50 Comic-Book Movies That Must Never Happen
Acts Of Vengeance (1990)
The Comic: The Avengers and Fantastic Four join forces to take on a team of supervillains including Loki, Magneto, Red Skull, Mandarin and Kingpin. Phew!
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: Too many super-powered cooks. Far too many for one film.
US 1 (1983)
The Comic: US 1 follows the exploits of U.S. Archer, a super-powered trucker charged with fighting evil on the highways and byways of rural America. Poop poop!
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: It's quite difficult to take seriously a hero who spouts such guff as, "he's trying to drive that sucker right up my tailpipe!"
Amazons Attack (2007)
The Comic: Wonder Woman is illegally detained by the US Government, causing a group of her fellow warrior women to launch an attack upon Washington. Amazons versus Republicans, yo!
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: The comic features the Amazons taking down fighter jets with their bows and arrows. That alone is reason to veto this one.
Our Worlds At War (2001)
The Comic: A wildly sprawling storyline that sees DC's top talent time travelling all over the show, with some scenes even occurring in the midst of the Big Bang. Not lacking in ambition, this one…
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: A story so OTT it involves the entire DC Universe would be too much for even the most talented screenwriter to adapt.
The Red Bee (1940)
The Comic: The adventures of assistant DA Rick Raleigh, who fights gangsters, Nazis and various other ne'er-do-wells with the aid of his trained bees. His favourite bee is named Michael. Just FYI.
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: Perhaps we're worrying about nothing, but might Michael the trained bee not look a tiny bit silly? No? Go ahead then.
Superman: At Earth's End (1995)
The Comic: A superman spin-off set outside the DC universe in a post-apocalyptic world where the twin clones of Adolf Hitler have stolen Bruce Wayne's body in order to create their own twisted version of Batman. We swear we're not making this up…
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: Pitting Superman against Hitler would be controversial enough, but against his twin clones, with Batman's raddled old body as the prize at stake? Too mental, even for Hollywood.
The Gormandizer (1974)
The Comic: The all-action adventures of Frankie Franklin, a competitive eater who gains super-powers after eating a batch of irradiated hot dogs. As you do.
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: Nobody wants to see a fat superhero. Seth Rogen in Green Hornet is the very limit of the scale.
The Invisibles (1994)
The Comic: Grant Morrison’s saga about a band of subcultural secret agents, which gleefully takes aim at every sacred cow going. Absolutely nothing is off limits…
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: It’s far too keen on transgressing, sadly. Any movie openly slating Walt Disney and showing the Marquis De Sade sleeping with kids is unlikely to get made.
The Comic: A hugely bloated crossover event that sees the X-Men thrown alongside the Avengers, Fantastic Four, Spider-Man and many others in order to take on the titular demon.
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: It would be a logistical nightmare for a start, but even if the respective characters could be corralled, none of them would get a chance to shine with such competition for screen-time.
Clone Saga (1994)
The Comic: A ludicrously convoluted storyline in which the Spider-Man readers had followed for the past few decades was revealed to have been a clone all along, with a newly introduced doppelgänger presented as the real Spidey. It makes our head hurt to think of it.
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: Filled with so many backtracks, switcheroos and sudden twists, it was a struggle to follow through its two year arc. One can only imagine what a mess it would be if condensed into a two hour film!
All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder (2005)
The Comic: Frank Miller rewrites the Batman as a sociopathic nutjob with a serious attitude problem, and Robin as his long-suffering partner, who spends much of the comic cowering like a battered wife. A bizarre reinterpretation of the relationship…
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: Because we never want to hear Bats say, "What are you dense? Are you retarded or something? Who the hell do you think I am? I’m the goddamn Batman." Urgh.
Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil Men Do (2002)
The Comic: An arc written by filmmaker Kevin Smith, in which Spidey and the Black Cat take on a drug dealer named Mr. Brownstone, who has a brother capable of teleporting heroin directly into people’s bloodstreams. Hmm.
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: As well as the above silliness, there’s also a lot of rape in this arc. Which we don’t really want to see in a Spider-Man movie.
