PoP! Top 6-Pack: More Licensed Comics That Need To Happen

The PoP! Stars narrow it down to the cream of the crop in categories ranging from (but not limited to) Comics, Movies, Toys and Geek Culture in general. This is the PoP! Top 6-Pack.

A while back, I made a list of six properties that I believed would translate well into excellent comic books. More recently, I even dedicated a whole article to the awesomeness that would be Harry Potter comics. Today I’m going back to the well, and focusing on six more properties that I feel would be well-served in making the jump to comics. Once again, I’m only looking at things that, to the best of my knowledge, have never been published in the comic medium. Further more, I don’t want straight-up adaptations of these works. Be it prequels, sequels or whatever else, I’m looking for all new content here. For fun I’ve also included creative teams I feel would be good fits with the material, regardless of whatever exclusive contracts they might already be under. So let’s jump right in.

Unbreakable

Written by Brian Michael Bendis, art by Alex Maleev

In my mind, Unbreakable is not only M. Night Shyamalan’s best film, but one of the best comic book movies ever made. The fact that it’s an original story and not actually based on a comic is a mere technicality. Disappointing box-office numbers and the passage of time means we’ll probably never get the long-rumored sequel, even though the film’s found a nice audience in home media. The story tells of how regular guy David Dunn slowly discovers he apparently possesses various super powers and his interactions with eccentric comic enthusiast Elijah Price, aka “Mr. Glass”. It grounded itself in reality and made it seem like all of this could really be happening. So why not bring the sequel to the medium that inspired it? If he so wished, Shyamalan himself would be welcome to write all or part of it, but if he can’t, then I suggest the team of Bendis & Maleev, whose work together on titles like Daredevil and Moon Knight did a great job of marrying superheroics with reality.

Spy Kids

Written by Jeff Parker, art by Ig Guara

What is it about the works of filmmaker Robert Rodriguez that makes me want to see them as comics? On the opposite end of the spectrum of From Dusk Till Dawn is Spy Kids, his family-friendly adventure series. Here Rodriguez created a colorful world of fun gadgets and spy action, with some not-overtly-subtle pro-family messages added for good measure. Whether it’s telling more tales of original Spy Kids Carmen and Juni Cortez, fleshing out the back-story of their parents, or focusing on newcomers Rebecca and Cecil Wilson, it seems like the perfect subject for comic expansion. Jeff Parker and Ig Guara worked together to produce some great Marvel Adventures The Avengers comics that appealed to readers of all ages, so they’d make a great team here.

Aqua Teen Hunger Force

Written by Matt Maiellaro and Dave Willis, art by Ty Templeton

Who could’ve guessed that the misadventures of some anthropomorphic food and their next-door neighbor would be so popular? Spinning out of their first appearance on Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Aqua Teen Hunger Force debuted it’s own show back in December of 2000, before Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim even officially began. Not only is it still on the air, but it’s spawned tons of merchandise, video games, albums and even a feature film. Comics seem like the next logical step for the Aqua Teens, though logic has never played much of a part in their madcap escapades and mayhem. Who better to bring the likes of Master Shake, Frylock, Meatwad, Carl Brutananadilewski, and all the recurring characters to the printed page than creators Maiellaro and Willis? Add in Ty Templeton’s clean, animated art style and you’ve got a winner.

The Vega Brothers

Written by Quentin Tarantino and Ed Brubaker, art by Sean Phillips

Those not too terribly familiar with the works of Quentin Tarantino might not know that two of his characters from separate films are related: Vic Vega/Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen from Reservoir Dogs) and Vincent Vega (John Travolta from Pulp Fiction) are brothers. Tarantino has long wanted to make a film based around them together, though obviously it would be a prequel given their fates in those films. Add in the passage of time and the fact that actors have a nasty habit of aging has made it pretty much impossible without recasting. So I propose Quentin shift mediums and tell the story as a comic. It was just recently announced that DC would be releasing a miniseries based on the original script of his upcoming Django Unchained, so more comics aren’t outside the realm of possibility. If Quentin himself is too busy to do more than an outline, I nominate Ed Brubaker to do the job, paired with frequent collaborator Sean Phillips. They’ve produced some fantastic works like Sleeper, Criminal, Incognito and Fatale together, and their style would be a perfect fit.

Tenacious D

Written by Jack Black & Kyle Gass, art by Rebekah Isaacs

There’s no disputing that Tenacious D is the greatest band of all time. That much is clear. From music to television to film, The D has rocked every medium they’ve undertaken. Jack Black & Kyle Gass transcend mere music, their shared chemistry bursting from the seams. Comics would be lucky to be the next conquest of the duo. Tales of their musical adventures in funny-book form would fly off the shelves. It’s more puzzling that it hasn’t happened already. Obviously the D themselves would have to chronicle their exploits. With the talented Rebekah Isaacs on art duties, the book would be off the charts in terms of awesomeness.

Batman

Written by Keith Giffen & J. M. DeMatteis, art by Kevin Maguire

Okay, so I’m not only breaking but completely demolishing my own “never been published in the comic medium” rule, but it’s my list so deal with it. What I’m proposing here is a series set in the world of the 1960s Batman TV series/film. Complete with corny dialogue, cartoonish visuals, campy villains, the works. The levels of pure fun would be astronomical. It would be a great counterpart to the usual uber-serious Batman on stands today. As for the creative team, why mess with a proven formula? The trio of Giffen, DeMatteis and Maguire are fan favorites for their work with the “bwa-ha-ha” era of the Justice League, and that same tone would fit perfectly here.

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Who ARE these people!?

As one of the co-founders of Panels on Pages, Robert Eddleman will happily read any comic that catches his interest, regardless of publisher. Aside from comics and PoP!, his other passions include worshipping Joss Whedon, getting lost in TV Tropes, and watching muscled men hit each other with folding chairs.

Comments (5)

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  1. Jason Knize says:

    I love the idea of using comics as a way to get the sequels made that never happened…much like the Buffy Season 9 comics. Put Unbreakable and Vega Brothers (also, Tenacious D) on my pull list.

  2. Ben Akers says:

    The Fifth Element sequel that Luc Besson had planned at one point.

  3. Ben Gilbert says:

    Great list!

    I’d also love to see a Deadwood Season 4 comic written by Brian Azzarello with art by John Cassady. That would be just about perfect.

  4. Jeremiah Vetter says:

    I’ve always wondered why Unbreakable was never made into a comic series. Or at least, why a sequel was never made. Also, Weird Al needs to be doing something in comics. A UHF comic series, parodying modern heroes and such.

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