Marvel and DC may have the lion’s share of prominent comic book adaptations, but there have been too many great TV series that were NOT from the two giants (at least not directly).
With Disney+ and DC Universe set to debut even more high-profile shows, we’re looking away from these to spotlight equally captivating non-Marvel and DC adaptations coming to all of our small screens.
The Most Intriguing Comic Book Adaptations Coming Near You
We initially started with a list of over ten but had to, tragically, trim it down to just over four including the honourable mentions we’ll touch on later. A note that these upcoming adaptations are in different stages of production with some looking very likely in 2021 while others still being in development.
We’re not entirely sure when or even where these shows will be on, but that doesn’t dampen our excitement any bit. Let’s get it started:
Y: The Last Man (FX)
As its name suggests, Y: The Last Man tells the story of Yorick who literally becomes the last biological male on the planet after a super virus wipes out every organism that has a Y chromosome.
The series, created by Brian K. Vaughan (who also created Hulu’s Runaways) and Pia Guerra, is both witty and poignant and touches upon several social themes that are very much relevant today. Ben Schnetzer (Pride, Warcraft) will play Yorick, the titular character while Diane Lane, Imogen Poots, and Lashana Lynch all co-star.
Y completed its pilot and has been ordered a series in 2019 although several changes among the showrunners and a few years in development hell are concerning. Still, the weight of the source material and a bevy of powerful actors would make this one to watch.
Invincible (Prime Video)
Picture the best things about Spider-Man and Superman and mix in a little bit of Star Trek and you have Invincible. This hit comic from 2003, created The Walking Dead’s Robert Kirkman, juxtaposed the offbeat high school life with world-shattering superhero battles.
Like The Walking Dead, Invincible made you fall in love with its loveable and eccentric cast only to rip your heart out as they were one by one killed or violently altered by a tragedy. There will be many Game of Thrones-esque moments so ready your heartstrings!
This series will be an adult animation set to premier on Amazon Prime Video some time in 2021. It already boasts an all-star voice cast like J.K. Simmons, Sandra Oh, Mark Hamill, Seth Rogen, and The Walking Dead’s Steven Yeun as our leading superhero.
Judge Dredd: Mega-City One (TBA)
Last we heard from this project, it was going through development hell befitting the mega-sized dysfunction of Judge Dredd’s Mega-City One. If you’re unfamiliar with Dredd, think of the cult classic from 2012 starring Karl Urban.
Speaking of Urban, he confirmed he was very much interested in reprising his role as Dredd. So far, the script for Mega-City One is complete but the pandemic has put production at a standstill. No networks have been attached to the show although developers have hinted they have been in talks with various people.
It’s interesting just thinking about how this adaptation will look. The 80s style dystopian sci-fi setting has been going out of fashion and the extreme violence can be dismissed as gratuitous. But so long as they honour the source material’s themes, we’re in for guilty pleasure.
Neil Gaiman’s masterpiece tells the story of Morpheus or Dream, one of the seven Endless. On the surface they appear like a kooky family, but they are anthropomorphic representations of key concepts that persist in life.
Sandman is a story about stories and blends various genres of fiction from supernatural horror to high fantasy to black comedy. It has won several awards including a whopping 26 Eisner Awards and a World Fantasy Award on top of being one of the few graphic novels to make the New York Times Best Seller List. In short, it’s a big freakin’ deal.
After being trapped in limbo for seemingly forever, we finally get a chance to witness a version of it through Netflix. Filming just started this October so expect it around 2021, pandemic-restricting delays notwithstanding (fingers crossed!)
More Upcoming Comic Book Adaptations That Aren’t Marvel or DC
There are even more upcoming comic book adaptations beyond the four we just mentioned.
- Top Cow’s Port of Earth could be the next big sci-fi hit depending on how its adapted and what the budget will be.
- Image Comics’ Crosswind is a classic mob story with a Freaky Friday twist. It’s been optioned for eOne.
- And Kill Shakespeare is an interesting crossover from IDW Publishing although there have been no updates for quite a while now.
Comic book geeks have it made today. Many of these shows are so good they may even be nominated for various awards, which we can all even bet on using mobile phones that feature the best apps – the same phones we use to stream these shows whenever and wherever. More are in the works.
And pandemic be damned, we’ll go to bed happy if even just a handful of these are as good as they sound.