The Original Film: Comics and literature giant Neil Gaiman teamed with Roger Avary for a take on the ancient epic that strayed deep into the uncanny valley but was an intriguing and fresh take on the tale.
The Comic Spin-Off: Writer Chris Ryall and Locke & Key artist Gabriel Rodriguez adapted the story for IDW.
Why It’s Great: Rodriguez’s stellar art is better suited to the story than the digital efforts of the filmmakers.
The Original Film: Based on Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner’s short miniseries, the Bruce Willis action movie strayed considerably from the original tale with its ensemble cast and comic tone.
The Comic Spin-Off: Four prequel comics were made to introduce the characters, making this a comic based on a film based on a comic.
Why It’s Great: These were a very different beast from the original comic - capturing the spirit of the films - and were also delivered with skill and style.
The Original Film: Disney’s 1982 classic Tron is best remembered for its striking visuals and imaginative gazing into the future of technology. It took 28 years for the sequel, Legacy, to arrive.
The Comic Spin-Off: This series fills in the gaps in Kevin Flynn’s story and introduces readers to his son Sam, the star of Legacy .
Why It’s Great: Three decades is a long time. Here is the place to fill in that extensive gap.
Man of Steel Prequel
The Original Film: Zack Snyder and David Goyer’s newly grim reimagination of Superman was divisive but a decided hit.
The Comic Spin-Off: Snyder, Goyers and DC mainstay Geoff Johns delivered this comic, which gave us more background on Krypton and that crashed spaceship from the movie.
Why It’s Great: This sowed the seeds of a potential return for Kara Zor-El. You may know her better as Supergirl.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier Prelude
The Original Film: Marvel’s new film is based on Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting’s modern classic about the mysterious Soviet agent the Winter Soldier.
The Comic Spin-Off: Marvel has made a habit of delivering preludes to its films. This concerns Captain America’s life since thawing out in the ‘future’.
Why It’s Great: Avengers didn’t show us much of Cap’s life in modern times. Here’s a look for anyone interested.
Scott Pilgrims Finest Hour
The Original Film: A bit of a complex situation - Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim was based on the graphic novel series of the same name by Bryan Lee O’Malley. The sixth and final book arrived at the same time as the movie.
The Comic Spin-Off: While not based on the movie per se, O’Malley was closely involved in the making of the film, and has said it fed back into the creation of the finale, such as the development of Gideon (with the help of Jason Schwartzman).
Why It’s Great: The climax of the ultimate series for geeks and ‘90s children alike.
RoboCop: Last Stand
The Original Film: The 1990 sequel to the classic ‘80s sci-fi film was actually drafted by comics legend Frank Miller, although little of his story made it to the screen.
The Comic Spin-Off: Miller also delivered a script for the unfilmed RoboCop 3, which BOOM! Studios eventually brought to life as a miniseries in 2013.
Why It’s Great: This feels like a piece of film and comics history come to life.
The Original Film: The Japaneses Kaiju classic and a hundred spinoffs and reboots. You remember. It’s coming back again, with Brian Cranston no less.
The Comic Spin-Off: There have been more Godzilla comics than can be counted beginning from its 1954 launch in Japan and enjoying stints at publishers including Marvel, Dark Horse and, most recently, IDW.
Why It’s Great: These have spawned some brilliantly imaginative spin-offs, recently including beautiful art by James Stokoe and Alberto Ponticelli.
The Last Airbender: Zukos Story
The Original Film: Twist ending obsessive M Night Shyamalan turned his hand to the beloved Nickelodeon cartoon in his famously ill-received adaptation.
The Comic Spin-Off: The comic filled in some of gaps in Fire Prince Zuko’s story in both the film and the original series.
Why It’s Great: Unlike the film, Dave Roman and Alison Wilgus’s characterisation was spot on.
The Original Film: Darren Aronofky’s new Biblical epic casts Russell Crowe as the titular hero, facing off against the rising tide and a barbaric mankind desperate to cling to life.
The Comic Spin-Off: Aronofky proved that he knows the value of comics with his Fountain project, the filmmaker has brought an adaptation of the film to Image Comics with producing partner Ari Handel and artist Niko Henrichon.
Why It’s Great: Henrichon’s art infuses the ancient story with a brilliant science fantasy sensibility.
28 Days Later
The Original Film: Danny Boyle’s low budget horror film gave us the memorable scenes of a deserted London and kicked off the ‘running zombie’ craze.
