When people think of comic books they often think of superheroes and supervillains. It’s hard not too when the biggest movies in the world right now are superhero films based on comic books. But comic books are so much more than that. A “comic book” is, more simply, just a book full of illustrated comics and panels of dialogue. So they can *literally* be about anything.
Did y’all know Riverdale is based off a comic book? We’re going to assume you did since The CW show has pretty much taken over the universe. It’s that popularity that’s opening the door for more untraditional comic book shows to crop up on TV. We don’t need every TV show to be about someone dealing with their superpowers. Even the “superhero” shows in development aren’t your usual big budget fodder, but more low-key explorations of these universes. There so many new comic book-based shows coming up you’re gonna have to prep your DVR for all the goodness. Some are airing soon, and some are stuck in a bit of development-limbo, but they’re all sure to be awesome whenever they find their way to a small screen near you. Here are some of the best of the best in upcoming shows that you’re sure to love!
17. Protocol Orphans
This comic series already had ties to Hollywood before a TV adaptation was announced: it was co-created by actor Peter Facinelli! The comic is about a family of orphans who are trained in covert ops for the government and often find themselves at odds with each other. Facinelli, along with Fox TV, is working to adapt the series for television and has been for a few years. It’s currently in production limbo and does not have a cast or air date yet, but its definitely not dead and Facinelli is still actively working to take the comics to the screen.
16. The Boys
This one is definitely not in production limbo and has some serious talent attached to it. Amazon Studios ordered 8-episodes of the comic-based series with directorial support from Seth Rogen and Evan Golderberg. So you know it’s going to be great. The books the show is based on is about a group of vigilantes who work to take down corrupt superheroes who use their powers in dirty ways. These vigilantes named “the boys” don’t actually have powers themselves — just some determination and willingness to do whatever it takes. The series is slated currently for an early 2019 release.
This is a TV show based on a movie based on a series of graphic novels. Make sense? This TV series, greenlit by TNT, will be expanding the world of the acclaimed 2013 movie of the same name. The film was based on the “Snowpiercer” (known originally as “Le Transperceneige”) French graphic novels and the TV show will draw more from the books’ universe. The premise is thrilling and different from anything on TV: the remains of society live on a giant, always-moving train that circles the globe. While inhabiting the train, the last living people on earth deal with survival and class warfare. The series is set to air on TNT some time in 2018.
14. The Rocketeer
Alright, this one is aimed at kids, but who says adults can’t indulge in some mindless kiddy cartoons?! A show based on “The Rocketeer” comics is coming to Disney Junior with quite a different tone. The original was about a stunt pilot who finds a jetpack that allows him to fly. The basis of the story remains the same for the show, except this time it’s a young girl named Kit who finds a jetpack and uses it to save the day. It’s obviously going to tell a bit of a lighter story than the comics. The show is going to premiere on Disney Junior in 2019.
A Witchblade series saw its time on TV in the early ’00s, but it’s coming back in a big way on NBC. The supernatural series, based on the comic of the same name, focuses on a detective who finds a bracelet — i.e. “Witchblade” — that gives her crime-solving abilities. This she begins her quest in fighting off supernatural baddies. There’s some serious talent behind the series, with The Vampire Diaries‘s Caroline Dries running the show. After her time on The CW vampire show, we think she knows a thing or two about adapting supernatural literature into great TV shows! Witchblade is expected to make its TV appearance sometime in 2018.
This promises to be one of the cutest comic book adaptations coming up. Hilda follows a fearless blue-haired girl as she travels to Trolberg, a bustling city full of new monsters and creatures. The mystical cartoon is sure to be cute as hell with all the blue hair and girl power. Netflix is marketing the show as “kids’ TV” but I can’t think of a better time – or way – to embrace our childhood wonder than to watch a show about a girl kicking butt and leaving home to explore. The show will be premiering in the fall of 2018 and bump up Netflix’s ever-expanding library of kids’ TV shows.
11. Hawaiian Dick
With a name like that, how can you not be intrigued? It’s not quite as scandalous as it sounds, though. The comic series “Hawaiian Dick” focuses on a private eye named Byrd who relocates to Hawaii and somehow gets pulled into a dark criminal world on the island. It’s tropical, neo-noir, funny, and it sounds like it’s going to be pretty intriguing. Which is why it’s amazing that the always-funny Johnny Knoxville is attached to star and executive produce the TV adaptation. The show has been in the development stage for a few years now, but it’s still floating around at NBC as a future series.
10. Damage Control
This one has been floating around for a bit in development, and it sounds so interesting. The Marvel comic book series focuses on the “Damage Control” team that cleans up after huge superhero conflicts. A.K.A. these are the people who cleaned up New York City after The Avengers destroyed it. As interesting as the big screen Marvel Cinematic Universe stuff is, we’ve always wondered about the little people who have to do the heavy lifting after everything goes to hell. ABC has the development rights to the show still, and it seems to be going forward – albeit slowly. We’re hoping this is one that comes to the small screen soon!