House Of M (2005)
The Comic: Another big-time Marvel crossover as the Scarlet Witch's powers are suddenly magnified to give her the ability to alter the fabric of the universe. The upshot? The existence of all mutants comes under severe threat.
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: Scarlet Witch is elevated to such a preposterously powerful status that it instantly renders any triumph of good over evil as hugely implausible. Silly.
Maximum Carnage (1993)
The Comic: An exciting arc featuring the fiendish Carnage, a violent antagonist presented as a kind of extreme version of Venom. Not a bad storyline then, but not one we want to see adapted…
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: Venom has already proved a tricky character to adapt, and we'd rather the Spidey films avoided the whole Symbiote route altogether. Introducing Carnage would confuse matters still further...
The Punisher: Purgatory (1998)
The Comic: A misjudged reinvention of the Punisher as a resurrected angel of death, complete with glowing eyes and supernatural mumbo-jumbo. Oh dear.
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: The character has already been through the cinematic mill. if we see him again, we want it to be in the form of his gritty, original incarnation. Not this undead travesty.
The Comic: A young boy name Kamandi is one of the last surviving humans on an Earth that is now ruled by hyper-intelligent animals. Sound familiar?
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: Because Hollywood has only just managed to get Planet Of The Apes back on an even keel, without having to worry about this as well.
Clean Fun (1944)
The Comic: A spectacularly racist one-off featuring Shoogafoots Jones, a luckless sap who loses his job, is bullied by his wife and mocked by his kids (all of whom were born by different mothers). Lovely.
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: Because it would play like a BNP broadcast as opposed to something any right-thinking person would want to watch.
Bwana Beast (1967)
The Comic: The adventures of the titular z-list superhero, who boasts the ability to fuse two animals together, in order to harness their respective attributes in order to fight crime. Every bit as silly as that sounds.
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: The animal hybrids would look grotesque, as would B’wana himself in that ridiculous costume…
Star Trek / X-Men (1996)
The Comic: A genius team-up in which the X-Men find themselves teaming up with the original crew of the Enterprise to take on Proteus. Features Spock giving Wolverine the neck pinch and Beast and McCoy both answering to the same name.
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: As much as it sets our nerd-senses tingling, it would be a logistical nightmare. Imagine the rights-wrangling that would be involved…
Identity Crisis (2004)
The Comic: A jarring entry to the JLA series, in which the action kicks off with well-loved character Sue Dibney being brutally murdered and having her corpse burned to a charred crisp. It's later revealed that she was raped by the previously cartoonish Dr. Light. Cheery stuff, then…
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: In self-consciously attempting to aim for a darker tone, this one sails way past the intended mark and into the realm of the upsetting. Not one we want to see adapted any time soon.
Action Comics #592 593 (1987)
The Comic: An infamous Superman story arc in which the Man of Steel is hypnotised by a villain named Sleez, and coerced into making a porno with Mr. Miracle's wife. Yes, really!
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: We're all for a grittier portrayal of Superman, but this is taking things a step too far.
Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters (1986)
The Comic: An unofficial parody of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles , in which the four titular hamsters are named after classic action heroes (Clint, Chuck etc.). How we laughed.
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: Despite Michael Bay’s franchise resurrection, we’d argue that a Ninja Turtles parody has slightly missed its window of opportunity…
The Sentry (2000)
The Comic: The story of a supremely powerful being with near God-like capabilities, who finds himself hamstrung b y schizophrenia and drug addiction. There’s always an Achilles heel…
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: Despite being all-powerful, the Sentry is a right old whinger, continually moping around over one problem or another. If he’s gratingly downbeat on the page, we don’t imagine he’d fare any better on the screen.
The Punisher / Eminem (2009)
The Comic: A bizarre bit of cross-pollination as the Punisher teams up with Slim Shady himself, who’s under threat from the villainous Barracuda.
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: The Punisher series has already been run into the ground, and the way to save it is not by introducing Eminem to the equation. Especially not an Eminem who raps while doling out a beating…
The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers (1968)
The Comic: A slapstick series in which the titular brothers get themselves into all manner of hilarious scrapes in their ongoing pursuit of marijuana. Reefer madness!
