When Neil Gaiman announced the Netflix adaptation of his popular and award-winning comic book, The Sandman, fans were pretty pumped to see what the legendary author has in store. However, the series was a major letdown and fans were pretty unhappy with the product, leading many to even believe that Netflix will probably not be renewing the series for a second season.
Graphic novels and comic books are pretty lucrative adaptations. The panels and the 2D images often tell volumes and Netflix has had pretty good success adapting some, especially The Umbrella Academy, a show which is pretty popular on the streamer.
While Superman, Spiderman and the Avengers have been immortalised in the superhero realm after being adapted into films and cartoons from the original Marvel comics, there are several other comic book adaptations on Netflix that deserve recognition.
Here are the five best shows based on comic books on Netflix:
The five best shows based on comic books on Netflix
The Umbrella Academy (Steve Blackman, Jeremy Slater, 2019)
This popular Netflix show is adapted from Way and Ba’s Eisner-Award winning graphic novel series. The graphic novels were released in three distinct parts, namely Apocalypse Suit, Dallas and Hotel Oblivion. While the creators have used the graphic novel as the major framework, they have taken certain creative liberties over the last three seasons and become a very popular show among viewers.
The show deals with the dysfunctional Hargreeves family who form the titular Umbrella Academy, who try to grapple with their superhero powers while trying to save the world from the brink of an apocalypse across several timelines and dimensions. The main cast includes Elliot Page, Aidan Gallagher, Justin H. Min, Robert Sheehan, David Castaneda, Tom Hopper, and Colm Feore. In the third season, they were joined by Justin Cornwell, Britney Oldford, Genesis Rodriguez, Cazzie David and Jake Epstein among others.
Raising Dion (Carol Barbee, 2019)
Starring Ja’Siah Young, Michael B. Jordan and Alisha Wainwright in major roles, the two-season series focuses on the adventures of a young boy named Dion who has supernatural powers. His mother constantly tries to protect him against being taken advantage of as Dion is posed with the dangerous challenge of protecting the city against looming threats.
Amidst an oversaturated market of superheroes, the premise is refreshing, diverse and inclusive. A moving portrait of Dion’s loving relationship with his mother, this brilliant blend of sci-fi and the harsh realities of life, is adapted from Dennis Liu’s eponymous comic book.
Locke & Key (Carlton Cuse, Meredith Averill, Aron Eli Coleite, 2020)
Based on Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez’s eponymous graphic novel, the series deals with the lives of the Lockes after they return to their ancestral Keyhouse following their father’s demise. The three Locke children Tyler, Kinsey and Bode soon discover various mysterious keys that can lock and unlock several magical doors which awakens a dubious demon who tries to overpower the children who try to make sense of the relationship between such events and their father’s death.
Although the series has often been compared to Stranger Things for not being as good, it is a touching tale of love and loss, grief and denial. With great performances, and complicated subplots, it stresses the importance of family and love.
Sweet Tooth (Jim Mickle, 2021)
Adapted from Jeff Lemire’s popular graphic novel, Sweet Tooth is set in a dystopian world where hybrids are born following a post-apocalyptic incident. Humans begin to hunt and persecute hybrids. During such tumultuous times, a loner human-deer boy named Gus must find new friends and unexpected allies along the way while trying to find the truth about his origin.
A commentary on complicated parent-child relationships and a thrilling tale of survival in a fantasy dimension, the series stars Nonso Anozie, Christian Convery, Stefanie Lavie Owen, Adeel Akhtar and others. The show has been renewed for a second season, much to the delight of the showrunner who said, “It’s been equally thrilling and heartwarming to experience how people around the world have been falling in love with our deer-boy. We couldn’t be more excited to continue our collaboration with Netflix and keep following Gus and his friends on their extraordinary journey.”
Warrior Nun (Simon Barry, 2020)
Adapted from Ben Dunn’s comic, the Netflix fantasy series is shot all over Spain. It sees Alba Baptista in the lead as quadriplegic orphan Ava Silva, who possesses supernatural powers. While dealing with the conflict between the forces of heaven and hell, Silva fights the demonic elements on Earth using the ancient Order of the Cruciform Sword.
With stylized action and well-choreographed action sequences, Netflix’s foray into the fantasy experience is a great retelling of the comic’s fantastical genre. With a great number of fans enjoying the strong female leads and the somewhat pulpy storyline, the show has been renewed for season two which is arriving in winter this year.