Films centered around Marvel and DC characters continue to dominate the entertainment news cycle (and the attention of the geek community, natch), but it’s been looking more and more like comic book properties are on their way to conquering television next. The aforementioned comic book titans could have as many as 17 ongoing television series across both traditional networks and streaming services like Netflix in the near future.
Television is perhaps the medium most suited to the serialized storytelling that has been employed on the comic page for decade, with Netflix’s Daredevil being a nice, recent, illustration of this. It thus stands to reason that comic book material should find an ideal home on the small screen – including, those that offer unique variations on the usual superhero tropes, like the property we’ll discuss next.
Deadline is reporting that Universal Television is developing a television series based on Image Comics’ The Wicked + The Divine. The award-winning comic by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie debuted last year and centers on a super-powered team called “The Pantheon”, where each member has merged with the spirit of a deity. Gillen and McKelvie – who write and draw the comic, respectively – previously collaborated on an acclaimed run of Marvel’s Young Avengers as well as the 2006 cult book Phonogram, also for Image.
It’s not clear yet what kind of distribution plan Universal is eyeing for the series, though it’s easy to see the studio aiming to tailor the show into a Heroes-esque offering on its own NBC (though that’s purely speculation). A plan along those lines would still bring its own set of challenges, since the network recently faced difficulties jumping into the world of comic book television with its recently cancelled Constantine.
The Wicked + The Divine certainly isn’t a title that your average non-comic book fan will be able to easily recognize (assuming they’ve even heard of it). However, in a time when shows like ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have found a sizable, loyal, audience – while programs like The CW’s upcoming Legends of Tomorrow could wind up managing the same – now’s a great time in general for just about any live-action project centered on super-powered comic book characters.
There’s something undeniably appealing about a premise that involves uniquely-powered individuals – and given that The Wicked + The Divine already has such acclaim behind it, there’s all the greater potential for the TV adaptation to be a series loaded with solid drama and impressive visuals. Could this title prove to be an untapped resource for next-level comic book storytelling?
Stay tuned to Screen Rant for updates on The Wicked + The Divine series as this story develops.