14 Movies You Didn't Know Were Based On Comic Books
By Mat Elfring | @ImMatElfring on
It's no secret that Hollywood loves comic books, and every year, there are a new slew of superhero films based on well-known and well-loved properties. However, every year, there's usually one or two movies based on a lesser-known comic or graphic novel, and this isn't a new thing. Just like the new Kingsman film, which is based on the 2014 comic The Secret Service, Hollywood occasionally pulls from the world of indie comics a lot more frequently that you'd realize. You probably know that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Hellboy, and Kick-Ass are all based on comics, but we have 14 more that may surprise you.
Atomic Blonde (2017)
This year, Atomic Blonde came out; a high-octane espionage starring Charlize Theron. The movie is originally based on the graphic novel The Coldest City by writer Antony Johnston and artist Sam Hart. Publisher Oni Press released the book in 2012, and the standalone comic is the only time the main character Lorraine Broughton has appeared in print.
2 Guns (2013)
Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg starred in 2 Guns, a story about two criminals who find themselves in trouble with the US Border Patrol after their meeting with a drug lord south of the border. The movie is loosely based on the Boom Studios comic Two Guns, which follows two con men who go on various heists.
Barb Wire (1996)
Barb Wire took place in the far-off future of 2017 and starred Pamela Anderson as the title character. The plot is a post-apocalyptic version of Casablanca, primarily taking place in a nightclub. The bounty hunter first appeared in Comics' Greatest World: Steel Harbor #1 by writer Chris Warner and artist Paul Gulacy from Dark Horse Comics in 1993. There is little difference between the comic and its big screen adaptation.
The Losers (2010)
The Losers follows CIA special forces team who was left for dead. Of course, they go on the offensive to get revenge in this action comedy. The comic book version of the series, which was published by DC's imprint Vertigo in 2003, is a whole lot like the movie, except it ran for 32 issues, so that story is a bit hard to pack into a feature film. The series was written by Andy Diggle and drawn by Jock.
Bulletproof Monk (2003)
The Yung-Fat Chow/Seann William Scott movie follows a monk who works with a young pickpocket to protect an ancient scroll with magical powers. The film is a loose adaptation of a comic from Image published in 1999 of the same name. The series was by writer Brett Lewis and artist Michael Avon Oeming.
A History of Violence (2005)
A History of Violence, the 2005 David Cronenberg film, follows Tom Stall (Viggo Mortensen) who, after becoming a local hero, finds himself being stalked by a Philadelphia mob boss who thinks Stall is someone else. Is Tom Stall who he claims to be or does he have a secret past? The film is based on the Vertigo comic of the same name from 1997 by writer John Wagner and artist Vincent Locke. The film version is one of the more faithful adaptations on this list.
Oblivion follows Jack (Tom Cruise) who is one of the few humans left on Earth, staying there to extract the planet's remaining resources. Much more interesting than the film is the fact it's based on a comic book whose production began in 2009. Radical Publishing's Oblivion was written by Joseph Kosinski (who directed the feature film) and Arvin Nelson and was illustrated by Andrée Wallin. The publisher handed out preview pages at San Diego Comic-Con back in 2011, and according to the publisher's website, it's coming out sometime in 2012--it still hasn't.
Road To Perdition (2002)
Taking place during the Great Depression, Road To Perdition follows Michael Sullivan (Tom Hanks) and his son (Tyler Hoechlin) who are seeking revenge on a man who killed their family. Vertigo published the original comic of the same name in 1998. The graphic novel was written by Max Allan Collins and drawn by Richard Piers Rayner.
The sci-fi action film Surrogates follows a man who is forced to leave his house for the first time after ten years to investigate a series of murders of surrogate robots. The Top Shelf comic of the same name follows a set of two detectives in the same world where humans use robotic surrogates to go into the real world. The book was written by Robert Venditti and features the art of Brett Weldele.
The movie takes place in the future where all of humanity rides in the train the Snowpiercer during a man-made ice age. The lower class occupants on the train lead a revolt against the upper class at the front of the train. The movie is based on the 1982 French graphic novel Le Transperceneige, written by Jacques Lob and drawn by Jean-Marc Rochette.
In Red, a retired black ops CIA agent finds himself going after the Agency after they attempt to assassinate him. DC's imprint Homage Comics published the three-issue miniseries back in 2003. The comic is a bit different than the film, as it's not a comedy, and it's one man's story, not an ensemble, which the movie gravitated towards.
In Timecop, Jean-Claude Van Damme played Walker, an officer who regulates time travel. Aside from doing the splits, he has to stop a politician from changing time so he can become more powerful in the future. While Dark Hose Comics published a two-issue comic, Walker's first appearance was in Dark Horse Comics #1 in 1992. The character was created by writer Mark Verheiden, and artist Chris Warner.
The Mask (1994)
The Mask was one of the most bizarre superhero films to hit the big screen. Jim Carrey stars as Stanley Ipkiss, a man who finds a mysterious mask that turns him into a live-action animated character/crime fighter. The comic book version of the character was much more adult-orientated. The character made its first appearance in Dark Horse Presents #10 in 1987 and was created by writer Mike Richardson and artist Mark Badger.
Men In Black (1997)
Finally, there's Men In Black, the film about a secret government organization that polices and monitors extraterrestrials. The comic book counterpart made its printed debut back in 1990, created by writer Lowell Cunningham and artist Sandy Carruthers. The biggest difference about the comic book is that the MIB also dealt with mutants and demons alongside aliens.