By Nolan P. Smith
(Victor Valley)—As a major comic book enthusiasts, I know all too well how diverse and creative a comic book can be. But for many, they are introduced to the world of sequential art by the cinematic features based off of them: like Batman V Superman, The Avengers, Deadpool, and more. Which is great- the more people that pick a comic book up for the first time, the better. Yet, I have to think that there are quite a few people who have seen, and loved, movies that are based off of a comic book.
Here is a breakdown of some films you may not have known began life as a comic book:
30 Days of Night: The vampire epic set in Alaska was a hit upon release in theaters, but did you know it was a comic book first? The story of a band of vampires that strike a small Alaskan town during a time of pure darkness, the films made vampires a threat once more,especially in a world where vampires are now trendy and sparkle. Published by IDW, 30 Days of Night was brought to life by writer Steve Niles and artist Ben Templesmith, and spawned a slew of mini-series, and of course, the feature film and sequel.
Kingsman- The Secret Service: One of the surprise hits of 2015 had to be Kingsman: The Secret Service. An ultra violent, modern foray into the world of spies, Kingsman was a hit and already has a sequel in the works with Kingsman: The Golden Circle. But before the movie, it began life as a comic mini-series The Secret Service, from Mark Millar (writer of a few other hit comics turned movies-Kick-Ass and Wanted) and Dave Gibbons over at Marvel.
Scott Pilgrim Vs The World: A literal love letter to pop culture, the Edgar Wright directed film combined everything we love- video games, comics, music and more, as we rooted for slacker Scott Pilgrim in winning the heart of Ramona Flowers and defeating her league of evil exes. Scott Pilgrim gained its popularity from the graphic novel series by Bryan Lee O’Malley from Oni Press, and even spawned a video game. Though not a hit at the theaters, the film has went on to garner a cult following, and enjoys great sales when it comes to DVD and Blu-Ray.
The Crow: Easily one of the most memorable films to come out of the early 90’s, The Crow, starring the late Brandon Lee in his last film appearance, is a story of revenge and loss, as Eric Draven sees his girlfriend die tragically before he dies himself, and is brought back to life by a crow to seek revenge on those that murdered the love of his life. The Crow was originally a comic book, created by James O’Barr as a way of the comic book creator to deal with the death of his girlfriend, who died due to a drunk driver. With comics published by Caliber and IDW, The Crow has a massive cult following, with a new feature film in the works.
This is only a handful of films inspired by comic book creations. With the freedom of the art form at their disposal, don’t be surprised if we see more and more films spring to life from the four-color page of a comic.
Nolan Smith is a longtime reporter with High Desert Daily, covering everything from the opening of a new comic book shop to a series on the effects of Alzheimer’s Disease. A long time resident of the Victor Valley, Smith is also the Editor and Co-Founder of Pastrami Nation- a pop culture news site filled with news, reviews and podcasts on various aspects of pop culture, including comic books, video games, films, anime, manga, cosplay and more. You can visit Pastrami Nation at www.pastramination.com.