Comics On TV

16 Comic Book–Based TV and Streaming Series We Can't Wait to See

From returning series like Daredevil to titles new to TV like Watchmen, find out which eagerly anticipated shows are on their way, in production, or just announced.

by | April 7, 2018 | Comments

While the superheroes of The CW, the villains of Gothamand Jessica Jones get set to relax for another season hiatus, the world of comic books on television never really stops. Legion debuted its second season this week while Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger and Luke Cage join the roster in June. But looking further ahead, there are plenty of shows making their returns in the near future and even more in development — proving that comics books remain fertile ground for potentially beloved and long-running television shows. And just on Thursday, FX announced it had ordered a pilot of Y, based on the post-apocalyptic science fiction comic book series Y: The Last Man.

With a wealth of options, here are 16 comic book–inspired shows we cannot wait to see:


Preacher 87% Season 3 (AMC)

Why We Can’t Wait: It’s finally time to meet Gran’ma. While the television version of Preacher enjoys taking detours from its comic book counterpart, one aspect of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s tale that fans have eagerly awaited from the moment Jesse (Dominic Cooper) merged with Genesis: a reckoning with his grandmother (Betty Buckley). Described by the network as “a spiritist with true powers, who can cast spells and even bring back the dead (for a price),” she is one of the most formidable opponents Jesse will ever face. Making matters worse, she genuinely loves him. But fans of the comic book also know someone very important to the overall story makes a special appearance during Jesse and Gran’ma’s reunion, but it remains to be seen if He will finally make his Preacher TV debut.

Returning: 2018


Marvel's Daredevil 92% Season 3 (Netflix)

Why We Can’t Wait: Like Preacher, the third season of Daredevil will also feature a family reunion as Joanne Whalley joins the cast as Sister Maggie, a woman who may have a very important tie to Matt Murdoch (Charlie Cox). But it all depends on how much of the classic Frank Miller story “Born Again” the series decides to adapt. Vincent D’Onofrio is also back as Wilson Fisk, suggesting more of “Born Again,” as that story saw the Kingpin systematically destroying Matt’s life. Of course, in the Netflix version of Daredevil, Matt really doesn’t have much of a life left to destroy. Granted, a fact like that wouldn’t really stop the Kingpin from revenging himself upon Matt for destroying his scheme and last chance for love.

Returning: 2018


Wynonna Earp 93% Season 3 (Syfy)

WYNONNA EARP -- Season:2 -- Pictured: Melanie Scrofano as Wynonna Earp -- (Photo by: Michelle Faye/Wynonna Earp Season 2, Inc./Syfy)

Why We Can’t Wait: Family reunions are all the rage in comic book television as Wynonna Earp will also feature the first appearance of the Earp girls’ mother ,teased briefly at the conclusion of season 2. Anne of Green Gables star Megan Follows will play Michelle Earp as Wynonna (Melanie Scrofano), Doc Holliday (Tim Rozon), Waverly (Dominique Provost-Chalkley), Dolls (Shamier Anderson) and Vincent (Varun Saranga) face off against the Demon Bulshar — aka Sheriff Clootie — and maybe, finally, lift the curse off the Earp clan and the Ghost River Triangle. But with Bobo (Michael Eklund) back in the mix, that may be easier said than done. Meanwhile, Nicole Haught (Katherine Barrell) is hiding something from Waverly and the tension is just unbearable.

Returning: 2018


Marvel's Iron Fist 37% Season 2 (Netflix)

Why We Can’t Wait: Sleepy Hollow’s Raven Metzer takes over the creative reins from Inhumans’s Scott Buck; which means a new direction for the wobbliest of the Netflix Marvel shows. Finn Jones returns as Danny Rand, the Immortal Iron Fist, who must learn to balance his sense of justice with the realities of Marvel’s New York. He will also have to wrestle with Davos (Sacha Dhawan), his old pal from K’un-Lun who made a deal with the Hand and may, depending on how faithful the series will be to the comics, develop powers of his own. Sprinkle in possible appearances from Misty Knight (Simone Missick) and Luke Cage (Mike Colter) and the show has the possibility to finally find its footing.

