10 Comic Books That Would Make Excellent TV Shows

10 Comic Books That Would Make Excellent TV Shows

It's official: TV and streaming networks love comics. iZombie, Daredevil, Flash, Gotham... But the networks are just scratching the surface of what's out there. Here are 10 comics that are crying out to become television shows right now.

The comics on this list have a few things in common: They're science fiction or fantasy oriented. They aren't already carrying big movie series, or in development for TV. And they have "realistic" enough characters and settings that you wouldn't need to spend an insane amount on VFX in every scene.

Also, we're only leaving out Global Frequency and Locke and Key because they were already turned into TV shows — which should have been aired, dammit. Also, DMZ and Powers are already in the TV pipeline.

10. She-Hulk

This is one property that could require too much VFX — but considering that they were seriously trying to make an Incredible Hulk TV show a while back, it doesn't seem crazy to think they could give Bruce's cousin a shot. And we would kill for a show loosely based on Dan Slott's early run on the character. Jennifer Walters is another gamma-enhanced badass... but she's also an attorney, who defends supervillains and assorted others. It could be L.A. Law with superpowers.

10 Comic Books That Would Make Excellent TV Shows

9. Morning Glories

This comic about supersmart kids at a prep school that hides sinister secrets — including occult and supernatural weirdness — is pretty much crying out to be a TV show. It was even pitched as being similar to Lost. And honestly, our only misgiving might be the fact that it could be a smidge similar to Tower Prep, the "evil boarding school" show that we loved and lost a few years ago.

10 Comic Books That Would Make Excellent TV Shows

8. Black Hole

This is one of a couple of comics on this list that's in development as a movie — but we really, really want this to be a TV show instead. It wouldn't be as low-budget in terms of VFX as some of the other stuff on this list, but we could see Showtime or HBO acing a Black Hole series. In Black Hole, a weird virus infects kids in the northwest and causes weird mutations, including one kid who grows a second mouth that always speaks the truth.

10 Comic Books That Would Make Excellent TV Shows

7. The Unwritten

Vertigo's Fables comic is apparently going to be a movie — but this comic book about a man whose father used him as the basis for a boy wizard in his novels is absolutely perfect for television. Tom Taylor struggles with fame and celebrity, and all the weird ways people project their own longing onto a fantasy character — and are disappointed when they meet the real-life inspiration. But also, the fantasies from Tom's father's novels begin to bleed into real life, making Tom wonder if he isn't actually more connected than he realised.

10 Comic Books That Would Make Excellent TV Shows

6. Kurt Busiek's Astro City

Here's another one which could be more big budget, depending on which arcs you chose — but a lot of the best arcs of Astro City focus on an ordinary person, living his or her life, with superheroes as the backdrop. Or superheroes who have to cope with everyday life in the big city, in between fighting giant robots or monsters. Much like Busiek's Marvels, this series often provided a unique solution to the challenge of portraying superheroes in a down-to-earth fashion. Which could translate really well to television.

10 Comic Books That Would Make Excellent TV Shows

5. The Punisher

There have been three movies about Marvel's skull-chested vigilante, who goes around blowing away mobsters and occasionally punching bears and stuff. But the Punisher is way better suited for television. Question is, does his appearance in Daredevil fully count? If he went solo, the Punisher's world is similar to that of Green Arrow — there's an outfit of sorts, but no superpowers, and he mostly faces people who are normal except for some superscience in the mix. He could be the vicious anti-hero we've been waiting for.

10 Comic Books That Would Make Excellent TV Shows

4. Y: The Last Man

This is the other project that is supposedly going to be a movie at some point — but would be way, way better off as a television show. In Y: The Last Man, a mysterious disaster wipes out all the men except for Yorick and his pet monkey, Ampersand. So it's kind of a post-apocalyptic world and kind of a fascinating political study as women rebuild the world without any men in it. The stories in the comic deserve the breathing room a TV show would give, and you could explore the world without men for 100 episodes without running out of places to go.

10 Comic Books That Would Make Excellent TV Shows

3. Preacher

This would probably also have to be on Showtime or HBO — but this comic about a preacher who gains the power to control people with his voice and teams up with an Irish vampire and his ex-girlfriend to find God is destined to become a great TV show. There is destiny at work, and we are not going to let the television industry stand in its way. Seriously, this profane, bizarre series would be the most entertaining TV show ever. Update: Forgot this was already becoming a TV show. Sorry!

10 Comic Books That Would Make Excellent TV Shows

2. Secret Six

In Secret Six, some of the DC Universe's biggest villains team up to pull off heists and deal with their issues. Depending on which lineup of the team you included on television, this could require some VFX — but most of the members are at least human-looking. And a lot of this show is at the level of Arrow in terms of the action and special effects requirements. These characters are badasses, but they don't fight gods in space — they steal things on Earth. And their complicated, intense emotional lives would be amazing on television. In the right hands, this could be the best show ever.

10 Comic Books That Would Make Excellent TV Shows

1. Ex Machina

It's not even hard to pick the most fitting comic to become a big TV series — also created by Brian K. Vaughan, who gave us Y: The Last Man (and Saga.) This tale of a former superhero who becomes mayor of New York is the prefect blend of West Wing-style politics and superpowered soul-searching. Make this series happen now, please.

Thanks to Rob, Meredith and Ed for the input!


    Netflix are doing a Punisher series.

      You are correct. Got announced a while ago now.

    Transmetropolitan. Transmetropolitan NEEDS to happen

      Great reading for any election year anywhere.

    I've sung the praises of Supergirl on here before, and it barely escaped the cancellation axe. If you want any of what's floated above, it's best you give what's currently on the telly all the eyeballs you can.

    Agents of Shield and Agent Carter are glorified trailers for Marvel's larger productions so they serve other purposes, really. Jessica Jones and Daredevil's flimsy attempts at world-building thankfully fell away and concentrated on the central characters, to the benefit of both.

    Umm doesnt Preacher air in like a month or two? There is already trailers out there for it.

    Punisher recently got confirmed as Marvels sixth official Netflix show (dd, jj, luke cage, iron fist ans defenders first).

    Preacher airs 22nd May. Y is possibly being made into a series and Transmetropolitan is being shopped around too.

    So this appears to be a reprint of a 2014 article, with minor changes to note that Punisher appeared in Daredevil season 2, but not to note that a solo series has been ordered:


    No wonder it seemed a bit dated.

    Y The Last Man is also being adapted for TV, with involvement of Brian K Vaughan.


      There is a movie in the early stages of development, but who knows if it will actually go into production. The last I heard about it was Joseph Gordon-Levitt announcing that he was no longer involved in it:


    Lucifer SHOULD have made an excellent TV show. Unfortunately, it's a disgrace.

      Actually it's quite good? I never read the standalone series but I did read Sandman from which he sprung, so let's be fair - I have no idea how faithful it is to the original comic - Somehow I do doubt it was a police procedural, that doesn't seem like a Gaiman thing. So that makes it a bad adaptation - But as for a show, the pacing is good, the humour is good, the story is good. So it does make an excellent TV show.

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