on the big screen. Marvel’s half-human and half-vampire was made famous by Wesley Snipes and the movies still have a pretty big fanbase even now. However, since the MCU exploded on the big screen Marvel have been trying to integrate all of their characters. After successfully getting Spider-Man back into their books, Marvel may well try a Blade reboot.
The likelihood of this is quite high, the only question is whether Marvel go for a new Blade movie or if they follow the success of the likes of Daredevil and Jessica Jones and have a Netflix show. Whichever they decide to do, the next incarnation of Blade deserves the R-rating more than most. The Netflix idea may win, as it would give the show freedom to show the dark tones and stories of a character like Blade. Whether Mr. Snipes will be involved or not may still be up for debate.
9. Justice League Dark
A fairly new addition to the superhero team is Justice League Dark. With members that include John Constantine, Deadman, Zatanna, and Raven, The Justice League Dark were set up to deal with all the strange and magical problems that the normal Justice League couldn’t handle. With its darker and more adult tones, The Justice League Dark has become a hugely popular addition to the DC universe.
If the DC Extended Universe are looking to add new depth and a different spin on the superhero genre, then having a Justice League Dark movie would be a big plus. There is no doubt that it would need to get an R-rating to fully get to grips with the characters, but as recent DC movies have gone in the dark and more serious way, DC are more likely to green light an R-rating to movies than their rivals Marvel.
There have been a few attempts to get this movie off the ground, the closest has been when Guillermo Del Toro was attached to direct it. With him at the helm, Justice League Dark would certainly have its horror themes, but now that he’s moved on we just hope that someone can do it justice!
8. Moon Knight
Speaking of dark and mysterious characters living in the shadows, a hugely popular character that has yet to make his big screen debut is Moon Knight. In a similar vein to Batman, who many think Marvel blatantly ripped off DC’s most famous crime fighter, Moon Knight is a masked vigilante that stalks the streets in order to clean it up from the criminal scum.
Being even more unhinged than the likes of Batman and even Deadpool, Moon Knight’s psychological state is always questioned, especially as he is the avatar for the Egyption god Khonsu. Even when that’s not an issue, Moon Knight isn’t the most stable of people. But what he does have is a one-track mind when it comes to justice. With the huge success of Deadpool on the big screens, the anti-hero is hot property right now and Moon Knight could really benefit from this. The R-rating would be needed in order to truly tell the story of his broken psychological state of mind.
One of Spider-Man’s greatest and coolest foes has already made his presence on the big screen in one form or another, but surely it’s only a matter of time before a Venom led movie is on the horizon. Not content with being a bit part player in Spider-Man movies, Venom could flourish as a character, especially due to the success of villain led movie Suicide Squad and the success the anti-heroes are having at the moment, in particular, Deadpool and The Punisher.
The only drawback a Venom-led movie could have is that anything associated with Spider-Man gets a family rating in order to maximize his appeal and money making potential. However, if Marvel, or Sony, separated Venom from everyone’s favorite Web Slinger, the potential for a great R-Rated movie would be a welcome sight for fans of the character.
There is no question that a Lobo movie needs to get an R-rating. It’s just as important, if not more important, than Deadpool having one. “The Main Man” has been tearing it up in the comic books for some time now, and the rough gruff bounty hunter would be a laughable character if he was given anything lower than a R-Rating.
Over the last few years, there have been several attempts to get Lobo onto the big screen, and each time, it has fallen through. Sherlock Holmes director Guy Ritchie came close, but lucky for us he was called away for a Holmes sequel, as his vision of Lobo had the bounty hunter teaming up with a teenage girl and worse than that, this Lobo movie was only rated PG-13. We dodged a bullet with that one! Other versions have seen Dwayne Johnson being attached but that has yet to happen. Whatever the future holds for Lobo we just hope his character is given full attention and a R-rating.
Way back in 1997 fans were getting all excited at the thought of a Spawn movie, how silly and foolish we all feel now. Not only was the movie itself subpar but giving Spawn a PG-13 rating was just an insult to its fans. With such a family friendly rating, Spawn had to play down the violence and dark undertones in order to keep everyone happy. Since then, Spawn has been revisited many times with promises of a sequel, a reboot, and a revamp. None of these have yet to happen but since the success of Deadpool, Spawn is surely due another look at.
Being killed and spawning from hell, Spawn’s dark undertones and anti-hero persona can only work with an R-rating and therefore if any movie studios out there are looking to revisit this classic comic book character then they need to listen to the fans and truly give Spawn the movie, and rating, that it deserves!
The Dark Knight is obviously no stranger to the big screen and with each movie and reboot, Batman still pulls in the crowds and makes the big bucks. DC’s most famous vigilante hero is also known for it’s dark, gritty, and adult themed story arcs. Although most movies involving Batman get a higher rating than most superheroes, Batman would still benefit from an R-rated movie.
With a new solo Batman movie on the horizon and a wealth of stories in DC’s back catalogue, a Batman R-rated movie has so many options. The front runners for this would be the story arcs under The Red Hood and The Killing Joke. Each of these stories has some seriously dark and violent moments such as Jason Todd being beaten to death with a crowbar and Batgirl Barbara Gordon being left paralyzed. To truly explore Gotham’s underworld and to tell these popular stories, an R-rating for The Dark Knight is a must.
Since Hugh Jackman handed in his resignation and has supposedly played Wolverine for the last time, the fate of the X-Force movie has been a bit up in the air. We know it’s coming but just who the movie is going to focus on and what rating it will get are all still undecided.
It goes without saying that an X-Force movie would need to focus on Deadpool, Cable, and Wolverine. With the success of the Deadpool movie, The Merc With a Mouth has never been so popular and therefore his involvement is pretty much a certainty, as well as the R-rating, but without Jackman as Wolverine, it could be a bit different. Whichever characters are in the movie, X-Force needs to give its black ops mutant task force team a truly good and faithful outing and the only way to do that is to go all out with a R-rating. This is one up and coming adaptation that has us all excited and chomping at the bit for its release.
2. The Boys
And now for something completely different! Away from the mainstream Marvel and DC, as well as the few other comic books we’ve mentioned on this list, The Boys is a step in a completely different direction. If this is done right then it could completely change the comic book movie genre for the better.
The comic book sees a CIA task force, known as The Boys, their job is to keep track of vigilantes and superheroes and make sure they don’t step out of line. If they do then The Boys do what they do best. The pages of this comic book are filled with adult themes and violence, drugs, and sex fill it from cover to cover.
There have been a few rumors of a movie but nothing has come of it yet. If the studio wanted to do something different and purely for adults, then The Boys is the way to go and an R-rating is a must. After all, they make Deadpool look like a boy scout.
1. Deadpool Vs Wolverine
The number one entry on our list is something that fans have been dreaming of for years. Since it was first announced that Deadpool was to get his own movie, fans have been hoping to see a Wolverine and Deadpool team up on the big screen. On a similar path as the X-Force movie, since Jackman has hung up his claws for Wolverine, and also the X-Men franchise seemingly coming to an end with X-Men: Apocalypse, the character is up in the air a bit and the future of him, and many of the mutants, is uncertain. So trying to guess what is to come next in the X-men universe is difficult.
However, it’s inevitable that Wolverine will get a re-casting at some point, and when that happens, Deadpool vs. Wolverine is surely high on the list of movies to tackle. It also goes without saying that with Deadpool and Wolverine sharing some screen time that this movie needs to be R-rated!