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: We’ve already had Dude, Where’s My Car? and it was rubbish. That will do, thank you.
The Adventures Of Captain Titanic (1962)
The Comic: A commemorative comic-book to tie in with the 50th anniversary of the Titanic disaster, in which the grand-nephew of Captain Edward Smith takes on a swarm of iceberg-shaped aliens.
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: Quite aside from its sheer stupidity, it’s not very sensitive is it?
The Sandman (1989)
The Comic: Neil Gaiman’s supremely epic saga, featuring such characters as Dream and Death, that has spanned 74 issues and various other spin-offs over more than a decade.
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: It’s just far too sprawling to be condensed into a movie. As Gaiman himself admits, “it’s not film-shaped… (after) encapsulating 2,000 pages of comics into a giant visual pitch, what I got was, ‘Does The Sandman have a clearly defined bad guy?’ I said, ‘No it doesn’t,’ and they said, ‘Thanks for coming!’”
Bad Girls (2003)
The Comic: DC makes a misjudged grab for the elusive teenage girl audience with this half-baked series about a girl struggling to fit in at high school.
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: If that premise doesn’t sound hackneyed enough, there’s an incident with the school’s resident nerd that accidentally gives the group superpowers. Yawn.
Spider-Man: Sins Past (2004)
The Comic: A horribly soapy story arc in which Gewn Stacy is revealed to be the illegitimate daughter of The Green Goblin. Oh and she gave birth to a pair of secret twins, who are now out to kill Peter. Right.
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: Because the plot is something even Sunset Beach would have discarded as too sensationalist!
The Comic: A wrongheaded decision by Marvel to commission Mark Millar to write a miniseries exploring the backstory of Uncle Ben and Aunt May.
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: Because nobody cares how Ben and May got together. The Spidey Senses are what keep people coming back!
Superman Red / Superman Blue (1998)
The Comic: DC makes the unusual decision to completely retool their number one superhero, by changing Superman's powers and making him dependent on solar energy. Presumably the intern was allowed into the ideas meeting for this one…
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: First rule of superman… you do not alter Superman. Second rule of Superman… etc. etc.
Madam Fatal (1940)
The Comic: The adventures of a game old bird who eschews the temptations of Countdown and a nice cup of tea to fight crime. Except actually she's a middle-aged bloke in disguise. Of course she is!
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: Think Mrs. Doubtfire with a crime-fighting subplot tacked on. nobody wants to see that.
Death Of Superman (1992)
The Comic: DC performs a nakedly cynical sales stunt by killing off the Man of Steel, replacing him with four new pretenders before revealing the original was in a regeneration chamber the whole time. Great.
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: You'd either have an incredibly brave director kill the franchise stone dead, or you'd get a pointlessly anticlimactic cop-out, as in the comic. Neither seems that appealing.
The Godyssey (1996)
The Comic: A religious crossover comic in which a rebooted version of Jesus grows tired of turning the other cheek and wages war on, er, Zeus. A truly celestial dust-up ensues.
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: Because as much as we would like to see Jesus jump down from the cross to kick Apollo’s arse (that actually happens in the comic), it could be construed as a teensy bit offensive to the Christian faith!
Amputee Love (1974)
The Comic: An adult comic written by a double amputee, playing out various sexual scenarios featuring, er, amputees. Interesting…
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: Despite the taboo-normalising message, we’re not sure there’s much of an audience for a feature film version. And the Daily Mail might have a thing or two to say about it…
Fat Fury (1964)
The Comic: The adventures of the grotesquely obese Herbie Popnecker, who gains a job-lot of superpowers by sucking on some cosmic lollipops.
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: Did we mention the cosmic lollipops?
Captain Britain (1976)
The Comic: The UK’s answer to Captain America, a Union Jack-clad superhero who sets about protecting good old Blighty from a cast of marauding supervillains.
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: Because he’s little more than a poor man’s Steve Rogers. Unless you were to recast him as a beer-swilling lout who’s generally an embarrassment to the country, but quite handy when it comes to saving the day.
