10 Lesser-Known Comic Book Characters That Deserve a TV Show

Published 2 years ago by , Updated August 8th, 2012 at 9:44 am, This is a list post.

10 Lesser Known Comic Book Characters That Deserve TV Shows

10 Comic Book Characters That Deserve A TV Show - Intro With the 2012 San Diego Comic Con at an end, we are left with some pretty exciting announcements about some lesser-known comic book characters like DC Comics' Lobo and Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy getting the feature-film treatment. With the exception of Arrow, most superheroes are headed to the big screen - so we decided to take a closer look at some of our favorite (but perhaps not so well known) comic book characters that would make truly awesome TV shows. Let's kick things off with the man with a face most don’t soon forget…

Jonah Hex

10 Comic Book Characters That Deserve A TV Show - Jonah Hex Who:  Civil War veteran turned bounty hunter with the face only a mother could love. Found In The Pages Of: Jonah Hex, currently featured in All-Star Western (DC Comics) The Story: After being sold to Apache natives for some furs by his father, young Jonah was educated in the tracking and combat ways of the tribe. Adult Hex fought as a soldier in the southern ranks during the American Civil War, where he was brutally scarred for life by a cruel union officer. This prompted Hex to become a bounty hunter with a strong sense of justice - even spending time cleaning up old west Gotham City. Why Him: Okay, most people don’t jump for joy over cowboys anymore – especially when there’s vampires and spaceships out there - but Jonah Hex is worthy of a closer look. Despite the less than thrilling movie, Hex goes beyond the token "White Hats" vs "Black Hats" type of western – and seeing him track down criminals in early wild west Gotham would definitely be a sweet sight on the TV screen.

Snow White & Bigby Wolf

10 Comic Book Characters That Deserve A TV Show - Snow and Bigby Who:  All the fairytale and nursery rhyme characters your mummy ever read to you with a real-world twist. Found In The Pages Of: Fables (Vertigo) The Story: When their storybook Homeland is attacked by the mysterious "Adversary" most of the fairytale characters of old are forced into the real world to live among humans, whom they refer to as "Mundies" (short for mundane). Those lucky enough to look human live in an area of NYC known as Fabletown, run by Deputy Mayor Snow White and her husband, Sheriff Bigby Wolf. Those unfortunate enough (or too poor to afford spells from the witches to suppress any unnatural traits) are shipped off to the dreaded Farm. The rules are simple: all past villainy is forgiven as long as you obey the law and don’t reveal yourself to the mundies – easier said than done. Why The?: Okay so everyone knows Snow White and the Big Bad Wolf, but this is definitely not your childhood stories – there’s enough violence, cussing and sex in this series to make even HBO blush. The only slight hitch might be making Bigby’s werewolf transformation look realistic enough; as Teen Wolf can attest, it’s not that easy.

X-Statix

10 Comic Book Characters That Deserve A TV Show - X-Statix Who: The mutant "superhero"  team known as X-Statix formed not as a group genuinely devoted to fighting crime, but to capitalize on the fame and fortune that being a superhero can bring, by filming their exploits for reality TV. Found In The Pages Of: X-Force, and later X-Statix (Marvel) The Story: The team known as X-Statix was ill-fated from the very beginning. On their first mission all but three members were violently killed while saving a boy-band (by their own TV network to boost ratings). This occurence of team members meeting with horrible and increasingly gruesome fates was a recurring theme for the squad that cared more about celebrity, merchandise sales and profit margins than actual heroics. Core members The Orphan, Doop, Anarchist and U-Go Girl managed to survive for a time - but even with their growing morals they too were unable to leave the team unscathed. Why Them: With sex,drugs and superpowers, X-Statix is probably one of the best self-contained stories Marvel has ever put out. The progression from spoiled reality stars to proper heroes is told in a way that actually makes you feel for characters that at first you might hate. In a tragic twist, by the time the X-Statix become a team not totally fame-driven it’s too late. Since the comic book series is set up as a "reality" show, it would also be a cool idea to set up a scripted TV show in a similar way - even if costumes and budget force the show from live-action to an adult-style cartoon.