The Comic Spin-Off: The BOOM! Studios series gave an expanded view of the post-infection world created in the film and its sequel, 28 Weeks Later .
Why It’s Great: While most spin-offs tend towards brevity, this extended series really gave fans something to sink their teeth into. Figuratively speaking.
Thor: The Dark World Prelude
The Original Film: The Chris Hemsworth-starring second film in Marvel’s energetic and pitch perfect comic book movie franchise.
The Comic Spin-Off: The comic book filled in the gaps between the original film, Joss Whedon’s Avengers and the new movie, as well as revealing the origin of the God of Thunder.
Why It’s Great: This two-part series was great for filling in the gaps, as well as highlighting the differences between the comics and film continuities.
Shawn of the Dead: Theres Something About Mary
The Original Film: Edgar Wright’s first Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy film. Essentially Spaced with zombies.
The Comic Spin-Off: 2000 AD published a short story starring the film’s first zombie, Mary, in the run-up to its release.
Why It’s Great: Not only was it written by Wright and star Simon Pegg, it was also drawn by the fantastic Frazer Irving.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Prelude
The Original Film: Considered a risky proposition by critics, Marvel Studios’ cosmic film will be the first to feature a cast of characters unfamiliar to the non-comics reading public.
The Comic Spin-Off: This two-issue series will introduce the movie incarnations of the characters Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket Raccoon, Groot and many more.
Why It’s Great: It hasn’t arrived yet, but arriving from the pens of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning - the pair that skilfully established the modern incarnation of the team - this is definitely in safe hands.
Star Wars: Legacy
The Original Film: JJ Abrams will soon begin edging Star Wars into the future. Dark Horse is way ahead of him.
The Comic Spin-Off: Set 125 years after the fall of the Empire, Jan Duursema and comics veteran John Ostrander introduced us to the pirate Cade, who plays down a very familiar family name: Skywalker.
Why It’s Great: The Star Wars Extended Universe has tended to edge only slowly into the future. Legacy jumped well ahead in the story of the Sith and the Skywalkers.
Judge Dredd vs Aliens
The Original Film: The classic sci-fi franchise collides with the comic book (and sometime film) character.
The Comic Spin-Off: Uniting the British talent of 2000 AD writers John Wagner and Andy Diggle and ace artist Henry Flint, Dredd brought his brutal justice to the amoral xenomorphs.
Why It’s Great: Of all the Alien team-ups, this was possibly the most bombastic.
The Original Film: Kevin Smith’s first film, which established many of the characters and themes that would stretch throughout his career.
The Comic Spin-Off: Tank Girl ’s Jim Mahfood led a series of adaptations with covers from comics legends Gilbert Hernandez and Art Adams.
Why It’s Great: Clerks ’ sensibilities (not to mention Jay and Silent Bob) are the perfect match for a comic book.
Star Wars: Tales
The Original Film: Many Star Wars comics shoot off in to far past and future, but other expanded tales have been set right at the heart of the original trilogy.
The Comic Spin-Off: Star Wars: Tales was an anthology series that ran in and around the classic stories. Portrayed as a series of holo rentals, it established the questionable veracity of some of the stories, which were not all considered to be in canon.
Why It’s Great: Tales attracted a great range of celebrated creators including Peter David, John Ostrander and – strangest of all - funny book veteran Sergio Aragonés.
The Original Film: Jay and Silent Bob served as the common thread between the majority of Kevin Smith’s early films, including Clerks , Mallrats , Chasing Amy , Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and Dogma .
The Comic Spin-Off: Smith united with Hellboy veteran artist Duncan Fegredo for the miniseries that revealed just what Jay and Bob were up to between Chasing Amy and Dogma .
Why It’s Great: We finally get to learn more about the pair’s ill-fated quest to find Shermer, Illinois.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
The Original Film: The Star Wars original films and prequels only ever hinted at the grand past of the Republic and the order of Jedi Knights, leaving huge gaps to be filled by the Expanded Universe stories.
The Comic Spin-Off: Set 4,000 years before the original trilogy and tying into the video game of the same name, it saw a Jedi apprentice go on the run with outlaws after being accused of massacring his classmates.
Why It’s Great: A great opportunity to peer into Star Wars ’ past, not to mention the lashings of action and intrigue.
Aliens vs Predator
The Original Film: We’re leading you astray. Technically the Alien vs Predator film an adaptation of a comic book/film mash-up.
