Networks are scrambling to have the next big hit come from the pages of comic books. Multiple comic book-based series are coming out in the next few years including the new version of "The Incredible Hulk," "Arrow," and "Booster Gold" to cash in on the market recreated by "The Walking Dead." Creators of these new shows should look into the past to make sure they do not make the same mistakes as some of the worst comic book-based shows of all time.
Stay True to the Theme.The major theme of The X-Men comic was that the mutants were born differently than normal people, but should not be considered as completely different and hated. Evil mutants led by Magneto believed the mutants should lead the world while the X-Men wanted to save the world and hoped for the day when everyone could live together. "Mutant X" morphed the theme into a government conspiracy show and left out the ideal of battling racism and hate.
Keep the Lineup.Comic book fans want to see a show based on their favorite characters. When shows follow the Avengers, Justice League, or X-Men, it is acceptable to pick and choose which characters to include since there have been so many members of these groups over the years. When Torch was left off of "Fantastic Four" and replaced by H.E.R.B.I.E. the robot in the late 1970s, fans flipped. Familiarity with characters encourages fans to check out a new TV series while introducing variant characters can alienate even the most devout fanboys and fangirls.
Top Villains Are Important.The major villains of the comic books are as important and well-known as the superheroes that fight them. The upcoming "Beware the Batman" will be focusing on minor villains instead of characters like Joker, Penguin, and the Riddler. Obviously, the lesson was not learned from "The Avengers: United They Stand." The 1999 show used back-of-the-line villains such as Zodiac, Eggman, and Dragonfly. The show only lasted one season as sets turned off quickly.
Remember the Budget.The small budget on the life-action "The Amazing Spider-Man" made the show one of the worst of all time. Obvious stunts and backyard-grade special effects made the show a nightmare to watch. The show was so bad it only ran for eight weeks. If a network is going to create a comic-book based show, the money should not be a worry. If characters are given the best chance to shine, the ratings should be a secondary thought since the comic book fans will tune in every week without a second thought.
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