Since the dawn of television, network executives have been in desperate need of new content to fill their broadcast schedules. Comic books have certainly helped in this regard, providing inspiration for several popular TV shows over the past 60 years.
From the classic Adventures of Superman series in the 1950s, through to Marvel Studios’ recent Netflix output, numerous superhero properties have been translated to the small screen. Even comics not centered around costumed adventurers have served as the basis for TV shows, including horror phenomenon The Walking Dead.
That’s just the live-action side of things – when animated outings are taken into account, the number of comic book-based TV programmes skyrockets. Not only have these shows proven a hit with audiences over the years, but many are also held in high regard by critics, with shows like Batman: The Animated Series considered a high watermark for the medium.
Not every comic book TV show gets the green-light from networks. Indeed, a surprising number of comics-inspired series were abandoned very late in the day – often after substantial pre-production work had been undertaken or a full-blown pilot produced!
With this in mind, here are 20 Comic Book TV Shows That Almost Happened.
Trying to make sense of the licensing and distribution rights surrounding Marvel Comics’ stable of characters can quickly become confusing. This is because – prior to the establishment of Marvel Studios – the publisher sold off the film rights to its most popular characters.
Once Marvel was in a position to produce and release movies on its own, reacquiring these rights became a problem – with rights-holders unwilling to relinquish what were now highly lucrative properties.
Fortunately for Marvel Cinematic Universe fans, many of these character rights have since reverted to the studio, allowing for additional heroes and villains to be integrated into its ever-expanding franchise.
Even icons like Spider-Man and the X-Men are now back in the fold, thanks to a licensing deal between Marvel and Sony, and Disney’s upcoming acquisition of Fox, respectively.
Nevertheless, Marvel stilldoesn’t have exclusive rights to feature all the characters it publishes in the MCU. Looking wider afield, there are also other comic book properties it does or did publish that it doesn’t have permission to adapt for the big screen – foregoing millions at the box office as a result!
For clarity’s sake, here are 15 Superheroes And Villains Marvel Still Can’t Use In The MCU.
With the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Studios did the unthinkable: it recreated the shared continuity of superhero comics on the big screen. Just like in the source material upon which it’s based, the MCU feels like a cohesive reality, complete with a rich history.
Unfortunately, the MCU also has something else in common with the comics: namely, the timeline is a bit of a mess. It’s easy to see how this has happened – thanks to the growing number of films and TV shows in the franchise, it’s virtually impossible to make these competing stories fit together neatly.
Of course, for most viewers, this isn’t much of an issue – all they’re interested in is watching an entertaining story. This stance is shared by the studio itself, which – as illustrated by the Phase Three slate of movies – is clearly interested in storytelling first, and accurate time-keeping second.
While this is the right approach to take, part of the MCU’s appeal is its interconnected nature. When the overall sequence of events in the franchise doesn’t add-up, it’s a bit disappointing.
With this in mind, here are 15 Things That Make No Sense About The MCU’s Timeline.
DC and Marvel, the “Big Two” of comic book publishing, are bitter rivals – or are they? Certainly, that’s what their respective fan bases would have you believe. Take a closer look at the behavior of both publishers, and it becomes clear that the competition between them is more friendly than acrimonious.
Need proof? Look no further than the sheer number of Marvel-related Easter eggs hidden in DC stories over the years. Hardly the actions of writers and artists with an axe to grind!
This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Not only did virtually every writer and artist at DC grow up reading comics by Marvel, most have since gone on to work for both publishers. As such, they tend to have as much affection for the Marvel Universe as they do for DC, and express this through subtle references sneakily woven into their stories.
It’s not just comics creators doing it, either. The creative team behind the “Arrowverse” – DC’s shared universe of TV shows – has been getting in on the act too, with shout-outs to Marvel cropping up in several recent episodes.
With this in mind, here are 20 Marvel Easter Eggs Hidden In DC Stories.
Unlike in the real world, in comics, death is rarely the end. Over the course of nearly a century of superheroics, almost every crimefighter who ever slapped on a mask or pulled on a cape has died (or appeared to die) – only to return from the grave further down the line.
Indeed, we’re at the point now where the very concept of death has lost virtually all meaning within the confines of the genre. After all, why bother getting upset over the death of your favorite do-gooder, when they’re almost certain to be back on their feet again in a year’s time?
And so it is that we find ourselves in the unusual scenario where it’s only when a superhero bites the bullet and doesn’t recover that we consider it remarkable. It’s easy to forget that this does happen from time to time. Sadly, it turns out not every hero gets a do-over. Conversely, there are some heroes that have undertaken the death/rebirth cycle so often that even their allies barely bother organizing a funeral!
With this in mind, here is a round-up of 12 Superheroes Who Died And Stayed Dead (And 8 Who Won’t Stop Coming Back).
Comic books have a proud tradition of inventing incredible substances that possess unique properties real-world manufacturers can only dream about. Of these, one of the most amazing is vibranium, one of the rarest and most precious metals found in the Marvel Universe.
Used in the fabrication of such iconic items as Captain America’s shield and Black Panther’s suit of mesh armor, vibranium is quite literally an out of this world material. Crashing to Earth as a meteorite millennia ago, this extraterrestrial metal comes in several varieties, each with its own remarkable attributes.
Of these, the most well-known (and highly coveted) is that found in the African nation Wakanda, the home of Black Panther and his people. Other types include Antarctic vibranium (also known as “Anti-Metal”) and artificial vibranium – man-made substitutes like NuForm and Reverbium, both of which are far less stable than the real deal.
With Black Panther pouncing into cinemas – and vibranium playing a key part in proceedings – we thought now was as good a time as ever to pull together a handy primer on the properties of this fantastic metal.
To that end, here are 15 Things You Didn’t Know Vibranium Could Do.
Given the seemingly endless stream of comic book movies released in recent years, it’s hard to imagine that any film projects like these ever get canceled. Yet plenty are, with spinoffs the most commonly scrapped.
There are several reasons why these cinematic offshoots wind up on the chopping block so often. The most common motivation for a studio axing a spin-off is that the film which spawned it has underperformed financially.
Then there is the disappointing scenario where a character who was expected to be a break-out hit with audiences fails to impress, with their ability to carry their own solo outing appearing a lot less feasible.
And finally, there are those instances where the overall plans for a superhero film franchise change. Suddenly, a spinoff that once made perfect sense fails to align with the broader slate of scheduled films, and is either re-worked into another movie, or dropped entirely.
Whatever the reason, this means that we sometimes miss out on some potentially amazing superhero side projects – even as we dodge a few that look pretty awful! With this in mind, here are 8 Canceled Comic Book Spinoffs That Would’ve Been Bad (And 7 That Would’ve Been Great).