Debuting: 2018


Titans (DC Streaming Service)

Titans: Alan Richtson and Minka Kelly as Hawk and Dove (Steve Wilkie / ©2017 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)

Why We Can’t Wait: Authenticity. The handful of promotion photos released so far suggests the series will maintain the look of its DC Comics counterpart in ways never before seen on screen. Our favorite example is the photo of Alan Richtson and Minka Kelly (Friday Night LightsThe Path) as the superhero duo Hawk and Dove. When Rotten Tomatoes spoke with Rob Liefeld, who designed their 1980s look duplicated in the show, he said “This stuff looks off the chain. It’s killer.” Hopefully the rest of the cast, which includes Brenton Thwaites (Blue Lagoon: The Awakening, Gods of Egypt) as Robin, Anna Diop as Starfire, Teagan Croft as Raven, and Ryan Potter (Big Hero Six) as Beast Boy will also be as authentic and “killer” as it brings many of these character to live action for the first time — including DC’s weirdest superhero team, the Doom Patrol!

Debuting: 2018


The Umbrella Academy (Netflix)

The Umbrella Academy (Netflix)

Why We Can’t Wait: Ellen Page headlines the Netflix adaptation of Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba’s short-lived comic series as Vanya Hargreeves, the one member of her family without superpowers. Black SailsTom Hopper and The Mortal Instruments: City of BonesRobert Sheehan also star as members of the Hargreeves family — one with the body of a Martian Gorilla and one with the ability to speak to the dead, respectively. The Hargreeves reunite after the death of their adoptive father, uncovering a mystery and coping with the abuse they suffered at his hands while he tried to make them a superteam. The show has the potential to be very different from other superhero with the comic’s cool aesthetic and use of superpowers as a mechanism to cope with trauma.

Debuting: 2018


The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Netflix)

Why We Can’t Wait: Keirnan Shipka as Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Seeing the ex–Sally Draper take on the role of Archie Comics’s favorite spellcaster would be reason enough to get excited for the series. But since it is based on The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, the show will have a certain gothic romance and Hammer horror movie quality absent from the 1990s ABC television series. As Sabrina, Shipka faces spooky houses, witch covens, swamp hags, and one mean high school principal (Bronson Pinchot) as she tries to reconcile her dual nature as a half-witch, half-mortal. Wonder Woman’s Lucy Davis and The Lord of RingsMiranda Otto take on the roles of Sabrina’s witchy aunts. The series was created by Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa.

Debuting: 2019


Marvel's Runaways 87% Season 2 (Hulu)

Why We Can’t Wait: Now that the team has finally, um, run away, the real story begins. Between the self-discovery, young love, and superpowers, Gert (Ariela Barer), Chase (Gregg Sulkin), Alex (Rhenzy Feliz), Nico (Lyrica Okano), Karolina(Virginia Gardner), and Molly (Allegra Acosta) will have to face getting by without money or creature comforts while dodging their parents, avoiding the machinations of Jonah (Julian McMahon) and keeping their dinosaur, Old Lace, from being discovered. The show is still a ways from producing the second season, so no new cast members have been announced as yet, but if the comic books are any guide, you may expect to see a mutant or two — or something very much like one — to pop up when Runways resumes.

Debuting: 2018


Happy! 84% Season 2 (Syfy)

HAPPY! -- "I Am the Future" Episode 108 -- Pictured: (l-r) Chris Meloni, Patton Oswald (Syfy)

Why We Can’t Wait: Few shows are as relentless, mean, and as full of joy as Happy! Christopher Meloni proved he is one of our greatest living actors by diving head first into such a despicable character as Nick Sax. But perhaps the most exciting aspect of the second season will be its 100-percent new story. The original comic book, written by executive producer Grant Morrison, was a four-issue miniseries, meaning whatever Nick and Happy (Patton Oswalt) get up to next year will be a completely unknown tale to fans of the comic.

Debuting: 2019


Watchmen (HBO)

Watchmen (Warner Bros./courtesy Everett Collection)

Why We Can’t Wait: The 2011 Watchmen movie (pictured) was the best possible movie it could be; though many, justifiably, see the flaws in trying to contain Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’s expansive 12-issue series into 2 hours and 43 minutes — or 3 hours and 35 minutes if you have the Ultimate Edition with the “Tales of the Black Freighter” sequence woven back in. Moore himself believes adapting the work into a dramatic format is a waste of resources. But if it must be adapted, television was always the natural home for a story which spans generations, four Nixon administrations, and the time it takes Dr. Manhattan to decide life is special. Lost’s Damon Lindelof is developing the series for HBO, which could be a good thing for the characters, as long as he doesn’t send Nite Owl to a deserted island. Then again, there is a tropical island in the comic book, but the reasons why people end up there are eventually explained.

