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.
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).
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).
Over the course of nine years, 22 films (including shorts) and 10 TV shows, Marvel Studios has wowed fans by creating a shared cinematic universe to rival its comics counterpart. The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is – much like its source material – built around telling interconnected, ongoing stories that branch across several franchise installments. Sure, some MCU entries fit into this bigger picture better than others, but broadly speaking, all of Marvel’s properties are tied together, and regularly introduce (or further develop) narrative threads designed to pay-off further down the line.
To its credit, Marvel has done a pretty good job of making everything fit together, considering how many different sub-franchises are in production at any given moment. Even so, cracks in this supposedly unified front have started to show as the MCU has expanded – heck, not even the in-universe timeline makes sense anymore!
That’s not the only thing that’s gone awry, either. While Marvel has done a great job of keeping its major, predominantly Avengers–related narrative elements bubbling along nicely, the studio has also ditched several others along the way. The reasons for this vary – maybe the filmmakers involved convinced the studio to go in a different direction, or perhaps the actors required were no longer available.
Regardless, here are 15 MCU Plotlines That Were Completely Abandoned.