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In recent years, we’ve seen a boatload of comic books and graphic novels make their way to the silver screen, from “big two” stalwarts like Spider-Man and Batman to independent titles like Scott Pilgrim and 30 Days Of Night.
After toiling away for nine years on the independent scene, Brian Michael Bendis became an “overnight success” with his work on Marvel’s Daredevil. After proving himself there, he got his shot at the big time as one of the key figures in the launch of the Ultimate line, specifically for him Ultimate Spider-Man. Marvel further placed their faith in him when they gave him the keys to their flagship superhero team the Avengers, and promptly he ended the team in Avengers: Disasssembled before taking them to new heights. First came New Avengers, then Secret Invasion and Siege, and now years later he’s become the driving force for a new era in Marvel Comics. He’s never left his creator-owned roots behind and has been publishing Powers ever since he got his start at Marvel, but he recently amped up his creator-owned output with Scarlet, TAKIO and the recently announced Brilliant.
Hollywood has been using his Marvel ideas for awhile (and even had him write the famous post-credits scene to Iron Man), but his creator-owned books offer a wealth of material for the big screen or small. Powers has just been green lit for FX, and Universal has optioned his series Fire with Zac Efron penciled in as the lead. After that, there’s still a bonanza to explore — so let’s dig in.
Brilliant: Although the comic has yet to hit shelves, it has Hollywood written all over it. A group of brainy college-types coming together Social Network-style to crack the code behind superpowers? Sold. It’s like a super-hero version of Flatliners (anyone remember that?) I could see any enterprising director latch onto this to do a serious super-hero movie, and with the right choices for an ensemble cast it would be perfect.
AKA Goldfish / Jinx: Written and drawn by Bendis, these two are some of his earliest successes and show him easing into the noir/crime genre he’s become a staple of in comics. Set in his own hometown of Cleveland, AKA Goldfish follows a con man who returns to town to regain custody of his son from his ex-girlfriend and current crime boss. Jinx is a prequel to that story, centered on a titular female bounty hunter who partners with a younger Goldfish to track down a mentally deranged bounty hunter. With a little work this could be a prime target for the Hollywood treatment as a pair of movies — and possibly more.
Fortune & Glory: This inventive story is an autobiographical story charting Bendis dalliances with Hollywood as a then-up-and-coming comics writer. I’m personally begging for Bendis to do a sequel to this someday chronicling his adventures since, but even on its own it could be an eye-opening story for the big screen.
Scarlet: While its subject matter makes it one of the harder concepts to adapt from Bendis’ works, Scarlet could be an amazing piece of film making if approached the right way. Think Domino meets Ferris Bueller’s Day Off set around a rebellious young woman who goes too far and starts a new American Revolution. I’d love to see someone take a chance on this!