6 Comic Book Adaptations to Look Out For
Get excited for Paper Girls coming out July 29.
With San Diego Comic-Con firmly in our rearview mirror, we’ve got a better picture on what the future looks like for live-action and animated comic adaptations. To put it succinctly, there’s a lot of them. Up next is Paper Girls, coming to Amazon Prime Video on July 29.
But Paper Girls isn’t the only graphic novel coming to streaming. Prime Video and Netflix in particular have been buying up the rights to comics from publishers like Image Comics and Boom! Studios and recruiting their creators to run the show. Will all of these titles make it through production without untimely cancellation? We’re not sure, but we’re excited to see where they end up.
Here’s six upcoming streaming projects based on comics and graphic novels.
Paper Girls | Prime Video
People have already compared Prime Video’s upcoming Paper Girls adaptation to Netflix’s hit show Stranger Things, and there are similarities. Paper Girls for sure draws from the same 1980s kids-on-bikes aesthetic that inspired Stranger Things, albeit with an all-girl squad.
But if the comic is anything to go by, we could also compare Paper Girls to The Umbrella Academy with all of its convoluted time-travel antics. The story follows four young girls whose story intersects the 21st century, the distant future, and the far-flung past.
The show is based on the comics of the same name written by Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated by Cliff Chiang, and we’re excited to see that the show appears to take its lighting cues from Matt Wilson’s Eisner Award–winning coloring work.
The first episode of Paper Girls will air on Prime Video on July 29.
The Sandman | Netflix
After the success of Coraline, American Gods, and Good Omens, you might think Neil Gaiman would run out of stories to adapt for the screen. But Netflix is getting in on the party with The Sandman and just released a new trailer at SDCC.
(Not to mention, also just announced at SDCC: Marvel’s Emmy-nominated Disney+ show What If…? will adapt Gaiman’s Marvel 1602 story in its second season).
Much like American Gods and Good Omens, The Sandman plays around with world mythology and promises to bring life to abstract concepts like death and desire.
The Sandman is technically a part of the DC comics universe, utilizing characters like Lucifer and John Constantine. You won’t find Tom Ellis (from Netflix’s Lucifer) or Matt Ryan (from the CW’s Legends of Tomorrow) in either role, though, as this series reimagines the characters differently from previous DC properties. Gwendoline Christie will play Lucifer and Olivia Colman will play Johanna Constantine.
All ten episodes will drop on Netflix on August 5.
Nimona | Netflix
Nimona was once a casualty of Disney’s insatiable appetite and tendency to gobble up its competitors. Blue Sky Studios was originally going to release the film in 2022, but those plans were scrapped once Disney bought Fox and all of the studios under its corporate umbrella.
It was an especially tragic move, because unlike other projects that get stuck in development hell, the movie was allegedly mostly finished. Of course, fans of the character spoke up, and eventually Annapurna Pictures agreed to finish the remaining ~25% of the film for a Netflix release.
Nimona, a story about a shape-shifting henchperson and the villain she works for, is based on a graphic novel that actually started out as a free webcomic, written and illustrated by then-college student ND Stevenson. He eventually signed a deal to take down the webcomic and publish Nimona in print, so only the real, original fans can claim to have read it in its pure, unadulterated web form. (We’re totally kidding.)
We at least have a release window for Nimona, finally. The animated film is set to come out sometime in 2023. And if you’re eager to see more of Stevenson’s comics work hit the screen, look out for Lumberjanes hitting HBO Max as an animated series sometime in the near future.
BRZRKR | Netflix
Keanu Reeves took to the stage this weekend at SDCC, not for The Matrix or even Cyberpunk, but to talk about all things BRZRKR. The oddly-named title refers to a series of comics that the actor penned himself alongside Matt Kindt. The first volume may have just released last year, but Netflix is already chomping at the bit to spin it into its own cinematic universe.
BRZRKR is about a grim, immortal demigod who works as an assassin for the US government. Because we involuntarily have to compare everything to Marvel, it’s giving Winter Soldier. It’s giving Wolverine. And maybe just because of the Keanu Reeves connection, it’s giving John Wick.
We don’t have any release dates yet, but Reeves and Netflix plan to turn the action-packed comic into at least two seasons of an anime and a live-action movie. We’ll give you one guess as to who we think will play the leading role.
Something is Killing the Children | Netflix
Something is Killing the Children is that one comic (with the captivating covers) you keep seeing at your local comic book store every week but haven’t gotten around to reading yet. Or maybe you have, and you’re already sold on Netflix’s planned series.
Like BRZRKR, Something is Killing the Children is another currently running comic from Boom! Studios. The comic, created by James Tynion IV and Werther Dell’Edera, is a horror story about monster hunting.
And also like BRZRKR, we don’t have a released date for the pilot, but it’s currently being written and produced by the minds behind Haunting of Hill House and Doctor Sleep. We’ll definitely keep an eye out for an announcement when Netflix announces the full series (and maybe another eye open for all those monsters).
Eight Billion Genies | Prime Video
This is the newest title on this list, as the first issue of Eight Billion Genies just came out this May. Created by Charles Soule and Ryan Browne, it’s supposed to be an eight-part miniseries. You might recognize Soule’s name as the writer behind the 2018 run of She-Hulk, which partially inspired the adaptation coming to Disney+ in August.
The plot of Eight Billion Genies is still unfolding, but it revolves around a central premise: suddenly and without warning, all eight billion people on Earth receive one wish from their very own genie. This leads to all sorts of intertwining and unexpected consequences, as genie wishes often do. (Don’t just take our word for it—What We Do in the Shadows’ current season is very wish-centric).
Since the comic is so young itself, Amazon only recently acquired the film rights and we’d be surprised if the creative team has done any concrete planning yet. But both of the story’s creators are on board with the project, and the ever-ambitious tech giant is hoping to turn its world into a full-blown cinematic universe with TV shows and movies.