Jessica Jones, an obvious choice. Photo: Netflix1/26
Jessica Jones, an obvious choice. Photo: Netflix
This crime dramedy is based on the four-issue comic book series of the same name created by writer Grant Morrison alongside artist Darick Robertson. It follows Nick Sax, an alcoholic ex-cop turned hitman with a blue, cartoon imaginary friend named — yep! — Happy.
This series is loosely based on a comic book of the same name published by DC Comics under their Vertigo imprint, and created by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred. The TV version follows Liv Moore, a recently turned zombie, who uses her abilities to help solve crimes.
Marvel's Jessica Jones, Netflix
Our favorite Netflix crimefighter lives in the same universe as Luke Cage, Daredevil and, ugh, Iron Fist. Based on the Marvel character, the small screen Jessica Jones is a hard drinking P.I. with super strength to spare.
Legends of Tomorrow, CW
This one is based off of characters from DC Comics, too, and features a ragtag group of superheroes — from Hawkman to Heat Wave — banding together to save time itself.
Marvel's Iron Fist, Netflix
Danny Rand, the Iron Fist, is a martial arts expert with the ability to call upon the power of the Iron Fist. He’s based on a Marvel characte of the same name, too.
This prequel of sorts features characters based on DC’s Batman franchise and focuses on James Gordon’s early days with the Gotham City Police Department before including the origin stories of tons of Batman villains, from Penguin to Ra’s al Ghul.
Fear the Walking Dead, AMC
The post-apocalyptic horror drama, created by Robert Kirkman and Dave Erickson, serves as both a companion series and prequel to The Walking Dead — just in case you found all that zombie gore strangely familiar.
Based on the DC comic superhero Green Arrow, this CW series follows Oliver Queen, a rich dude who fights crime as a secret vigilante. One who favors a bow and arrow as his weapon of choice, of course.
Wynonna Earp, Syfy
This Western supernatural series is based on a series of comics of the same name, written by Beau Smith. The series follows Earp — great-great-granddaughter of legendary lawman Wyatt Earp — as she battles supernatural beings and revenants of reincarnated outlaws her forefather killed.
Black Lightning, CW
Based on the DC Comic of the same name, this CW series follows Jackson Pierce come out of retirement as Black Lightning when crime and corruption begin to run rampant in Freeland.
This one is based on a Marvel character of the same name, too, and stars Matt Murdock (aka Daredevil) a blind lawyer-by-day who fights crime at night.
Legion was created by Noah Hawley for FX, based on the Marvel Comic character David Haller — aka Legion. It’s the first television series to be connected to the X-Men film series, and focuses on Haller, a mutant diagnosed with schizophrenia.
Lucifer came a long way: he first appeared in Vertigo’s flagship title, the critically adored Sandman. From there, Lucifer had his own Vertigo spin-off, and then came the Fox series. On the small screen, Lucifer Morningstar aka the Devil, is bored as the Lord of Hell, so he abandons his kingdom for Los Angeles to be a consultant to the LAPD. Yep.
The Defenders, Netflix
This miniseries — based on a Marvel imprint that brought together different groups of superheroes — brought together Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Daredevil and the Iron Fist teaming up to confront the same enemy: the Hand.
Based on the DC Comics character of the same name, this CW series is set in the same universe as Arrow and The Flash. The retelling of the classic features Kara Zor-El (aka Kara Danvers, aka Supergirl) who embraces her powers as a Kryptonian after previously hiding them.
The Flash, CW
An Arrow spinoff, The Flash is based on the DC Comics character Barry Allen, aka the Flash, who has the power to move at superhuman speeds.
The Tick, Amazon
There have been many iterations of The Tick, but the current one is in a league of its own. Based on the classic comics created by Ben Edlund in 1986, this one brings all the old characters back with a few modern twists.
Archie and gang, but make it noir and sexy. Riverdale is based on the characters of the Archie comics and follows the teens as they explore the darkness hidden behind Riverdale’s perfect image.
Marvel's The Punisher, Netflix
Based on the Marvel character of the same name, The Punisher made his first appearance in Daredevil. In his spin-off, Frank Castle uses some rather lethal methods to fight crime as his vigilante alter-ego.
Marvel's Luke Cage, Netflix
Cage is a former convict with superhuman strength and unbreakable skin who fights crime and corruption in Harlem — that is, when he’s not getting with Jessica Jones. We see y’all!
Superpowers, but with kids: Runaways is based on a comic series of the same name that follows six very different teenagers uniting against a common enemy: their parents.
Another Kirkman project, Outcast revolves around the life of Kyle Barnes, a man rejected by his community for allegedly hurting his wife and daughter. But that’s not all: the series, based on comics of the same name, features demonic possessions and other supernatural horrors.
Preacher is based on the Vertigo imprint of the same name, and follows preacher Jesse Custer on his literal search for God (he’s got some explaining to do!) — joined by on-and-off girlfriend Tulip and vampire best friend Cassidy.
The Walking Dead, AMC
Speaking of, the original Walking Dead — the standard go-to for post-apocalyptic zombie fare — is based on an ongoing comic series penned by Kirkman and artist Tony Moore.
The End of the F***ing World, Netflix
Based on a a graphic novel of the same name by Charles Forsman, The End of the F***ing World follows teens James and Alyssa on a violent coming-of-age road trip. Its television version, released on Netflix earlier this year, was met with critical acclaim and for good reason: It’s a magnetic, utterly watchable eight episodes.
There’s no denying it: comic book TV shows — aka television series based on comics — are still very much having a moment. And well, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
That’s especially true this week, with the premiere of the second season of Marvel’s Jessica Jones coinciding with International Women’s Day. The show, which kicked off on Thursday, March 8, sees Jessica (with the help of best friend Trish) confront her inner demons — and the outer ones, too.
There’s also January’s acclaimed The End of the F***ing World, which is based on an award-winning graphic novel of the same name. It follows a pair of outcasts — self-professed psychopath James (Alex Lawther) and the rebellious, delightfully foul-mouthed Alyssa (Jessica Barden) on a sort of coming-of-age road trip that is anything but standard.
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On adapting the series, creator Jonathan Entwistle told Entertainment Weekly that he stumbled up on the graphic novel by chance ten years ago, stumbling upon the series lying in a trashcan behind a comic shop in London.
I’d always stopped into this old-school comic book store in London, always just looking. I’d grown up with comics and I was keeping my eye out for anything. And the store actually moved from where it was to this super new, shiny premises, and I went there for the very first time and I think they’d been clearing out stock or something like that, and… I found this piece, this hand-drawn, black-and-white, little tiny facsimiled thing. I picked it up and it was just in a pile in the back of the store, and I just thought, “This is cool!” And I saw on the back that it had a price; it was one dollar and it had been crossed out and it said 70 pence, in English. And I was like, “What is this?”
The rest, as they say, is history.
If you can’t get enough of the likes of Jessica Jones and The End of the F***ing World, you’re in luck: we’re looking at 25 comic TV shows based on comics that you can watch right now, from The Tick to iZombie.