Lucas Bishop

10 Comic Book Characters That Deserve A TV Show - Lucus BishopWho: Former X-Man and FBI Agent from the future , Bishop has the mutant power to absorb most types of energy directed toward him and then re-channel it through his body into concussive blasts. Found In The Pages Of: Uncanny X-Men, District X (Marvel) The Story: A mutant cop from the future, Lucas Bishop comes from the harsh dystopia where mutants are tattooed with an "M" over their right eye and are herded into concentration camps at an early age. Now stuck in the present day, the former X-Man and FBI Agent uses his foreknowledge of the future, his mutant powers and his human partner Ishmael Ortega to police District X, a dangerous part of New York City overrun by mutant gangs. Why Him: Everyone loves good old-fashioned buddy cop show, right? – especially when one of the cops is a bad-ass dude with the power to shoot energy blast out of his hands. Be it human or mutant - if written well, any opponent Bishop encounters would be a less cheesy stereotype than some of the other cop shows of the recent past (*cough* CSI).

Batwoman

10 Comic Book Characters That Deserve A TV Show - Batwoman Who: Kate Kane is a carefree party-girl socialite by day, ass kicking vigilante by night. Found In The Pages Of: 52, Batman and currently featured in Batwoman (DC Comics) The Story: Following her dismissal from the US military for being a lesbian, and the death of her sister, Kate Kane would live a destructive party-girl life that would later lead to alcoholism. A chance encounter with Batman inspires Kate to find a new calling, and adopt the mantle of Batwoman. While not receiving the Dark Knight’s official stamp of approval, Batman allows her to continue, since Kane is in the same social circle as Bruce Wayne and he knows what she’s been through and what she can do. With Batarang lessons from Nightwing and extra combat training from her Marine father, Batwoman has become quite the force for good in Gotham City  - too bad she's also on the top of her girlfriend Detective Maggie Sawyer’s must-capture list. Why Her: We keep holding our breath for another (less-campy) live-action Batman TV show – but let’s face it, with all that extensive  movie money rollin’ in, it’s never going to happen. Not only is Batwoman an all kinds of awesome role model for the LGBT community, her Bruce Wanye-esque origin story makes her easy for all sorts of people to get behind. As she is not officially part of his team, a Batwoman TV series would not depend on Batman appearances to survive  - plus, with neat gadgets like "taser gloves" and the Scarecrow's "Fear Toxin," Batwoman has just enough of the Caped Crusader in her to appeal to even the most die-hard Batman fan.

Venom III

10 Comic Book Characters That Deserve A TV Show - Venom III Who: Eugene "Flash" Thompson was a hot-shot high school football player and Peter Parker’s (Spider-Man) former bully. Currently he’s Peter’s best friend, a Corporal in the US Army and the third character to be properly called Venom (if you don’t count the people that only wore the symbiote suit for a minute or two). Found In The Pages Of: Spider-Man and currently Venom vol. 2  (Marvel) The Story: As president of the Spider-Man Fan Club, Flash Thompson followed the heroic steps of his favorite superhero and joined the US Army to save lives. After losing both his legs in Iraq, Flash became an alcoholic just like his abusive father. Given a second chance, Flash was chosen to participate in "Project Venom," which uses the villainous Venom symbiote (now in military custody) to create a super soldier. Flash now uses the power of Venom (web-slinging, super strength, even some fancy new legs) for good, but must remain calm and cannot stay bonded to the symbiote for more than 48 hours, in order to prevent it from gaining total control of him. Why Him: Venom is beyond cool that’s why! While the best-case scenario would be a live-action depiction, it’s probably better to go the way of an animated series. With the shape-changing abilities of Venom, the budget to make everything perfect might be too high – but a more mature-themed cartoon would take limited backstory to set up as an ongoing series.

Gus

10 Comic Book Characters That Deserve A TV Show - Gus Who: Gus is a 9-year-old deer-boy with antlers - and is also part of a new breed of human/animal hybrid that arose after an apocalyptic pandemic hits the planet. After his religious father dies of an unknown illness, Gus leaves his Nebraska home in the forest with a mysterious man named Jepperd. Found In The Pages Of: Sweet Tooth (Vertigo) The Story: Written and drawn by Canadian Jeff Lemire, Sweet Tooth follows the misadventures of deer-boy Gus. When his father suddenly dies, men come to his forest home to round Gus and other human/animal kids up to put in concentration camps for experimentation. Saved by a hulking and violent drifter named Tommy Jepperd, who promises to take him to "The Preserve" (a fabled safe-haven for hybrid children), Gus’ new mission in life is to save other mutated kids and solve the mystery of the strange virus - all while avoiding getting captured himself. Why Him:  As a series that is described as "Mad Max meets Bambi" Sweet Tooth has a lot of potential to make a sweet TV show. Although the main protagonist is a 9-year-old boy, the things this poor kid goes through can easily be depicted in a way that would make even Starz  network executives cringe.  The show would probably need to update the age of Gus. 