The Comic Spin-Off: Dark Horse first had the bright idea to bring the iconic aliens together in 1989, spawning two films and countless games and comics in the intervening decades.
Why It’s Great: The two franchise melded so successfully that it’s now hard to imagine Aliens and Predators not sharing the same uncaring galactic void.
Scarface: Scarred for Life
The Original Film: The Al Pacino 1983 classic Scarface was directed by Brian De Palma and written by Oliver Stone, and is possibly best remember for its liberal use of the f-bomb.
The Comic Spin-Off: John Layman and Dave Crosland delivered a five-issue sequel at IDW Publishing in 2006.
Why It’s Great: Layman’s Chew and Detective Comics run has cemented his reputation as one of comics’ great imaginations. This darkly humorous sequel is a fine opportunity to explore his earlier work.
The Original Film: The 1982 Ridley Scott classic adapted Philip K Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? with a far more concise title. You’ll only watch the director’s cut, obviously.
The Comic Spin-Off: Archie Goodwin (a name that recurs a few times in this list) delivered another strong comic book adaptation with Marvel Comics.
Why It’s Great: The Jim Steranko cover is reason enough for us.
The Original Film: Clive Barker directed the cult classic horror from his novella The Cabal . The critics didn’t like it, although Alejandro Jodorowsky praised it as "the first truly gay horror fantasy epic". So that’s something.
The Comic Spin-Off: Epic Comics published a four-issue adaptation that transformed into a 25-issue continuation of the film. BOOM! Studios recently announced a new series from Piotr Kowalski and Marc Andreyko.
Why It’s Great: With the rather abrupt ending of both the film and novella, this is the only place where you’re likely to find the story continuing.
Loki: Agent of Asgard
The Original Film: Tom Hiddleston’s Loki has become a surprise favourite in Marvel Studios’ films, and arguably stole the show in Thor: The Dark World .
The Comic Spin-Off: Previous versions of Loki (classic, kid and female) are decidedly different from his film incarnation. Al Ewing and Lee Garbett’s new series has brought the comics character closer to his movie portrayal than ever before.
Why It’s Great: With no apparent plans for a Loki film, this is the place for Hiddleston fans to get their fix.
Star Wars: Dark Empire
The Original Film: The Star Wars sequels may be on the way from JJ Abrams, but for a long time the film world was silent on the fate of Luke, Leia, Han and the rest.
The Comic Spin-Off: Step forward Dark Empire . Tom Veitch, Cam Kennedy and Jim Baikie delivered three miniseries that saw Luke become the apprentice to a resurrected Emperor Palpatine.
Why It’s Great: This was a thoroughly satisfying continuation, exploring the darker side of Luke glimpsed in Return of the Jedi and bringing it to a head.
Alien: The Illustrated Story
The Original Film: You know the one. Ridley Scott. Face huggers. Stomach bursting. Sigourney Weaver fighting in her underwear.
The Comic Spin-Off: This film went on to spawn numerous films, and countless comics, but it was first adapted in the pages of Heavy Metal by comics vets Archie Goodwin and Walt Simonson.
Why It’s Great: Produced while the film was still in production, the comic offers a fresh take on the now very familiar film.
The Original Film: We never got to see Alejandro Jodorowsky’s ambitious adaptation of Frank Herbet’s sci-fi classic, but David Lynch delivered a version in 1984.
The Comic Spin-Off: Even Lynch was keen to distance himself from the baffling adaptation, which it fell to Elektra artist Bill Sienkiewicz to adapt for Marvel.
Why It’s Great: Luckily for us, Sienkiewicz is rightfully considered legend, and brought all his talent to bear on the trippy material to stunning effect.
The Original Film: Warren Beatty starred in the 1990 movie based itself on the extremely long running private eye comic strip by Chester Gould.
The Comic Spin-Off: Disney Comics hired John Moore and fan favourite Kyle Baker to deliver two prequels for the film based on the strip. Meta.
Why It’s Great: Baker’s fantastic art made for another comic that elevated its uneven source material (sorry, Madonna).
Star Wars: Vector
The Original Film: Under the umbrella of the expanded Star Wars Universe, this crossover is as far as we have strayed into the unknown.
The Comic Spin-Off: The 12-issue series collided the past of Knights of the Old Republic with the future of Legacy with the ‘contemporary’ time of original trilogy.