One More Day (2007)
The Comic: Another Spider-Man story, this time featuring the diabolical Mephisto, who demands ownership of Peter and MJ’s marriage in exchange for sparing Aunt May’s life. #Dilemma
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: Because while heavy on hand-wringing and weeping in darkened rooms, the book doesn’t contain much in the way of action. Boooo!
Love And Rockets (1982)
The Comic: An “alternative comic” that jumps between events in a fictional Latin American village, and the lives of a group of American citizens of Mexican descent.
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: The stories are dense to say the least, without the kind of obvious hook that would make for a workable adaptation.
The Comic: Rom The Spaceknight was created as a toy by Parker Brothers, who then decided they should write a comic-book in order to broaden his appeal. Needless to say, the end result was every bit as cynical as you’d expect.
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: It would essentially be a poor man’s Transformers. A very poor man indeed…
The Comic: A supremely odd miniseries starring Kal-AOL Turner, that attempted to satirise the comic-book industry, but largely succeeded in baffling anyone who picked it up.
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: Any comic that opens with a disclaimer explaining the in-jokes that follow would be far too obscure to please the multiplex crowd.
X-Men: Holy War (2003)
The Comic: A group of radicals looking to discredit the Catholic church start crucifying mutants and distributing tainted communion wafers. We prefer Magneto.
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: We neither want to see Jubilee crucified nor Nightcrawler elected Pope. Both of these things happen...
Iron Man: The Crossing (1995)
The Comic: Marvel decides to Retcon Iron Man's past, revealing him to be a sleeper agent working for Kang The Conqueror. Realising that Tony Stark is actually evil, the Avengers decide to recruit a teenage version from an alternate timeline to reclaim the suit. Can't see any problems with that, can you?
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: Aside from the problem of tackling different timelines, Iron Man is The Avengers' biggest draw. Turning him into a villain would be suicide.
Emerald Twilight (1994)
The Comic: DC controversially decides to retire Hal Jordan by transforming him into a genocidal maniac. As you might expect, the fanboys weren't exactly thrilled with the development.
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: Having Hal Jordan murder the entire Green Lantern Corps would probably damage the character's reputation beyond repair. Even the Ryan Reynolds movie would be looked upon favourably by comparison.
The Comic: A spin-off Batman adventure, focusing on titular vigilante, Huntress. Like Bats, she wears a lot of latex and a big cape. Unlike Bats, she’s not afraid to pull the trigger.
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: Because Huntress was always a desperately poor relation to the other women in Gotham, Catwoman and Batgirl. She’s just a bit dull, really.
The Comic: Shazam, or Captain Marvel, is a young boy who can transform himself into an adult superhero, simply by uttering the word Shazam. Simple as that.
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: He might be a popular character with more nostalgic DC fans, but there’s no getting away from the fact that the whole set-up is a bit silly. And what actor could utter Shazam with a straight face?
Tarot: Witch Of The Black Rose (1999)
The Comic: The lurid tale of a scantily-clad “good witch” who finds herself in battle with dark elves, angry dragons and unhinged lesbians.
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: When the villains are as camp as a female dragon named Mor-Meb-Dred and a raving sex fiend called Red Latex, you know this one is probably a bit out there for the big screen.
The Dark Knight Strikes Again (2001)
The Comic: A follow-up to the glorious The Dark Knight Returns , horrifically animated in a faux-digital style, that generally comes off like an assault on the eyes. Horrible.
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: We’d love to see an adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns , but this horribly-titled bomb should be consigned to the dustbin of history.
Tales From The Leather Nun (1973)
The Comic: An adults-only comic comprised of a series of titillating tales concerning the sexually explicit exploits of a rather unconventional nun.
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: The tabloid outrage would almost be worth it, but to be honest, this is just porn. And while it has its place, it isn’t in the multiplex.
Prez: First Teen President (1973)
The Comic: A regrettable moment for DC, this short-lived series followed the teenage Prez Rickford, who inexplicably becomes President of the Unites States.
Why It Must Never Be Filmed: We don’t want to give them any ideas, do we? They voted Bush in, after all…