Melaka Fray

10 Comic Book Characters That Deserve A TV Show - Fray Who Now: Melaka "Mel" Fray is a 19-year-old Vampire Slayer of the distant future. Unlike other Slayers, Mel has no Watcher or any prophetic dreams to guide her. Found In The Pages Of: Fray, Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight, Tales of the Slayers (Darkhorse) The Story: Following the events of Buffy Season 8, the Slayer line has ended and most demons have been banished from the earthly realm. Vampires (now called "Lurks") are slowly making their way back into the world, causing a new slayer to be called in the form of professional thief Melaka Fray. As the Watcher Council has now turned into a bunch of crazy fanatics, the role of Mel’s Watcher is being filled by a "good" demon named Urkonn. Fray must now navigate through a world of cops, mutants and demons, having no connection to the other slayers or their history. Did I mention her twin brother Harth is now a badass vampire that possesses the prophetic dreams and visions of past Slayers Mel lacks? Why Her: Let’s be honest – a lot of us miss Buffy terribly. While Fray is a great deal different from her blonde predecessor, the series still features a lot of the epic mythology and classic Joss Whedon style of writing and one-liners that made Buffy so popular. By setting it centuries in the future, the story of Fray the gun-toting vampire slayer will not be dependent on aging actors from Buffy or Angel to make an appearance.

Red Sonja

10 Comic Book Characters That Deserve A TV Show - Red SonjaWho:  A spin-off character from Conan the Barbarian, Red Sonja - also known as The Warrior Woman of Hyrkania - is a skilled mercenary and unparalleled swordswoman who travels the world fighting the supernatural. Found In The Pages Of: Previously Savage Sword of Conan, Conan the Barbarian and Red Sonja (Marvel); Currently featured in Red Sonja (Dynamite Entertainment) The Story:  After a gang of violent marauders comes to town and kill her family, the leave Sonja alive brutally raped and beaten, and she cries out to the red goddess Scathach for vengeance. Scatchach bestows upon the young Sonja unparalleled skill in battle on the condition that she would never lie with a man unless he defeated her in fair combat. Sonja gladly accepted this offer. Now an adult, she is known as Red Sonja due to her fiery personality, flame-red hair, and uncanny ability to spill the blood of her enemies. Sonja travels the world as a legendary adventurer seeking to protect those who are helpless like she once was,  along with seeking revenge on those who killed her family. Why Her: The sword-and-sandals genre is pretty popular right now, and the void for a female lead within it could easily and skillfully be filled by Red Sonja. Think of Xena Warrior Princess meets Spartacus. Anything short of a Showtime/HBO-style bloodbath would be doing this series a great injustice. 

Multiple Man

10 Comic Book Characters That Deserve A TV Show - Multiple Man Who:  Jamie Madrox is a mutant (or possibly something different) with the power to multiply his body into an undetermined number of duplicates. Sounds like a cool power; send your copies to learn things like fighting styles, another language or whatever, then reabsorb them and tah-dah, now you know it. Downside: your "dupes" are now growing increasingly independent and don’t always come back. Found In The Pages Of: X-Factor (Marvel) The Story: After a stint as a super hero on the government funded X-Factor, and later X-Corporation, Jamie Madrox hangs up his Multiple Man moniker and tights for a quieter life as a private detective. All is well until one of his "dupes" returns home with a big ol’ gunshot wound to the gut. The physical and mental trauma of absorbing a dying dupe forces Jamie Prime to solve his own murder as well as track down all his wayward dupes. With the help of some of his former X-Factor teammates, Madrox forms X-Factor Investigations in hope of helping other desperate mutants – while making a few bucks on the side. Why Him (Err…Them): This is not your classic detective or superhero story. Sometimes Madrox’s greatest foe is literally himself - whether it's a case of Jamie Prime not looking before he leaps, or a crazy dupe that wants to kill him and take his place. Writer Peter David has been scripting the character for years and if he could be tapped for writing a TV series based his X-Factor work, it would no doubt be a hilarious and action=packed show.