Why It’s Great: This took the scope of the Star Wars Universe and tripled it, just for fun.
The Original Film: Back in the mists of time (1981), when Sean Connery still appeared on the big screen, a little-remembered British sci-fi thriller.
The Comic Spin-Off: Comics legend Jim Steranko tackled the comics adaptation, which was serialised in Heavy Metal .
Why It’s Great: Steranko’s body of work is actually remarkably small give his reputation. Outland showcased his talent in a series of double-page spreads.
The Matrix Comics
The Original Film: It’s easy to forget how revolutionary Wachowskis surprise 1999 sci-fi hit was, regardless of your response to later sequels.
The Comic Spin-Off: The Matrix spawned some fantastic spin-offs, including superb Animatrix anthology and the Matrix webcomics
Why It’s Great: This attracted a who’s who of great creators, including Neil Gaiman, Geof Darrow, Poppy Z Brite, Paul Chadwick, Dave Gibbons, David Lapham and Bill Sienkiewicz.
Before the Dawn
The Original Film: Rise of the Planet of the Apes breathed new life into the long running sci-fi franchise with James Franco and perennial motion capture actor Andy Serkis at the head. The sequel is arriving this summer.
The Comic Spin-Off: The digital comic Before the Dawn serves as a prequel to the forthcoming Dawn of the Planet of the Apes .
Why It’s Great: This filled the three year gap between films and gave us a taste of Caesar’s super-ape society.
Superman & Batman vs Aliens & Predator
The Original Film: Alien and Predator have delivered their fair share of spinoffs. Here they collide with film (and comic) stars of a very different kind.
The Comic Spin-Off: This 2007 series was not even the first time that the characters had crossed over in parts, but here they all bundled in together for a major brawl.
Why It’s Great: Batman teaming up with Predators against the xenomorphs. Need we say more?
Star Trek: Countdown
The Original Film: JJ Abrams’ 2009 film revived the moribund sci-fi property with wit, energy and a hot young cast fronted by Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana and Zachary Quinto.
The Comic Spin-Off: IDW’s Countdown served as a prequel to the film and also followed on from the conclusion of The Next Generation show.
Why It’s Great: Time travel plots often require a bit of clarification, and here it is. The involvement of the film’s writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman in plotting the comic also leant it weight.
The Original Film: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson memorable starred in the comedic adventures of the Ghostbusters in 1984. We say comedic, but we still have nightmares about the Gatekeeper and the Keymaster.
The Comic Spin-Off: Marvel Comics, Marvel UK and - most recently - IDW have all taken their turn at the Ghostbusters comics, running back as far as 1988.
Why It’s Great: Like the cartoons you may remember from your younger days, Ghostbusters is a franchise made for comics.
The Original Film: Joss Whedon’s Avengers united the heroes of Marvel Studios solo films for a fun, action-packed and unbelievably successful ensemble movie.
The Comic Spin-Off: Set within mainstream Marvel continuity, this wasn’t exactly a spin-off, but was a title made to compliment the film with the same lineup of characters.
Why It’s Great: Launched by Avengers staple Brian Michael Bendis, this really came into its own under the excellent Kelly Sue DeConnick.
Serenity: Leaves on the Wind
The Original Film: Joss Whedon revived his short-lived and much-lamented Firefly sci-fi television series with the 2005 film Serenity .
The Comic Spin-Off: The new miniseries from Dark Horse Comics continues the adventures of Mal and his crew from the pen of Whedon’s brother Zack.
Why It’s Great: For fans of the series (that’s browncoats to you), the opportunity to devour any more Firefly stories is not to be missed.
Friday the 13th
The Original Film: The classic 1980s horror and its many sequels. The hockey-masked Jason, helpless teens and buckets of blood.
The Comic Spin-Off: Topps Comics, Avatar Press and DC Comics have all put out Friday the 13th comics over the years. These have included team-ups and showdowns with Ash (of Evil Dead ), Freddie (of Nightmare on Elm Street ) and his own future self.
Why It’s Great: The comics have allowed for some particularly imaginative and bizarre tales. A 2008 one-shot was also an early project for the brilliant Joshua Hale FIalkov.
The Original Film: Darren Aronofsky’s romantic drama cast Rachel Weisz and Hugh Jackman as star-crossed lovers across three very different time periods.
The Comic Spin-Off: Aronofsky has proven that he knows the value of comics. When the film was original put on hold, he held onto the graphic novel rights, and the book arrived before the film was released.
