5 Canceled TV Shows That Would Make Great Comics
It happens every year like clockwork: a new TV show debuts, blows your freaking mind, renews your hope for the medium, then gets zapped by the Omega Effect back into nonexistence (or something). It’s become so common that every time you see an intriguing new show you expect it to get the boot, so why bother? Watching a show you know is going to get canceled is like listening to Beck after you found out he was a Scientologist: pointless.
Luckily, canceled shows may have still hope for a new life in comics, where “Firefly,” “Farscape”, and the excellent “Pushing Daisies” have all made the jump. So now that we’ve all had time to rumble through the stages of death and pour malt liquor on the sidewalk for the recent slate of TV cancellations, let’s take a look at the dearly departed that would make for good comics, and which creators should raise them from the dead:
REAPER — Of all the dead shows, Reaper easily has the most comic-friendly concept: college dropout Sam shags carts at the Work Bench by day, escaped souls for his father, the Devil, by night. Filled with a talented cast of loveable losers, this series had lighthearted action with a dark underbelly and more heart than an organ bank. The relationship between Sam and Satan – who may or may not be his real father – is fluid and captivating, and the delightful rapport between Bret Harrison and Ray Wise is the highlight of every episode. Somebody out there make a comic of this, and get Peter David and Pia Guerra to do it.LIFE — Wrongly imprisoned detective Charlie Crews is exonerated, awarded millions in settlement, given back his job, and hot on the trail of the men who framed him. Quirky and mysterious, the superbly-acted series slowly peeled the onion, revealing only bits and pieces of the grand conspiracy, exploring the deepest motivations of every character to grace the screen. A great series that could have had a very long life if NBC didn’t put it head-to-head against “Lost.” Dream creative team: Peter Milligan and J.G. Jones.
ELI STONE — Eli Stone on television fell into the same trap that Danielson Famile has in music: too much God for weirdos, not enough God for Christian weirdos, and really good. Douchebag lawyer Eli Stone, played by British actor Johnny Lee Miller, experiences hallucinations, recovered memories and visions of the future. Is it God talking or just the tumor in his head? The musical numbers got a little annoying, but that would probably get toned down in the comics, ideally by series creator Marc Guggenheim and illustrator Gene Ha.
MY OWN WORST ENEMY — Wow, what a show. Absolutely engrossing and completely ignored. Christian Slater, in the performance of his life, plays suburban family man Henry Spivey and government agent/sociopath Edward Albright, two distinct personalities living in the same body. Apart from the fresh take on an old story – Jekyll and Hyde, Superspy! – the series raised many questions about identity, duty, and morality, which will now never be fully explored. Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips would knock this sucker out of the park.
TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES — While this show certainly had its flaws – Brian Austin Green – it made up for that with surprising twists, a strong performance from Lena Headey, and a powerful sense of foreboding that seemed to hang over every line of dialogue. “Terminator: Rise of the Machines” renewed interest in the franchise only to deliver a heartless wonder, so TSCC is probably the most likely to make the TV-to-comics transition. Dark Horse Comics has produced quality books for this and other licenses over the years, so you wouldn’t be crazy to hope for a continuation of John Connor’s story, preferably by John Arcudi and Duncan Fegredo.