Honorable Mention

10 Comic Book Characters That Deserve A TV Show - Honorable Mentions She-Hulk: The idea of Ally McBeal meets the Hulk sure is a tempting one – and as I totally see zany antics mixed with heart-pounding drama, what I don’t see is a realistic physical rendering of She-Hulk. At best, a live-action jade giantess would come off as a well-done drag queen, and at worst… well…  In any event, if you are a fan of She-Hulk, she will be a main character on Disney XD’s animated series Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H this fall, voiced by the lovely Eliza Dushku. Deadman: Despite a kind of lame costume, Deadman has a lot of TV potential. As the ghost of dead trapeze artist Boston Brand, Deadman possess the bodies of the living to fight crime. Writer/director Guillermo Del Toro (Hellboy) has been rumored to be linked to a possible Crow-esque style Deadman movie with Nikolaj Arcel (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) set to direct – but since its been over two years since any word of the project, only Rama Kushna knows if the film will ever see daylight. Booster Gold: Booster Gold was actually on the top of my list, but Syfy is currently developing a Booster Gold TV series. The character is a cocky scamp from the 25th century, who steals a futuristic super-suit and comes back to the 21st century to make it big as a superhero. Using his historical super-computer named Skeets to jack big-time rescues from other superheroes (including Superman), Booster cares more about fame and endorsement deals than the citizens he" protects." Eventually, personal tragedy forces a personality change, but not before Booster gets permanently stuck in our time. It's been awhile since we heard word of the Syfy series, but hopefully we see Booster on the small-screen soon. Jessica Jones: Featured in the explicated pages of Marvel’s ‘Alias’ the saga of Jessica Jones is the most humanizing "superhero" story the company has ever produced and would make a hell of a compelling TV show – as long as all the sex, violence and swearing from the comic series makes it to the show. Formerly known as the superhero "Jewel," Jessica Jones hangs up her white spandex to become a private investigator. Not wanting anything to do with the superhero world, poor Jessica is still constantly bombarded with super-powered clients (including Daredevil) - and the fact she is being stalked by the villainous Purple Man - who has the power of mind control - doesn’t help much either. Marvel tried to get a TV series - AKA Jessica Jones off the ground, but failed. Time to try again. This has only been a sampling of some of the truly great comic book characters out there that could use a little more screen time. Check back with us for more info on the actual upcoming superhero movies and television shows announced this year at comic-con
TAGS: aka jessica jones, booster gold, deadman, jonah hex, red sonja, she-hulk, venom

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  1. great list scott. All good choices that would make excellent shows. XFactor and Bishop and Alias. Batwoman, Jonah Hex?
    All of these stories would turn popular tv genres into something much more. Whole channels can be formed dedicated to just this. Instead of Law n Order watch She Hulk. Instead of Spartacus watch Red Sonja.

    Jamie Maddrox, i would have to agree would make for an amazing show.
    And Fables? I’ve read it all so it’d have to be done right, not cheesy.

    Venom would be a great cartoon!

  2. how about Invincible???

  3. I’d give Jonah Hex a chance so long as it is nowhere near the botched film. (In other words, drop the A ‘Deadwood’ type feel is spot on. I also agree with Red Sonja (who likewise had a bad film once upon a time) being a cable series. That would rule.

    The honorable mention of Deadman is brilliant. That almost happened at one time didn’t it? At least in a pilot stage? I can see that as sort of a ‘Quantum Leap’ flavor. I know that might get folks a bit ticked at me for saying that…but if we really thought about it, regardless of what character it is, you’d have to stick close to what is familiar ground with most TV people. Why do you think we get so many cop and doctor shows? Lawyer shows?

    Lawyers…

    YO FOX
    Forget about the Daredevil film now that Slade has vacated his chair; how about a TV series that could be part lawyer show/lawyer-detective show and superhero show?

    Okay. Let’s stick with lesser known characters. I’ll give my top six out of ten (the previous four I just mentioned – Red Sonja, Deadman, Hex and Daredevil).

    6- Marc Spector Moon Knight

    Perfect for television. Especially if he is more “Marc Spector” than Moon Knight. Moon Knight would only be one of his “personalities”, slowly becoming the dominant one. In the spirit of ‘Equalizer’ or (dare I say it) ‘Human Target’.

    5 – 100 Bullets
    I’ll let you think it over for the endless possibilities – especially if it aired on cable.

    4 – Killraven
    A little bit War Of The Worlds, little bit Spartcus.

    3 – Sleepwalker
    I think this could work as live action, with a sci-fi setting where dreams/fantasy crosses over into reality. That way, we could get away with outrageous character villains…and Sleepwalker.

    2 – Sir Percy/Black Knight
    Set in the MCU – but taking place in the time of King Arthur.

    Now this next one is one I’m surprised that didn’t even get an honorable mention by Scott; it’s a no-brainer. Ready, Scott? Here it is:

    1- House Of Mystery
    The greatness of this, of course, is that it is an anthology series, not unlike Twilight Zone, Night Gallery, Tales From The Darkside…Tales From The Crypt. Even mix it up the Vertigo way.

