Take a comic book, put it on TV, and the fans go nuts. Take a TV show and adapt it to a comic and… Not so much. Mainly because most of them are shockingly bad. That said? There’s been a few TV to comic book adaptations that don’t just not suck, they’re actually good. Here are ten of the best:
10. True Blood
IDW’s recent comics based on the sweaty, dirty HBO vampire series may lack the wall-to-wall nudity, but they make up for it in crazy creatures and buckets of blood. It’s tough to nail the voices of “real” characters, but these comics do it swimmingly… Fake sounding Southern accents and all.
There have actually been a few series based on The CW’s story of two brothers who say they’re done with each other forever, then get back together two weeks later. But the recent, Brian Wood written series – which takes Winchester Brother Sam to England and shows him how sexy ghosts can be is definitely the weirdest… And most interesting.
8. Doctor Who
Just like the nearly half a century old TV series, there have been innumerable comic book series about the Timelord and his companions. For more recent takes, Matt Sturges nailed the feel of the Eleventh Doctor in his recent “A Fairy Tale Life” mini-series, and Tony Lee continues to bring effete British flair to the ongoing.
Though the TV series may have ended to soon, the world of Firefly has continued in a few short series and one-shots. The most notable? “Float Out,” a done in one comic by comedian that celebrated the short life of fan-favorite character Wash.
6. Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Much like the TV series itself, Buffy went on too long, and stopped making sense about three quarters of the way through “Season 8.” Up until then? It was a squee-filled delight with cameos, humor, and big action fans had been waiting for. Luckily, with the back-to-basics Season 9 currently running, as well as the excellent Angel & Faith series, it’s a great time to be a Buffy fan. Again.
5. Superman Adventures
There have been plenty of animation-to-comics adaptations, particularly from DC… But Superman Adventures – which paralleled Superman: The Animated Series – has one of the most insane pedigrees for a writing staff on an All-Ages title ever. Here’s a small sampling of the writers that worked on it: Paul Dini, Mark Evanier, Devin Grayson, Scott McCloud, Ty Templeton, and… Mark Millar. That’s a line-up any comic fan should be drooling over.
4. The Prisoner: Shattered Visage
There’s a pretty famous Prisoner series from Marvel that has never been published, written and drawn by Jack Kirby. This isn’t that. Shattered Visage – released by DC – was a four issue series that showed what happened in the aftermath of the ground-breaking series. Luckily? It was just as weird as the show was.
Here’s a comic that might actually be BETTER than the show that spawned it. The currently running “Epitaphs” mini-series from Dark Horse is a tight, taut series exploring the post-apocalyptic world shown towards the end of Dollhouse’s flawed two-season run. Yes, it’s essentially a prequel, since it fills in events skipped during season two… But it’s a damn good one.
2. Batman: The Brave and the Bold
As good as the insanely goofy, adorable, and fan-wanking series its based on (and we mean that in a good way), Brave and The Bold shows off everything that is fun and good about comics… In the comics.
1. The Muppet Show
We are very, very picky when it comes to the Muppets, and even pickier when it comes to humor in comic books. Writer/Artist Roger Langridge nailed both for this short lived series. Taking the Muppet Show basics, Langridge explored the characters, the parodies, and the heart of the Muppets in a format that is essentially “comics,” playing with pages, panels and more. Worthy of the name Muppets, and more, this is a comic you shouldn’t miss.