If you have noticed, comics have provided TV with a lot of material as of late. Preacher, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Supergirl, Flash, The Inhumans, Legends of Tomorrow, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Arrow, Luke Cage, Black Lightning, Iron Fist, Runways, Cloak and Dagger, and the Defenders have all filled schedules and queues over the past few years or are poised to do so. And just two weeks ago, news broke that, likely Watchmen will soon by joining them too.
With comics giving TV so much, I think it is about damn time TV return the favor. Therefore, I provide you here a list of where we can start; TV show licenses that should be snagged for comic books posthaste so the scales get evened up a bit.
1.) Profit- An amoral corporate climber is probably not news to anyone. But how about an outright sociopathic one? Who sleeps naked in a box at night? And has a very uncomfortable making relationship with his stepmom? Probably not. Thus, ladies and gents, I give you Jim Profit.
Obviously this one would need to be shelved in the Mature section, but in these days of big financial and critical success for books like Saga and The Walking Dead, a Mature rating is no longer the barrier to achievement that it once way. Add in an interesting and dangerous supporting cast and Jim’s internal monologue that will translate even better to comics than it worked on TV and you have a compelling “villain as protagonist” comic that will hook readers with moral dilemmas and wheels within wheel machinations.
2.) Quantum Leap- Sam Beckett is a scientist whose greatest experiment—time travel within your own lifetime—has trapped him in a series of “leaps” that strand him in the bodies of other until he can fix a key moment in the past—setting right what once went wrong—before leaping to the next situation in need of fixing.
For fans of Peter Millgan’s Human Target series, this would be a great pickup, meditation on identity, just like Target was, but starring a fundamentally different kind of a character—a morally upright and righteous man who must struggle to remember who he is and what he believes as every leap “swish cheeses” his brain, making him forget where he ends and the person he has leapt into begins.
A near infinite variety of situations, characters, and settings would be fair game in a book like this making it a delight to work on as well. And the main supporting character—Al, a hologram who helps Sam navigate each leap—can be both a hoot to write and read.
3.) Strange Luck- Another FOX drama that was on TV for about a cup of coffee, Strange Luck tells the story of Chance Harper, a freelance photographer who seems to have some sort of luck ability but is utterly unable to regulate it. It made the plane he, his sister, and his mom were taking when he was not yet a teen crash but also made him the lone survivor. He might find himself being stuck up by gunpoint when he visits the ATM or the machine malfunction and pay him out hundreds of thousands of dollars. He does not know when or where it will happen. And, to make things harder, he therefore never knows when things are just happening because life is going and when he is unconsciously making things occur.
Much like the Incredible Hulk show of the 70’s, Harper feels his cannot stay anywhere for too long lest he hurt anyone he becomes close to or get caught by an organization that he does not know for sure is following him but definitely suspects. So the book would boast an episodic structure with a few long running subplots ready to hit boil at a moment’s notice, just like any great comic.
4.) Leverage- This one is PERFECT for comics. A mismatched team of former criminals (an enforcer, a thief, a con artist, a hacker, and a master planner) combine forces to become a sort of team of Robin Hoods, taking down rich and powerful scoundrels on behalf of those who cannot help themselves.
5.) G vs E- The Corps are a team of law enforcement types under the employ of heaven that try to stop the influence of Morlocks—demon types—and Faustians—humans working with demons for some kind of deal—on the mortal plain. Part 70s cop show throwback, part sci-fi/supernatural actioner, the show had a great vibe and strong humor. If you turn up the horror about 15% for the comic, you will have a funny, scary book that has a deep but easy to understand mythology to build off of.
6.) Lie to Me- An expert on lying consults on cases to help find out the truth amongst all the deceptions and half-honest statements. As played by Tim Roth he was a bit of a scoundrel so he could be a sort of Constantine without magic powers on the page.
Give him a strong supporting cast and perhaps an ongoing antagonist in an obviously lying con artist who is still too smart to get caught and you have a strong compelling story of a maybe not so great guy trying to use his abilities for good and stick to the rules when he is forever tempted to choose expediency over the system while knowing if he does, he’ll ruin everything he’s built.