While both Marvel and DC hold the power in the world of comic book adaptations, there are still some excellent worlds to explore beyond the big franchises.
Next month, ‘The Sandman’ releases on Netflix and, while it is a DC series, the comic stands on its own two feet. There are rarely any crossovers or mentions of other comics within the series, so don’t expect any guest appearances in the upcoming show.
With that in mind, we got to thinking about comic book shows which aren’t connected to Marvel or DC at all. It’s time to give a bit more love to these class comics-turned-tv shows.
Okay, it’s hardly a lesser-known title by any stretch of the imagine. But, the hit Prime Video show has become a staple series of the streamer since it was adapted back in 2019.
The original comics were written by written by Garth Ennis and co-created, designed, and illustrated by Darick Robertson. Spanning 72 issues, the comics debuted in 2006, gaining a cult following up until the final issue in 2012.
While the series is known for its crude and gruesome details, they’re arguably a tad lighter then the comics, which have some notoriously dark subplots not seen in the show. They are worth checking out if you’re a fan of the series, however. With ‘Gen V’ coming soon, the world is going to expand even more, so maybe now is a good time to grab an issue.
You can watch all three seasons of ‘The Boys’ on Prime Video.
Continuing on the wackiness of ‘The Boys’, step forward another wild ride straight from the comic pages. ‘Happy’ stars Chris Meloni as a substance-abusing ex-detective who, after a massive heart attack, makes friends with an imaginary unicorn voiced by Patton Oswalt. Together the two try to save Nick’s estranged daughter and save the world in the process.
The show is based off the 4-issue run of ‘Happy!’ from 2012, written by Grant Morrison and illustrated by Darick Robertson. Morrison also had a hand in the show and has written issues of Batman, Superman and X-Men comics.
The show isn’t for anyone, but if you’re a fan of oddball, absurdist black comedy, then this will be right up your street.
You can watch ‘Happy!’ season one and two on Netflix.
The newest show on this list is the highly-rated animated series ‘Invincible’. Premiering on Prime Video in 2021, the show follows teenager Mark Grayson and his transformation into a superhero under the guidance of his father, Omni-Man. Steven Yeun, Sandra Oh and JK Simmons make up a very strong voice cast, with Jon Hamm, Seth Rogan, Mark Hamill and Gillian Jacobs appearing amongst others.
The series is adapted from the 2003 comics of the same name which lasts a total of 144 issues. The comics were also written by ‘The Walking Dead’ creator Robert Kirkman.
The show itself received critical acclaim due to its strong voice cast, story and faithfulness to the comics – it’s a real must-watch in this list. Also, season two and three have recently been confirmed, so there’s a lot to look forward to.
Check out season one of ‘Invincible’ on Prime Video now.
‘Lock and Key’
Based on the comic book series by Joe Hill (son of Stephen King) and illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez, ‘Locke and Key’ debuted on Netflix in 2020. The plot follows the Locke family, who moves to their father’s childhood home in Massachusetts after he was murdered. Once moved in, the three children find mysterious keys around the house that unlock magical portals.
Hill’s series ran for a total of 37 original issues and became beloved by fans for its dark and mysterious plots. The series has seen a more mixed reaction but still has a lot of fans, praising its charm and faithfulness to the comics.
The upcoming third season of the series will be it’s last, but you can check out the first two on Netflix now.
Another Prime Video original, ‘The Tick’ is based on the comic book character created by Ben Edlund. The comedy series follows the blue-suited superhero known as The Tick, who, alongside his nervous sidekick Arthur, tries to take on the villains in his city’s underworld.
Starring Peter Serafinowicz as the Tick, the series ran for two seasons and despite being canceled by Prime, accumulated a big cult following. There was huge praise for the show’s humour, but unfortunately, small viewing numbers led to its demise.
The Tick has appeared in numerous medias since his creation. As well as the Prime series, there’s been two TV shows before it (One starring Patrick Warburton in 2001). The character has gained great fondness over the years and regularly appears in ‘best superheroes of all time’ lists.
You can watch seasons one and two of ‘The Tick’ on Prime Video.
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