'Sons Of Anarchy': The Secret Comic Book History

by Ethan Kaye

Comic books weave threads through all popular media. What once lived in attics and dingy strip mall stores are now headlining box offices, Broadway stages, and magazine covers. So how far do these tentacles stretch? This column looks at what’s popular, and uncovers some of the hidden connections to the comic world!

This week: FX’s "Sons of Anarchy"! Biker gangs get a bad rap, and the members of SAMCRO absolutely deserve it. Murder, gun-running, porn, dope… it’s everything you expect from a no-holds-barred drama about the seedy gangs that control the underbelly of America. And some pretty big connections to the comic world!

» Ron Perlman: Clay Morrow runs the Sons of Anarchy, the papa bear from hell, but Ron’s more than just a thug on a bike. He’s racked up more comic credits than almost anyone. Most impressively, he led the cast of both "Hellboy" films and starred in the animated sequels and video game tie-ins. "Blade II"? Yup, he was one of the Blood Pack. Live-action "Prince Valiant"? That too. Voices for "Batman: The Animated Series," "Superman," "Teen Titans," "Fantastic Four," "Iron Man," "Static Shock," "Justice League," "Afro Samurai," "The Batman," and "Marvel Superhero Squad"? Believe it.

» Katey Sagal: Gemma Morrow is the matriarch of the gang, just as badass as any of them. And you’d probably remember her voice from her numerous albums and her character Leela from "Futurama." The show’s run six seasons and nearly 70 issues of Bongo Comics!

See which "Sons of Anarchy" hero made our Top 50 Characters of 2011!

» Mark Boone Junior: Mix bombs and Elvis and you have Bobby Munson, the secretary of the club. While he’s one of the “better” gangsters, he was one of the worse cops in Gotham City. His role of scumbag Detective Flass was one of the best parts of "Batman Begins," and was a much better character than his minor comic book counterpart. Hell, I’d watch a Flass sitcom any day.

» Tommy Flanagan: Playing the club’s de facto medic, Chibs, Flanagan’s giving and repairing injuries. In "Alien Vs Predator," based off Dark Horse’s comics, he’s only on the receiving end. Yup, eaten by Aliens. Same happens in the movie adaptation of Frank Miller’s "Sin City"; dead, dead, dead.

» Danny Trejo: If there’s a movie or show where someone throws a punch, odds are Danny Trejo is somehow involved. He’s been in several episodes as drug runner-with-a-twist Romero, buying arms and shipping drugs. He’s also done voices for "Young Justice" as Bane and "The Spectacular Spider-Man" as Ox. On-screen, Danny was one of the few humans in "Predators," a film based on a comic that was based on a film, and even got a role in "The Crow: Wicked Prayer," one of the lesser "Crow" sequels based on James O’Barr’s goth comic classic.

Tell us what you think of the secret comic book history of "Sons of Anarchy" in the comments section and on Twitter!