This will be one of the many new shows for DC’s still-untitled streaming service. The show will focus on the city of Metropolis before Superman came into the picture. You won’t be short on familiar faces, though, as Lois Lane and Lex Luthor will both be present. The show will really hone in on the two studying fringe science and *gasp!* working together! With the recent failures of DC films, maybe they’ll get a bit luckier with weekly TV series on their own platform. The show is set to start filming this summer for a late 2018 or early 2019 premiere.
8. Sex Criminals
That name got your attention I bet! “Sex Criminals” is a wild comic book series. The books focus on Suzie and Jon, two unsuspecting singles who meet and hook up. They soon learn that they share the ability to freeze time when they orgasm. Comic books man, they’re crazy! The two decide to rob a bank with their newfound skill leading them to turn into, you guessed it, sex criminals. The series has been running monthly for four years so there are so many sexy, silly, orgasmic stories to tell on TV. Universal TV signed a deal to adapt the show a few years back, but it hasn’t quite come to fruition yet. The deal still stands and we’re hoping this one gets a shot on TV sooner rather than later. Can you imagine how funny and sex-positive this adaptation could be?!
7. Cloak & Dagger
You won’t have to wait long for this comic adaptation! Cloak & Dagger is making it’s small-screen debut on Freeform early this summer and bringing even more Marvel goodness to TV. Sure, there are tons of superhero shows out there, but hear us out on this one. The series follows two teens with completely different backgrounds who get superpowers and fall in love. It’s like Romeo & Juliet, but with, you know, superpowers. The show is hitting Freeform in June and we can’t wait.
6. Quantum & Woody
This has no cast, no TV network, and no release date yet but we’re psyched for it. Why, you ask? Because Anthony Russo and Joe Russo, a.k.a the brother team directing the next two The Avengers films, will be at the helm. Oh, and Joel McHale may be playing a lead. We’re in. The show is adapting the comic book of the same name about two estranged brothers who make a pretty crappy superhero team. But they do it anyways to avenge their dead father and because a life-altering accident leaves them with nothing better to do. While the show doesn’t have an air date yet we bet the Russo brothers will ramp up production when their gigantic Marvel movies are finishing filming.
Most people remember the Watchmen film a few years back that didn’t quite do the comics justice. There’s just too much to put into a film! Which is why TV is perfect for the series. Lost co-creator Damong Lindelof is bringing the iconic comic to the small screen for HBO and production has already begun! The “Watchmen” comics imagine an alternate timeline where superheroes emerge as pseudo-celebrities in the 1940s and change the course of history. By the time we hit the 1980s, these superheroes are outlawed and many are working for the government as the country falls into disarray. The series will hopefully be able to explore the complexities of the comics better than the film did. The show is expected to premiere in 2019.
4. Locke & Key
We were this close to getting this one on TV screens sooner rather than later. But alas, we’re going to have to wait a bit. The series, based on graphic novels, has three siblings finding magical keys in their family home that gives them powers. Little do they know, though, a demon also wants to get his hand on these rare keys. The show was good to go at Hulu until they dropped the project in early 2018. This isn’t the first time it’s been dropped, either, as a pilot was shot for Fox in 2010 but it didn’t end up going to series. As of now, the show is still being shopped around and hopefully, it’ll find a home soon!
Here’s another series set to air on DC’s very own streaming service. Titans brings the popular “Teen Titans” comics to the small-screen in live-action. A cartoon variation on the comic series already exists, but this show has the potential to broaden the appeal of the characters. The show is currently filming and the series is set to air on the DC streaming service by the end of 2018. DC might want to come up with a name for their service before then!
2. Umbrella Academy
This new Netflix series has the potential to be super cool. The series is based on the comics of the same name, written by My Chemical Romance singer Gerard Way, about superpowered children who find protection and training in the Umbrella Academy. The cast is stacked, boasting Ellen Page and Mary J. Blige among others. The series is set to premiere on Netflix by the end of 2018. And let’s take a moment to appreciate the streaming service’s dedication to adapting comic books and graphic novels because they are killing it!
1. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Fans of Riverdale are not going to want to miss this. We all remember the classic TV series Sabrina the Teenage Witch with Melissa Joan Hart. Well, this is going to be nothing like that. Much like how Riverdale took a dark spin on the ’50s-set comics, this new Sabrina series will do the same. The “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” is published on the Archie Horror imprint, and that dark imagining of the series is what’s coming to Netflix. While the plot hasn’t been revealed yet, our Sabrina has been: Kiernan Shipka. Best known for her role on Mad Men the starlet is set to take Sabrina into very dark territory. Ross Lynch is set to play her main love interest, Harvey Kinkle and the cast is stacked. We can’t wait for Riverdale and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina binge-watches!