Comic Book Story Arcs That Should Be Movies Vol. 2

I started this list yesterday (click here to read yesterday’s post), now I am continuing it with a few more. So, with no more preamble, here we go!

Winter Soldier by, Ed Brubaker, Steve Epting, Michael Lark and Michael Perkins (Captain America #1-6, 8-9, 11-14)

Frankly, I can’t see how this isn’t the next Captain America story line. Bucky survived his fall (in the comics he died in the rocket explosion that sent Cap into his frozen state, in the movie he fell off the train) and was rescued by the Russians, who have trained him to be a ruthless assassin and kept him in cryogenic status in between mission. The story weaves in the Red Skull, the Winter Soldier’s handlers who are trying to steal the Cosmic Cube for their own power and an out of time Cap who is struggling with his own demons. Maybe you will have to tweak a thing here or there (I think Russians would be awesome, make Bucky be like a misplaced warhead now that the Soviet Union is no more) but having Cap face his past by bringing Bucky back would give a talented director a lot of things to play with.

Born Again by, Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli (Daredevil #227-233)

Yes, that Frank Miller, he of Sin City, 300, The Dark Knight Returns fame (among others). Frank Miller actually first gained note doing Daredevil (reviving the character who was all but dead at Marvel) in the late 70’s and early 80’s. He left Daredevil and went on to create one of the seminal Graphic Novels of all-time, The Dark Knight Returns, which, along with Watchmen, changed comics forever. That is what made Frank Miller famous to the world at large, but his best work in comics came right on the heels of The Dark Knight Returns, the Born Again story arc for Daredevil. Karen Page, Matt Murdock’s former secretary and love of his life who left Matt to pursue an acting career in California, is now a porn sat and drug addict. Gripped by addiction and desperate for drugs, Karen sells Matt’s secret identity, Daredevil. The information eventually gets to Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin of Crime, who proceeds to systematically destroy Matt’s life (assets frozen, disbarred, that kind of thing) and then blows up Matt’s brownstone, killing Daredevil. Or so he believes until he realizes there is no body. And that is just the beginning of the story. Daredevil, unlike some other superheroes, is dark and in many ways inherently pessimistic (very rare for the genre) – a studio would need to know that and accept it going in and make the Daredevil movie as it should be made.

Seasons of Mists by, Neil Gaiman, Kelly Jones, Mike Dringenberg, Malcolm Jones III, Matt Wagner, Dick Giordamo, George Pratt and P. Craig Russell (Sandman #21-28)

Depending on who you are you either are upset that I didn’t do a “yes, that Neil Gaiman” or you are asking “who’s Neil Gaiman?” Neil Gaiman is a writer. He has written novels and screenplays and short stories and he is probably most famous for creating The Sandman comic, which follows the adventures of Dream who rules over the realm of dreams. The first Sandman story arc is great and sets the world up well, but this is when the book real got humming. Dream is shamed into attempting to rescue his former love, who, in a fit of rage, he had banished to Hell thousands of years ago. Dream gears up for battle with Lucifer, who he believes to be mad at him anyway, and heads to Hell. To Dreams surprise Lucifer has closed Hell and ends up giving the keys to Hell to Dream. What follows is classic triply Neil Gaiman, where we see deities and mythologies mix and mash as we explore what a universe without Hell would be like (even better than his exploration of a world without dreams in the earlier stories). I have often thought that Sandman is too big and weird a thing for film and might be better suited to being an HBO series, but man, what an HBO series that would be.

Age of Apocalypse by, Scott Lodbell, Mark Waid, Fabian Nicieza, Andy Kubert, Joe Madureira, Steve Epting, Roger Cruz and a whole bunch of other writers and artists (X-Men: Alpha #1, Amazing X-Men #1-4, Astonishing X-Men #1-4, X-Men: Omega #1 and a lot of other tie ins)

Charles Xavier and his son Legion travel back in time to kill Magneto, believing that is the only way they will ever be able to achieve peace between mutants and humans (kind of the “if you could go back in time and kill Hitler, would you?” idea). The problem is they go back to a time when Eric and Charles are still friends, so, for his friend, a young Charles Xavier gives his life to save Eric (aka Magneto). Legion immediately disappears. Eric, being so moved by his friend’s sacrifice, takes on Charles’ cause for peace between mutants and humans. And Apocalypse, an immortal mutant who has been watching events unfold waiting for his time to strike and take over the world, sees the death of Charles Xavier as that right moment. Despite the X-Men’s resistance (being led by Magneto) Apocalypse succeeds in conquering all of North America and sets mutants up as the ruling class. I would never have thought this could work as a movie, but last year they pulled off a X-Men period movie, so why not an X-Men alternate universe? I doubt you could do it all in one movie, but you could make one heck of a trilogy.

The Authority by, Warren Ellis, Bryan Hitch and Paul Neary (Authority #1-12)

This may be the one I would like the most, even though I am pretty sure it will never happen. The Authority were a black ops team of Stormwatch (a Justice League like superhero group). When Stormwatch disbands The Authority finally feel free to do their superheroing the way they want to do it, by any means necessary. The Authority is action packed, violent, no holds barred superhero stuff, like nothing you have seen before. The comic became weirdly political after the original creators left to do other things, but the first few stories are awesome. This movie will never be made because just to few people have heard of it (although, this would also make a great series, maybe on STARZ where you could pair it with Spartacus), but a man can dream, can’t he?

There were other story arcs that would be great, like Crisis on Infinite Earths (the whole DC Universe), E is for Extinction (X-Men), The Judas Contract (Teen Titans) and maybe the one I will most regret not writing more about – American Gothic (Swamp Thing), but I had to stop somewhere. For the record, I think Sinestro Corps War and Winter Soldier will each probably be made (yes, I am assuming they will make another Green Lantern) and The Surtur Saga or Born Again wouldn’t shock me if they got made. As for the others, well they would shock me, but pleasantly so (as long as they were done right).

But hey, that’s just my opinion, and what do I know, I’m fat.