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TV and Movies

Move over, Marvel, these are the next comic book movies

Deadly Class, Rogue Trooper and other lesser-known comics are leaping from page to screen. Here's everything you need to know.

We all recognise Batman, Wonder Woman and Captain America. But as superheroes dominate the box office, movie and TV producers are turning to lesser-known comic books to find their next blockbuster.

Marvel and DC have looked to their back catalogues for characters like the Guardians of the Galaxy, Shazam and Captain Marvel. But there are a lot more comics out there. If you've never heard of Rogue Trooper, the Umbrella Academy or American Jesus, here's everything you need to know about these stories leaping from page to screen.

Deadly Class

The first trailer for Deadly Class dropped at Comic-Con last week. The comic, created by writer Rick Remender and artist Wesley Craig, is being adapted into a TV series by SyFy. The Russo brothers (those guys who made a small movie called Avengers: Infinity War) are the executive producers on the 1980s set show.

What's the story?

A troubled teen finds himself at home in a secret high school for assassins. Here's the punk-fuelled teaser:

Now playing: Watch this: New Deadly Class trailer debuts at Comic-Con 2018
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Rogue Trooper

Duncan Jones, director of Moon, Warcraft and Mute, teased that he's developing an adaptation of this future war epic. Created in 1981 by Gerry Finley-Day and Dave Gibbons, Rogue Trooper is a mainstay of 2000AD, the long-running British sci-fi comic that also gave us Judge Dredd.

What's the story?

The Rogue Trooper is a GI -- a Genetic Infantryman -- cloned to fight in an endless war on a poisoned planet. The blue-skinned soldier hunts down the traitorous general who caused his regiment to be wiped out, helped by the computerised personalities of his dead buddies loaded into computer chips in his rifle, helmet and backpack. The all-action comic uses mind-blowing sci-fi to reinvigorate the war genre, and has spawned its own universe of spin-off characters and stories.

rogue-trooper-2000ad-1

Rogue Trooper goes to war.

2000AD

Jupiter's Legacy

Scottish comics writer Mark Millar joins other hitmakers like Shonda Rhimes in the elite club of creators signed to exclusive deals with Netflix. Having written the comics that became movie hits Kick Ass and Kingsman, Millar has a huge back catalogue of stories for Netflix to plunder, and five projects have been announced drawing on stories from "Millarworld".

One of Millar's favourite wheezes is taking the type of familiar superhero archetypes seen in the DC and Marvel world and giving them an adult spin. This brings us to the Jupiter stories, drawn by Frank Quitely, which will be adapted into a TV show for Netflix overseen by Steven S. DeKnight of Daredevil and Pacific Rim: Uprising fame.

What's the story?

The comics Jupiter's Legacy and Jupiter's Circle tell the story of traditional superheroes Lady Liberty and the Utopian. Although they've devoted their lives to saving the world, their kids have grown up to be "angsty millennials". Epic complications will ensue in this planned TV show.


Empress is an epic space opera comic book coming to Netflix. 

Millarworld

Empress

Look out, Star Wars fans: this full-colour space opera written by Millar with gorgeous kinetic art from Stuart Immonen will be an original movie packed with spacefaring swashbuckling and intergalactic derring-do.

What's the story?

A space empress goes on the run across the cosmos from a Thanos-like tyrant who'll stop at nothing to get his children back. 


The Umbrella Academy

Gerard Way -- lead singer of My Chemical Romance -- wrote this bizarre, over-the-top comic about a family of superheroes, illustrated by Gabriel Bá. Ellen Page and Mary J. Blige are among the cast in a Netflix TV show set for 2019.

umbrella-academy-teaser

You can stand under my umbrella-ella-ella.

Netflix

What's the story?

Spaceboy, The Kraken, The Rumor, The Séance, Number Five and The White Violin are the only survivors of a wave of superpowered children. Adopted by an alien disguised as a famous entrepreneur, they reunite upon his death to fight evil again. 


Judge Dredd: Mega-City One

Following two movies, the best-known character from 2000AD is set to appear in a TV show. After a campy '90s blockbuster starring Sylvester Stallone and a grittier low-budget version in 2012 -- both of which had their ups and downs -- the TV show will widen the focus to the many colourful supporting characters of the comic.

What's the story?

Judge Dredd is the top cop in a crazy post-apocalyptic metropolis sprawling across the West Coast of America. Never removing his uniform helmet and dispensing zero-tolerance ultraviolence at every turn, he's the one constant in a city full of futuristic crime. 

Judge Dredd's supporting cast steps into the spotlight in Mega City One.

Rebellion/Cliff Robinson

Huck

Millar and artist Rafael Albuquerque examine another superhero archetype in this Netflix movie originally designed as an antidote to the trend for grim'n'gritty superheroes.

What's the story?

A small-town kid uses his powers to carry out one good deed a day.


Locke and Key

Lost co-creator Carlton Cuse and Meredith Averill take charge of a 10-episode horror fantasy series for Netflix. The show is adapted from the comic book created by writer Joe Hill and artist Gabriel Rodríguez.

locke-key-idw

The is the first-ever series order for the show after years of rumors and pilot developments.

IDW

What's the story?

After their father's gruesome murder, the Locke children return to the family home in secluded town of Lovecraft, Massachusetts. Youngest child Bode discovers a key that takes him to other realms, setting up a battle between the family and some very nasty demons.


Sharkey

The folks at Netflix love Mark Millar so much they're even adapting the comics that haven't come out yet. 

What's the story?

According to Netflix, it's "a film about a bounty hunter. In space."


American Jesus

Another comic written by Millar and drawn by Peter Gross now becomes an English- and Spanish-language TV show on Netflix.

What's the story?

A 12-year-old boy suddenly discovers he can perform miracles like turning water into wine and making those who can't walk able to again. Is he the second coming?

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