Some shows would make good comic books (and some wouldn't)
The comic books Batman 66 and Wonder Woman 77 are a step in the right direction, I think. Basing comic books on the versions of the characters presented in other media simmply makes sense.
I've previously written about Batman 66, based on the 1966 Batman TV series, which includes similar tropes from the series, such as Batman and Robin scaling walls and talking to washed-up movie stars along the way. Those things are just priceless -- and nothing that would have been included in the comic strips of the Silver Age.
DC also has a Wonder Woman 77 comic book, based on the late-1970s TV series, which starred the voluptuous Lynda Carter. Both TV series had fans that were well beyond the actual comic books of the time, and the introduction of the comic books plays directly into that knowledge. By introducing these books, DC draws current fans of the comic books as well as TV fans who are nostalgic of those times.
But why stop there? There are plenty of other resources DC could draw upon for new comic books. Here are some examples:
The fate that befell Christopher Reeve was tragic, and I'm not just talking about Superman IV. I believe a Superman 78 comic book, based on Reeve, Kidder and Gene Hackman's portrayals of the characters in the first two Superman films could be a winner. And who doesn't want to see more from Terence Stamp as Zod?
Sure, before it came out, we made fun of having Michael Keaton's Mister Mom as Batman, but we shut up once the film actually came out. And who wouldn't want to see a comic book rendition of Jack Nicholson as The Joker?
The Dark Knight 08
Sure, I know it was preceded by Batman Begins with the same cast and direction, but this is the film that became iconic -- Christian Bale, Heath Ledger and Aaron Eckhart -- it's hard to put those images out of your mind. It's the film that could launch a thousand issues.
And I'm not leaving Marvel out of this, either. There are some fine candidates that Disney could include in their comic book lineup:
The Incredible Hulk 78
While Bill Bixby turning into Lou Ferigno wasn't quite the same as the transformations of the character in any of the movies, the Hulk TV show had one advantage over the movies: they were entertaining. The show also drew enough viewers to last three seasons. The movies couldn't seem to get beyond that six-week initial run at theaters.
Sony keeps pounding out Spider-Man movies, because if they don't, they'll lose their rights to the character and have to give it back to Disney. Of all the Spider-Men who have come along, the Tobey McGuire portayal is probably the most memorable -- and the most honest to the original Stan Lee concept. Besides, Marvel already does dozens of Spider-Man comics already. Why not this one, too?
Iron Man 08
Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark -- in a regular comic book? Heck, that's all I have to say.
I'm sure you could think of other examples yourself. We all have a favorite performance of a comic book character. But not all movie/TV renditions of comic book characters are going to translate well to their own comic books. Here are some examples:
Halle Berry is a former Academy Award winner, but, of course, so was Whoopi Goldberg. Her characterization of Catwoman is not going to carry off a comic book.
Howard the Duck 86
This movie was produced by the venerable George Lucas, but it was just wrong wrong wrong.
Jar Jar Binks 99
I have only 12 words to say about this: no no no no no no no no no no no no.
-- André Hinds ("Evermore") is the audio producer of the ElectricSistaHood podcast and writes weekly about comic books