These days, you can't scroll your Twitter timeline without seeing word of another comic book property being developed into a television series. This month alone, we get NBC's Vanessa Hudgens-starring Powerless and FX's Legion, which are set in the DC and X-Men universes, respectively. While all aren't the usual "bad ass dude sets out to destroy all of the evil in his town" ala Batman, they all play with the idea of transporting you into the worlds that these characters inhabit, and showcasing how a universe inhabited by people with extraordinary powers would actually function.
While the world of comic book-based television shows is the hotness right now, we've been getting inundated with these tales for 50+ years. As technology has advanced, we've been able to go from the black-and-white Superman on strings to a black man who has entire city buildings falling on his head. Better technology doesn't mean better shows, but the ability to show how Daredevil "sees" in a room full of strangers or to properly showcases The Flash's speed has been a marvelous thing to behold.
The real question seems to be "what makes a great comic book adaptation?" Is it staying true to the source material, warts and all? What about a creative spin on stale storylines? Or are we just dazzled by feats of "oh sh*t, they finally are able to do that"? Now's as good of a time as any to figure all of this out. Here's a breakdown of the best TV adaptations of your favorite comic books and comic book characters.
20. The Walking Dead
19. Blade: The Series
18. The Amazing Spider-Man
Starring: Nicholas Hammond
Number of Seasons: 2 (1977 - 1979)
While not the first Spider-Man live-action series (that'd belong to the Spider Super Stories that played during The Electric Company three years prior), the late-1970s ended with a weird run of Spider-Man movies and TV shows, where the aim wasn't to be camp ala the Batman series, but trying to flesh out Peter Parker as a real-life human being. It's an interesting take, but gives us a more mature Peter Parker, which is hot if all you want is an action-packed program and not the Spider-Man we see dropping one-liners and beating all of the ass.
The series did birth this amazing fight scene, though. So, there's that.
Wow @ that webbing technique. Praise Uatu that times have changed.