By Drew Parton
I would never have thought that I would see a show based on Iron Fist (regardless of how disappointing it was). Nowadays we all know our Tony Starks and our Spidermen, but Guardians of the Galaxy and Jessica Jones have demonstrated that some of the lesser-known comic heroes can have great adaptations. Comic books have such a wide variety of characters that are just begging to be transferred on-screen, and here are my top picks:
Marc Spector is a mercenary who is left for dead in Egypt, where he is resurrected by the Egyptian god Khonshu to be his avatar of vengeance. The character started out in the 1970’s as another weird, hokey Batman rip-off, and it wasn’t until the 2006 run of Moon Knight by Charlie Huston that he came into his own. The modern Moon Knight is essentially, “what if Batman were a sociopathic schizophrenic murderer?” and it could not be better. During the 2006 Moon Knight run, Moon Knight FUCKING CARVES OFF A PERSON’S FACE WITH A MOON-SHAPED KNIFE. The Punisher showed Frank Castle as a sort of foil to superhero vigilantes, and Moon Knight is that taken up to 11. With the inclusion of John Berenthal’s Punisher, Marvel has shown that it’s not afraid for things to get dark.
I’m aware that it’s been attempted before, to disastrous effect, but I’m still convinced that you can do a decent Green Lantern movie- especially after Guardians of the Galaxy, you just have to think outside of the superhero box. Many people have held the mantel of Green Lantern over the years, and it technically refers to an entire universe-wide peace-keeping corps. There are a million different problems with the Ryan Reynold’s Green Lantern movie, the first of which is Ryan Reynolds. With the exception of Smoking Aces and Buried, every single Ryan Reynolds character is the same. And while this is perfect for Deadpool, it just doesn’t belong with Hal Jordan. While not the first to bear the mantle in DC comics, Hal Jordan was the codifier for the Green Lantern mythos. He’s a classic hero, and selected to be a Green Lantern for his ability to overcome fear. He is NOT Van Wylder. But Green Lantern is so much more than just an earth superhero- you need to embrace the weird out-there space stuff. There’s a Green lantern that’s an entire planet named Mogo. There’s a Red Lantern that’s a cat who vomits up blood. There’s a lot of odd things in the Green Lantern mythos- but some amazing stories as well. The runs by Geoff Johns (e.g., Green Lantern: Rebirth, Sinestro Corps War) are some of my favorite comic stories. One of the most difficult challenges for a possible movie is establishing the tone. With Guardians of the Galaxy, the crazy space stuff felt fine with the comedic, tongue-in-cheek tone. But Green Lantern is not a comedy, and establishing a consistent tone with all the alien elements presents a major challenge.
Michael Jon Carter was a night guard at a space museum in the future when one day he decides to steal a bunch of that technology and go back in time and become a superhero called Booster Gold. Booster Gold started out as a bit of a joke—but during the events of the 52 run of comics, became an amazing character. He’s outwardly cocky, but has a desperate need to prove himself, and 52 gives him a chance to become true hero. The Booster Gold movie or series would have to feature his pseudo-partner, the Blue Beetle (the Ted Kord version). The interplay between the two is just so boyishly fun—almost like a superhero buddy-cop comedy.
Some times I write a whole article just about a pet topic- and this is it for this article. The best way I could describe Atomic Robo would be if Hellboy was written by Joss Whedon and more about science fiction. In 1923, Nikolai Tesla builds an artificially intelligent robot named Atomic Robo. In order to gain his citizenship, he enlists in WWII to fight Nazi monsters. In the 21st century, he founds Tesladyne Industries, an organization dedicated to studying and fighting the weirdest supernatural events with their team of “action scientists.” The comic is so charming and fun and possibly my favorite comic book. Since Robo’s life spans a century, there are all sorts of different tales to tell- everything from his time fighting Thomas Edison, to WWII, to all the modern day weirdness- and even the one time he got sent back in time to the old west.