Most TV shows are likely to come back to life thanks to streamer wake-ups or green-light restarts, or even switching to a new network. The former saw shows like iCarly and Bel-Air hit screens in the last year, and the latter is one of the main reasons why Cobra Kai has become a global phenomenon. But there’s another medium where canceled shows have found new life: comic books. Comics can often close out unresolved story arcs or even push a show in a new direction, especially since creators are freed from the mountain of notes coming from broadcast studios.
Here are seven shows that managed to get a second hit in comic book form.
Smallville (DC Comics)
For its run of ten seasons, Smallville stuck to one rule: Clark Kent (Tom Welling) would not steal, nor don the famous red and blue suit that Superman wore. Smallville: Season 11 saw writer Bryan Q. Miller throw that rule out the window, as Clark has fully embraced the mantle of Superman and is working as a world hero. In addition to exploring Clark’s career as Superman, the series brought in more characters from across the DC Universe, including the Green Lantern Corps; the Teen Titans; especially Batman. The “Continuity” story arc even incorporated elements of Crisis on Infinite Earths, with Clark in front of a monitor. With Welling announcing plans for a lively revival of Smallvillehopefully these comics will serve as a starting point for where he wants to go with the Man of Steel.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Dark Horse Comics)
buffy the vampire slayer also continued its narrative through the world of comics, such as the Season 8 finds its titular heroine leading an army of killers against the forces of evil. Yet, a malevolent enemy known as Twilight threatens to destroy everything Buffy holds dear, teaming up with many of her remaining enemies. Buffy Season 8 is notable for featuring several writers from the television series, including Drew Godard and Jane Espenson; comic veterans Brian K. Vaughn and Brad Meltzer also wrote problems for the race. Free from a TV budget, Buffy Season 8 also introduced more supernatural elements, including Buffy’s sister Dawn growing to giant size and Buffy gaining Superman abilities. The “season” format will continue for four more arcs before the buffy the rights revert to BOOM! Studios.
Justice League Infinity (DC Comics)
Many DC Comics fans consider the DC animated universe, which began with Batman: The Animated Series and concluded with Justice League Unlimited, to be the definitive version of the DC Universe. Last year, the follow-up to Unlimited, Justice League Infinity came out — 15 years later UnlimitedThe “Destroyer” epilogue has aired. The Justice League is drawn into multiversal mayhem when the android Amazo accidentally shatters reality, scattering the League members to different worlds. Not only the author of the series JM DeMatteis and JLU producer james tucker return to the storyline of the series, but the artist Ethen BeaversThe work perfectly replicates that of the DC animation legend Bruce Tim.
Serenity (Dark Horse Comics)
buffy the vampire slayer wasn’t the only TV series to receive a comedy sequel to Dark Horse. Serenity: the left behind acts as a bridge between Firefly series and its adaptation into a feature film Serenity. This also explains why Inara Serra (Morena Baccarin) and Book of Shepard (Glass of Ron) are gone Serenity. The series looks like a lost episode of Firefly thanks to the creator of the series Joss Whedon co-writing with Brett Matthewsand artist Will Conrad perfectly captures the likenesses of Fireflyis the cast. The same creative team would reunite for another miniseries, Serenity: better days; this, in turn, would lead to a line of Serenity comics that took place before and after the events of the film.
X-Men: The Animated Series (Marvel Comics)
Whenever someone talks about their favorite version of the X-Men, X-Men: The Animated Series will always come back. Running for five seasons, the series drew inspiration from the ’90s roster formed by Chris Claremont and Jim Leeand adapted from classic X-Men stories, including days of future past and The Dark Phoenix Saga. X-Men ’92, in turn, was inspired by the events of the series and features the same roster as the cartoon – although the psychic ninja Psylocke joins their ranks. Another series to come, XII Housewill mix elements of X-Men: The Animated Series with jonathan hickmanThe revolutionary vision of Children of the Atom. And of course next year will see the debut of X-Men ’97 on Disney+.
Green Hornet (Dynamite Comics)
the Green Hornet the television series is best known for launching Bruce Leebut it’s also a nice twist on the masked vigilante genre: here’s a hero who pretends to be part of the underworld to dismantle various gangs. Kevin Smith was approached by Miramax to make a feature-length sequel to the original TV series, and even approached Jake Gyllenhaal for the main role; unfortunately the project fell through. Smith will eventually adapt his screenplay into comic book form, with Jonathan Lau provide art. the Green Hornet the comic follows the adventures of Britt Reed Jr., son of the original Green Hornet, who takes over his father’s mantle; he is also trained by Kato’s daughter, who also retrieves her father’s mask. The success of the series led to the publication of a variety of Green Hornet comics by Dynamite.
Superheroes reign supreme in film and TV, but these seven filmmakers have also entered the realm of comic book writing.
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