Crossover content in pop culture is everywhere these days. Just recently we’ve heard that side characters from the MCU are getting their own TV shows, there’s a Minecraft movie is in cinemas in May, and Assassin’s Creed is getting its own board game. Essentially, the lines between games, film, TV, literature, and comics are blurring. Still, there’s an argument to be made that no crossover or evolution has had more success than comic-to-film.
It’s not just the main Marvel and DC superheroes that have had success in this space. Action dramas 300 and V For Vendetta sprouted out of comics, as did Watchmen, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Sin City, Kick-Ass and countless others. It all adds up to an incredibly impressive film category that can see a strong comic-book or graphic novel spawn a cinematic franchise worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
While comic-book writers and artists are constantly seeking new paths to success, in some cases those paths might most effectively come from old or established characters. Put a known set of characters into a new, well-developed comic or graphic novel series, and they could become the next batch of big-screen superheroes (or at least regular heroes).
With this in mind, these are the four comic ideas that could produce the next set of superheroes.
There’s been a strange comic history intertwined with the lineup of memorable Street Fighter games, which is not surprising as the franchise dates back decades at this point. However, we’d argue there hasn’t been a truly modern Street Fighter comic as the latest Street Fighter gaming titles have, for lack of a better term, beefed up the characters, making them bigger, more powerful, and more sensational – basically, more like superheroes. What these games have always missed is anything above a bare-bones narrative and a fresh comic series taking advantage of superhero-esque modern fighters and bolstered by a good story could lead to even bigger and better things for this successful franchise.
This would obviously be geared toward a younger audience. But within that caveat, Brian Jacques’ Redwall books are among the most overlooked and underappreciated fantasy tales of the last several decades. Essentially comprising a medieval adventure played out by rodents and wild animals, the books spin a captivating tale full of exceptional characters that, in their own ways, are every bit as “super” as any others. Redwall is fading into history a little bit, but it could be brought back, simplified, and sensationalized all in one go by a skilled graphic novelist with the proper permissions. From there, a sort of lighthearted, animated film in the style of a superhero drama would be perfectly reasonable.
Gods Of Olympus
These characters (with no disrespect to the ancient cultures that regarded them as deities) might be the most natural fit for this conversation. They’re fairly prominent of late, actually. Two new console games (God Of War and Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey) played up the ancient gods for massive console audiences. There are also two “Age Of The Gods” titles featured among the newest online slot games to gain popularity. As fun as these ready-made heroic characters are to toss into video games though, we rarely think of them in the context of stories, other than a few ancient myths we all learn as children. The idea of a brand new Olympian comic series could yield an entire franchise of entertainment.
Grand Theft Auto
This gaming franchise only seems to get more popular, and it actually isn’t at first glance a natural fit for a superhero jumpstart. However, when you think about the protagonists in these games – committing crimes, winning gunfights, and generally running around whole cities full of trouble – it’s not a stretch to imagine them as something greater than ordinary humans. Some would counter that part of the fun of these games is your own mortality and vulnerability, but in a story, rather than a game, success would need to be explained. We could imagine a comic or graphic novel reimagining Grand Theft Auto as a sort of dystopian urban tale with dark and brooding protagonists who are unnaturally skilled with weaponry and somehow invulnerable. From there, it’s not much of a leap to turn him into a big screen superhero.
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