A drawing of Spider-Man crouched, looking up to the camera

How Many Comics Have Been Adapted to Movies

In 1971, when Superman hit the silver screen, it set a precedent for adapting comics to movies. A genre that was considered for children attracted a large audience from every age group. Later in 1989, after Batman was released, it was proved that superheroes have superpowers to take over the entertainment industry too.

These two characters from the DC Comics universe dominated the screens for many decades. In the 2000s, when the audience was introduced to X-Man and Spiderman – characters from Marvels Comics began to gain popularity.

Considering the performance of these movies at the box-office, many other comics were adapted to movies. The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Marvel’s The Avengers, and Avengers: Age of Altronare the four blockbuster movies based on comics. Advancement in digital effects has made it possible to enhance the look of the superpowers. The special effects and action in the movies now appeal to global audiences.

While most people already know that the mentioned movies are an adaptation of comics, we have made a list of some movies that you would be surprised to know are based on comic books.

1. Snow piercer

the poster for Snowpiercer

The sci-fi movie, based on a French graphic novel Le Transperceneige by Jacques Lob, tells the story about an attempt to fix the climate, which results in freezing the planet earth. To save their own lives, people must board a train that is powered by a perpetual motion machine.

The movie also depicts social stratification by showing the division of classes, where people in the front are living a lavish life with all the luxuries, while the rear compartments’ passengers are in a brutal condition. To get the control of the engine, one man (Chris Evan) must lead a revolt and battle his way to the front.

2.  2 Guns

poster for 2 Guns

This movie about two undercover agents is based on comic miniseries. They both work for different agencies but have joined forces to bring down a Mexican drug cartel. However, both do not know that the other is an undercover agent.

When they fail in their mission to infiltrate the cartel, their seniors disavow them. Thus, now they must find a way to save themselves or end up in jail, or worst, in a grave. As compared to the comic book, the movie has more action and explosions, but less humor.

3. The Losers

A group of six looking down from above

After being deceived on a mission in the Bolivian jungles, the team of elite commandos joins the forces of a mysterious operative. They plan to hunt down their enemies and even the score. The comic is not as popular as the DC or Marvels, and thus, it was surprising to see its movie adaptation hit the big screen.

4. Red

a poster for Red 

The story of the movie comes from a three-issue comic book miniseries. An old age CIA agent teams up with two other retired agents to uncover a conspiracy that threatens their lives. The mission of these three retired, extremely dangerous men is to enter the CIA headquarters, which they can make possible with their expert training.

However, there is a slight difference in the plot of the movie from the comic that is in the comic; it is shown that there is a lone CIA agent who is hunted by his former employer, whereas in the movie, there are three former CIA operatives. The movie is hilarious,where veteran actors are seen enjoying shooting their guns.

5. 30 Days of Night

30 Days of Night teaser poster

The writer Steve Niles wanted to make a movie about the inhabitants of an Alaskan town plunged into darkness for 30 days. Blood-thirsty vampires then attack the town. A sheriff and his wife stand strong between the survivors and certain destruction.

However, when Niles wasn’t successful in pitching the idea to the studios, he evolved it into a popular comic miniseries. Five years later, after the comic was published in 2002, the movie adaptation was also a hit. The movie demonstrated the story more effectively than the comic.

6. Old Boy

Poster for the film Old Boy

Comic books are not only for kids; it is a preferred medium by many people for storytelling, particularly in Asia. It encompasses every theme and genre one can imagine. This movie is an example of that – a darkly twisted mystery thriller. It is based on manga/graphic novels in Asia.

The movie is about a man who is abducted from the streets after being bailed by his friend yet again. He is locked-up in a hotel room for 15 years like a prisoner without any contact with the outside world. The only source of entertainment is the television that keeps him sane. He is then released suddenly and invited to track down his jailor with a simply stunning climax.

7. Ghost World

a poster for the film Ghost World

The graphic novel by Daniel Clowes is adapted into a movie, making it a comedic trip for the audience. The movie is about unusually devious friends who are unsure about what they want. The two cynical girls are seen criticizing everything around them and looking for a direction in life.

Their friendship is changed forever when they respond to a newspaper ad for a date. Terry Zwigoff believed it was the perfect story to be adapted to a movie. In 2002, Zwigoff and Clowes won the Academy Award for Best Screenplay for the movie.

8. From Hell

a poster for From Hell

This movie is based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore, who has previously written two of the most famous comic books,Watchmen and Batman: The Killing Joke. The movie shows the struggles of a drug-addicted police inspector trying to solve the Jack the Ripper murders.

The strong performance of Johnny Depp in the lead role also played its part in making the movie a success. The directors of the movie, Allen and Albert Hughes, ensured to remain true to the tone, story, and murky atmosphere of the comic. Moreover, Alan Moore is not fond of movies based on his comics, and therefore, refused to participate in the making of the film.

9. The Mask

poster for the film The Mask

The famous movie is based on a cult comic book published by Dark Horse Comics. It is about a man who finds a mask on the streets that contains the spirits of the Norse god Loki. The mask changes his entire life; as he puts it on, he becomes a wild mischief man.

Though the comic was relatively darker in content and tone, the producers of the movie were more inclined to make it more of a comedy. It did pretty well at the box-office, and Jim Carrey got his superstar status for his brilliant performance.

10. The Crow

poster for the film The Crow

In 1989, an American artist, James O’Barr, created the series for Image Comics, which was then adapted to a movie in 1994 – The Crow. A year after a poetic guitarist, Eric Draven (Brandon Lee), and his fiancée have been brutally murdered, Eric is brought back to life. He rises from the grave, assuming the gothic mantle of a crow. The supernatural avenger tracks down the killers and murders them.

The critics praised the movie. Several sequels and television series have been made on it too. It is also remembered for the accidental death of Brandon Lee at the sets. Son of the martial arts legend Bruce Lee died after being hit by a defective blank from a stun gun.