First appearing in 1993, DC Comics’ Vertigo Comics line was a way for the publisher to push boundaries that the main DCU couldn’t, thus allowing creators more freedom with their writing. A brainchild of publisher Karen Berger, the comics that were part of the Vertigo line quickly gained praise for going the extra mile with the variety of different genres and titles that made up the brand.
Titles in the Vertigo line soon became popular, as they were ideal for adapting stories to live action programs. Series like Zombie Y Hellblazer were adapted and showed the potential for other properties of the print. Currently, series like DMZ Y Greedy they are just a few of the newer selections, however there are many more series to consider for adaptation.
10 100 bullets
100 bullets is a pulp and black crime comic from the creative team of writer Brian Azzarello and artist Eduardo Risso that ran in 100 issues from June 1999 to April 2009. The series follows Agent Graves, a traveling mystery man offering to women victims a weapon with untraceable bullets to avenge those responsible for their cruel injustice, thus exploring issues of morality and justice.
Originally released as a feature film years ago, the television series format would lend itself to richer storylines and further character development. The episodic format would also allow for further exploration of the main series and the miniseries that featured some of the other characters.
9 Not written
The unwritten was the 71-issue series that followed the adventures of Tom Taylor, whose childhood was stolen by his father, an author who turned his son into a boy wizard with tales that become cultural phenomena. When Tom’s real life is overshadowed by the fictional aspects created by his father, the line between fact and fiction becomes blurred as Tom not only becomes a celebrity, but is hunted by an old clique, The Unwritten.
The series, by Mike Carey and Peter Gross, was inspired by the life of Christopher Milne, whose father based the character of Christopher Robin on Winnie the pooh on his son and benefited from it. Throughout the series, Tom uncovers a major conspiracy dating back to the earliest written stories as the series progresses.
One of the most sought after adaptations of a series of Vertigo tracks is that of the dystopian series with cyberpunk influence. Transmetropolitan, following the exploits of gonzo journalist Spider Jerusalem as he fights the political establishment. Returning to The City after years of isolation, Spider returns to cover the Transient movement’s attempted secession before being thrust into a presidential election between the two candidates he calls The Beast and The Smiler.
Along with his “disgusting assistants,” Spider works to expose the corrupt presidency of Gary “The Smiler” Callahan, whom he initially helped get elected, which turns into a race against time and his continued mental stability. The story is eerily similar to current events in the real world, making it the perfect time for this adaptation to happen.
AIR, The 24-issue series that ran between 2008 and 2010, is a hidden gem that is one of the earliest comic projects written by G. Willow Wilson with art by MK Perker. Follow the journey of Blythe, an acrophobic flight attendant. Working for Clearfleet Airlines, Blyth is recruited to join the “Etesian Front”, a group that claims to be an anti-terrorist.
After discovering that she has been tricked into helping the terrorist organization, Blythe finds herself on an adventure that includes fantastic and historical characters as minor characters. Originally planned as a four-year series, AIR it was canceled after a two-year run, potentially leaving a lot more story to explore in a live-action series.
Vertigo was known for period pieces like Northern inhabitants, set in Viking times, and Heartbreak, which takes place in post-Civil War America. Written by Brian Azzarello with art by Marcelo Frusin, Danijel Zezelj and Werther Dell’Edera, Heartbreak it was a 24-issue series that followed Wes Cutter, a Confederate soldier who was captured during the war and returned home after spending time in a prison camp. Returning home from the war to Blackwater, he finds the city under Union control and his house occupied, and is then offered the post of city sheriff.
The first issue explored the strained relationship between Cutter and the people of Blackwater, the fate of his wife, and the aftermath of the war between North and South. Heartbreak, in its short term, it focused on racism and the starkest realities of this moment in American history. Due to its early cancellation, Azzarello was unable to finish his story, which was supposed to end in approximately the 1940s, allowing plenty of time for a live-action series to develop and complete.
5 Clean room
Launched in 2015, Clean room, written by Gail Simon with art by Jon Davis-Hunt, was one of the Vertigo series that ended its run before the full story was told and deserves to be completed with a live-action series.
The story follows Chloe Pierce, a young journalist, who sets out to take down the organization responsible for causing the suicide of her fiancé. The cult group is led by self-help guru, horror novelist, and billionaire Astrid Mueller, who says monsters from another dimension are preparing to strike, and it’s all real. Clean room is an adventure that strikes a balance between horror and intrigue, making it perfect for an HBO series.
4 The exterminators
Simon Oliver and Tony Moore The exterminators it was a 30-issue series that took a dark look at the business of extermination. The main character is ex-con Henry, who begins working for his stepfather Nils Peterson’s extermination company after his release. Things get weird when the chemical they use to kill the bugs, Draxx, begins causing mutations and leads to one of the former exterminators returning from the dead as a bug-worshiping pharaoh.
Originally written for television by Simon, he later chose to present it as a comic, drawing the attention of Vertigo’s editor, Karen Burger. In 2008, after it was announced that the comic had been canceled, there was talk of bringing the series to life, but it was eventually caught in production limbo and has remained such since 2011.
3 The Underground Vinyl
The Underground Vinyl It was a 12-issue black crime series that was not only fast-paced but a mix of sex, drugs, music, magic, and murder. The series followed the unlikely trio of a playboy DJ, a psychic ex-con, and an adult film star / morgue attendant who tried to solve some strange crimes based on the occult in London.
Written by Si Spencer with art by Simon Gane and Cameron Stewart, the series, a cross between The invisible Y Hellblazer, was canceled before the series could find its voice and place within the Vertigo line, making it an ideal property to adapt to the small screen.
2 The New Deadwardians
The New Deadwardians, an eight-issue comic book series by Dan Abnett with illustrations by INJ Culbard, was published in 2012 and is a mix of Downton Abbey Satisfies The Walking Dead Y Twilight. Set in an alternate history of post-Victorian England, in which England had to wage a war against zombies, a war that was only won after the majority of the population became vampires.
After the war, the lower class of citizens are zombies or humans, while the upper class are now vampires. Vampire Chief Inspector George Suttle finds himself caught up in a murder mystery that takes him to all corners of this new world as he searches for the truth about the murder of another member of “the young.” While the eight-issue series ends very well, it leaves a world ready to explore in a television series.
one Army @ Love
Army @ Love is a black humor, postmodern look at the never-ending conflicts in the Middle East leading up to a militia of citizen-soldiers ranging from recent high school graduates to middle-aged corporate employees. With the writing and art of Rick Veitch, the military has gone into a full, prisonerless marketing mode, doing whatever it takes to get recruits to fight its wars.
The focus of the series is the Motivation & Morale division, whose purpose is to make military service irresistibly sexy for thrill-seeking youth with things like the Hot Zone Club. The series would be similar to a darker version of MIXTURE which took place in the 2000s.
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