Why It’s Great: The oversized format and painted illustrations came together in a genuinely stunning book.
The Dark Crystal
The Original Film: Jim Henson and Frank Oz built an immersive fantasy world in their 1982 film, with unforgettable creations like the Skeksis and the Gelflings.
The Comic Spin-Off: Marvel adapted the film in the early 1980s. It has also received a manga prequel and more recent Archaia graphic novels.
Why It’s Great: The Archaia volumes in particular have delivered some spectacular art from the world of Thra.
Big Trouble in Little China
The Original Film: John Carpenter’s fantasy kung-fu flop-turned-cult-classic gave us Kurt Swagger, a young Kim Catrall, mystical war beneath the streets of San Francisco and a valuable lesson about Chinese girls with green eyes.
The Comic Spin-Off: This was just recently announced, but with Goon creator Eric Powell and artist Brian Churilla on board we know it’s in safe hands.
Why It’s Great: We can’t wait to relive our childhood film.
The Original Film: Clive Barker’s 1987 horror classic adapted his Hellbound Heart novella and brought the unforgettable villain Pinhead into the world.
The Comic Spin-Off: Another franchise with a long history of comic book adaptations, expanding the disturbing mythos of Lemarchand’s Box.
Why It’s Great: While the film franchise seems to have run wild without him, the comics have given Barker (and other creators) the opportunity to return to the Hellraiser world.
Army of Darkness
The Original Film: Sam Raimi’s Bruce Campbell-starring Evil Dead sequel took the comedy aspects of the second film and ran with them into the demon-haunted dark ages.
The Comic Spin-Off: The film has spawned a huge number of comics at Dark Horse and now Dynamite Entertainment, including a slew of crossovers with Freddy, Jason, Xena, Hack/Slash and... er... Barack Obama.
Why It’s Great: Bruce Campbell’s comedic Ash translates perfectly into the comic book world.
2001: A Space Odyssey
The Original Film: Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 classic doesn’t need much of an introduction. It was co-written by Arthur C Clarke, in case its sci-fi credentials were ever in doubt.
The Comic Spin-Off: Marvel added another legendary name to the property in the form of Jack Kirby.
Why It’s Great: This is some of Kirby’s most explosive and expressive work, and perfectly suited to 2001.
The Original Film : IDW’s new crossover features The X-Files , Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles , Ghostbusters and Transformers . Our brains just exploded.
The Comic Spin-Off: The latest in a series of multiple licensed property crossovers for IDW, focusing on the dimension-jumping exploits of The X-Files ’ Lone Gunmen.
Why It’s Great: Remember when they killed off the Lone Gunmen in the X-Files TV show? Well they’re back now, and hanging with the Ninja Turtles.
Empire of the Dead
The Original Film: George A Romero established the modern zombie genre with his 1968 horror film Night of the Living Dead , and - five films later - continues to expand the franchise.
The Comic Spin-Off: Empire of the Dead arrived at Marvel Comics earlier this year from the pen of Romero himself and a new twist to the saga.
Why It’s Great: There’s a new type of predator haunting the streets of New York City...
Return to Labyrinth
The Original Film: A young Jennifer Connelly. David Bowie in a giant wig. Jim Henson directing an army of his puppet creations. The favourite film of kids who wanted to get rid of their younger siblings everywhere.
The Comic Spin-Off: The four-volume manga centred around baby Toby - now a teenager - and his return to the Labyrinth.
Why It’s Great: This is the comic for everyone who wondered why Sarah didn’t just stay in the Labyrinth.
The Original Film: Pete Travis and Alex Garland’s 2012 was a cinematic flop, but fan demand and its performance on DVD has had star Karl Urban hinting at a sequel.
The Comic Spin-Off: Judge Dredd publishers Rebellion have gone ahead with a sell-out sequel comic, Underbelly from Arthur Wyatt and Henry Flint.
Why It’s Great: Flint is always great on art, and the comic’s success is likely to make a movie sequel all the more likely.
RoboCop versus The Terminator
The Original Film: The comic was based on a mashup of the original RoboCop and Terminator ‘80s classics.
The Comic Spin-Off: Boasting comics legends Frank Miller and Walt Simonson as its creators, this 1992 mash-up miniseries is due two for reprint editions.
Why It’s Great: Miller and Simonson manage to tie-in RoboCop’s origin to the creation of Skynet, then let the robots punch it out.