Coming to our television screens sometime in the very near future will be this new adaptation or inspired version of THE GREEN ARROW series from DC Comics. Again, the producers are opting for a basic, stripped down look, which should appeal to a broarder audience, much like the initial version of SMALLVILLE on television around a decade ago. But should they really simplify the design of the characters to such degree each time? Often losing the strong destinctive visual appeal of the characters to the fans already out there?
I think back to the many previous number of television inspired shows of successful comic books origin and wonder now how many of them just went too far away from the full honest look and feel of the source material…
The dark and huge cult loved series and movie THE CROW was a series -Stairway to Heaven- in the late ninties which though not nearly as dark as the original movie or comic, was sometimes a good watch but usually not often enough and seemed far too tame.
As mentioned above, of course we have just recently seen the eventual end to the hugely successful SMALLVILLE series, inspired from SUPERMAN, expanding the early years of Clark Kent and his growing up into the man he would become later. The series grew and eventually did take on bravely I would say many more distinctive visuals and themes from the comic towards the last couple of seasons. While I am sure many comic fans really admired this it most likely confused and disapointed most long-term viewers.
There was an animated series based on the TODD McFARLANE SPAWN comics, which largely was a suitably dark and creepy show, which must have pleased the fans after the tragic confused feeble hit and miss of the movie version.
One which I personally think should have continued and could have now been really great was the DC inspired show BIRDS OF PREY, which featured a number of the strong female characters such as Harley Quinn, Barbaran Gordon, Huntress and BlackCanary.
The mouch loved classic sixties BATMAN series, though hugely camp and kid-friendly did produce many familiar images, catchphrases, and featured fine actors like Adam West, Vincent Price, Eartha Kitt, Alan Napier. Not nearly as close to the comic as it could have been, but certainly foundly remembered.
I did personally really like the early ninties series based on DC’S THE FLASH, which was arguably a great bold adaptation, very much like the comic book, a bit camp, good fun, very colourful which is just as it is on the page.
With MARVEL, there was memorably the very dated cringe inducing seventies series of SPIDERMAN. Oh God, just how did it become like that? But back at the time, it was very modern and hip, possibly.
The fantastic very fondly remebered and loved THE INCREDIBLE HULK series featuring Bill Bixby. Despite now funny looking Brillo pad HULK hair, and visibly painted on green, it actually very well acted and impressively written show I would say.
In the last decade we saw MARVEL’S MUTANT X-though not really officially stated as based on the X MEN, it really was some weak version, but at times it was good watch, with decent potential. There was then, after the very successful movies, a series based on BLADE, but personally I felt that it just could not really bring BLADE down onto the small screen.
Right now, there are possibly some versions of MARVEL Punisher, Morbius, new HULK, even maybe THOR series, and with DC there could be hopefully much more serious and grim series such as DEADMAN, SPECTRE, LANTERNS from GREEN LANTERN, and the most anticipated if it could ever really work well SANDMAN. Will any or all of these possible live action adaptations come to the small screen successfully at all?
Of course, there have then been many fine animated series including SPIDERMAN a few times, BATMAN-especially the fantastic early ninties series and BATMAN BEYOND, SUPERMAN, JUSTICE LEAGUE, very impressively faithful X-MEN series, IRON MAN, SILVER SURFER-stunning visuals, MEN IN BLACK, FANTASTIC FOUR, SUPERHERO SQUAD-funny kiddy version of MARVEL heroes, and recently AVENGERS:EARTH’S MIGHTIEST HEROES.