Debuting: TBD


New Warriors

Marvel's New Warriors (Freeform)

Why We Can’t Wait: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (Milana Vayntrub) and the rest of the New Warriors face being superheroes and other crises of early adulthood in a comedy series originally developed for Freeform. Unfortunately, Marvel took the series back from the cable channel in November when it couldn’t guarantee a 2018 premiere date. Marvel has been looking for a new home ever since. There has been no mention of the program in months, leading many to wonder if it is dead or being held in reserve for the eventual Disney-branded streaming platform. Hopefully, we’ll get to see Squirrel Girl and Mister Immortal (Craig Hollis) on our screens very soon.

Debuting: TBD


Metropolis (DC Streaming Service)

Metropolis (DC Entertainment)

Why We Can’t Wait: Like Gotham, the excitement is in how you do a series set in a superhero’s world before he arrives on the scene. And that’s exactly what the DC streaming service plans to do with Metropolis, a television show centered on Lois Lane and her friend Lex Luthor as they investigate the strange goings-on around the “City of Tomorrow” and discovering its penchant for unhinged science. Like the magic trick Gotham pulled with the Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor), the intriguing element here would be the depiction of Lois and Lex, especially if they take the route Gotham took and stop worrying about the hero-in -waiting. Mix in city stalwarts like Professor Hamilton, Inspector Henderson, Perry White, Jimmy Olson, and Steve Lombard, and you have the beginnings of a good cast. The tough part: finding some villains if Lex is currently on the side of the angels.

Debuting: TBD


Cursed (Netflix)

Frank Miller in 2016 (Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Samsung)

Why We Can’t Wait: Based on a forthcoming illustrated novel by Tom Wheeler and Frank Miller (pictured), Cursed will take a new look at Nimue, the mythic Lady of the Lake. Recast as a “a teenage heroine with a mysterious gift” who must ally with a mercenary named Arthur to deliver a sword to the reclusive Merlyn, the novel and television show promise to look at the Arthur legend from a very different set of eyes. While not exactly a comic book, Miller’s presence lends it a certain cachet, particularly if the show uses his renderings to create its look, à la Sin City and 300.

Debuting: TBD


Deadly Class (Syfy)

Deadly Class Vol. 1 (Image Comics
(Photo by Image Comics)

Why We Can’t Wait: Based on the comic book by Rick Remender and Wes Craig, Deadly Class is set at an assassins academy filled with the children of mobsters and murderers. Marcus Lopez (Benjamin Wadsworth in the Syfy pilot), a kid from the streets with a lot of issues to address, finds himself accepted to the academy and faces all the trials of adolescence and ninja school. Socially awkward, but morally centered, Marcus must maintain his moral code while surviving a ruthless curriculum, vicious social cliques, and his own adolescent uncertainties. It sounds like a lot of fun should Syfy pick it up.

Debuting: TBD


American Flagg!

American Flagg!: Definitive Collection (Dynamite)
(Photo by Dynamite)

Why We Can’t Wait: Published by First Comics in 1983, the Howard Chaykin series centered on Reuben Flagg, a former comedian and television star turned Ranger for a corporate and government consortium known as the Plex. Once assigned to the Chicago Plexmall, he begins to see that his views of the United States may not align with the reality the remaining corporate entities put in place. Though mainly meant as a laugh, the series was quite prescient in its vision of 21st-century America. Which means the show could be a vicious send-up of today or a grim and gritty tale of a future gone wrong. The American Flagg series is being developed by EuropaCorp TV Studios and has to potential to be something really special should any broadcaster or streaming platform have the stomach for it.

Debuting: TBD


Astro City

Astro City (Vertigo)
(Photo by Vertigo)

Why We Can’t Wait: Though Astro City is a long way off — it was only announced two weeks ago — we definitely cannot wait to see Kurt Busiek’s long-running series become a television series. Debuting as an Image Comics title created by Busiek, Brent Anderson, and Alex Ross in 1995, the series of loosely connected story arcs spans 16 collected volumes containing thousands of characters. The stories explore the lives of ordinary people, the all-too-human superhumans in their midst, and their collective, daily struggle to hold on to hope in the face of world-shaking, life-altering events beyond any single individual’s control. The series, which later moved to Vertigo, has the potential to tell superhero stories for a decade while introducing characters who will endear themselves to viewers. Provided, of course, the production can find a broadcast partner willing to shepherd it to success.

Debuting: TBD

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