    • Hex would be great if they dropped the supernatural out of it or just hinted at it.

    • Nah there was no Deadman TV series planned, there was/is however a movie in the works but we’ll see about that lol. I think you’re thinking of The Specter, similar DC Comics character to Deadman who they were talking about making a series on, of course it went nowhere.

      As for your picks, I can see where you’re going and can co-sign with a few. 100 Bullets, great series – but I’m pretty sure its slowly in the works for a movie. Hmm Black Knight not too sue but I can see House of Mystery, but I feel it won’t get a fair shake cause people would compare it to American Horror Story.

      Last but not least Moon Knight, a few people have mentioned him, so I’m going to post a separate comment about that, so look out for it at the end

  4. Okay guys, a lot of you have mentioned Moon knight so let’s get this out of the way once and for all. Moon Knight (as is) would NEVER make it past one season, just like how his solo comics keep getting cancelled and usually don’t make it past 10+ issues. I’m a fan of Moon Knight’s brand of crazy – and he has a small group of very loyal fans, but the truth is many (not including me) think of him as a big joke. A lot of people find him to be a not so great rip-off of Batman, also they find the fact that his powers wax and wane by the phases of the moon totally ridiculous. Lastly him attempting to be a hero of the night and shadows in a bleach white suit is a great way to get a few bullets in the ass.

    Now this isn’t meant to throw shade on good Ol’ Moon Knight, but these are the facts of the case, Moon Knight would need a huge revamp to make it on TV or even a movie, which would probably alienate the same fans that want a Moon Knight show in the first place.

  5. For the record, Jonah Hex was scarred as punishment after a rigged tomahawk duel with what had become his adoptive brother (the Chief’s son) over a previous incident where he was set up and left for dead by the Chief’s son, who had told the tribe Hex died. Hex had returned after the Civil War, accused the son of lying, and was intentionally given a faulty tomahawk that fell apart during the duel. Hex killed him in defense with a knife he had stashed, which went against the rules, and as such was given the “mark of the demon” with a heated tomahawk then exiled from the tribe.

    The actual story is much better than the hack films watered down portrayal. This was one of the many things the film did wrong, though I can understand the alteration being made of time constraints.

    Hex has a very diverse and interesting back story that doesn’t lend well to a film clocking in at less than 90 minutes.

  6. Personally,I think there are some real stinkers on that list that wouldn’t translate to TV very well without the proper budget,or with a big budget for that matter.I do think that Bishop could be pulled off rather well though.

    My list is kind of short,but here goes.

    Bone-I’m honestly kinda surprised that this one hasn’t ever been developed,unless it has and I just missed it.

    Grendel-A cheap alternative to Batman,but possibly more violent.Would be great on Starz to fill the void of the soon to be finishing Spartacus.

    Transmetropolitan-Spider Jerusalem would be another great character to add to the HBO stable of shows.I’m almost certain that this would be an instant hit.

    Well,that’s all I have for now.

  7. I’m still really hopeful for Cloak and Dagger. Always been a cult favorite of mine, and I think it’ll make for a great series.

    • Actually,that was another one on my list,but I just couldn’t remember it.

      And not that I would necessarily want to see it,but Dazzler would be really easy to pull off.

  8. Batwoman is out for at least another 3-4 years so a decade has passed since Birds of Prey’s spectacular epic fail.

    I dug a few of these choices and was not aware of a few of them. She Hulk could work, but not actually as a crimefighter. I think she works well as a doctor.

    • A doctor? lol but She-hulk is a lawyer.

  9. I think Batgirl deserves her own series, big time. It’s about time that she has her own series. It shouldn’t be campy, but staying true to the darker side of the Batman universe.

  10. She Hulk for the hot win!

    “Chimichangas!”

    http://marveldcforum.com/index.php

  11. +1 for Invicible…. but moreso then that, I’d love to see a TV series for Runaways.

    It’d practically write itself.

  12. Came across the article from Facebook. I thought it was an updaye. Sure enough, one of the ‘honorable mentions’ Jessica Jones will soon be around on Netflix alongside Daredevil and the Heroes For Hire. I think there might be room for a She-Hulk spinoff of Agents of SHIELD should they ever get around to it.

    I wouldn’t mind a Jonah Hex series. Red Sonja would rule on cable…even Starz, who might be missing a Sparacus-lke series very soon.

  13. If they could get Billy West to play Skeets again, then I would look forward to giving Booster a chance.

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