It’s a big week for Robert Kirkman and the gang behind The Walking Dead; the debut of a television series based on the comic doesn’t happen very often. But for Kirkman, The Walking Dead isn’t the first to make the jump from comics to another medium, but it is notable for emerging from a creator-owned book.
In the ten years Robert Kirkman has been doing comics, he’s created over a dozen unique concepts with mainstream potential. A couple years back, MTV2 adapted the first couple issues of Invincible into a motion comics/animation hybrid, and Spike TV did the same in 2008 with Battle Pope. But with Kirkman’s cache in the Hollywood world at its highest yet – with no sign of faltering – it gives a good opportunity for Newsarama to give a second look at some of the comics Robert has created over the years -- comments on some of them from artists Jason Howard, Ryan Ottley and the man himself, Robert Kirkman.The Astounding Wolf-Man
The Concept: A big-time CEO gets mauled by a werewolf on a family vacation, turning him into a werewolf himself. Wolf-man, along with a vampire mentor, must learn to use his bizarre abilities and deal with the curse that lycanthropy can do for you.
The Comics History: Debuting at Free Comic Book Day in 2007, Astounding Wolf-Man, Kirkman co-created this with series artist Jason Howard. Set in the larger superhero universe set-up in Invincible, this series explored the more supernatural side of superheroics. Kirkman announced last year that series would end with #25 (due out next week), but that the character would appear in Invincible and perhaps Guarding the Globe.
What Could Be: Jason Howard says, “I think it would lend itself to an animated series pretty well. It seems like a no brainer, take werewolves, vampires and superheroes. Mix them together and hit play. But there is nothing in the works yet that I know of.”Reaper
The Concept: In a dark and brooding sword-wielding magic realm, the land’s deadliest assassin is hired to kill the realm’s immortal ruler.
The Comics History: Probably one of the most overlooked books in Kirkman’s ouvre, this concept co-created by long-time collaborator Cliff Rathburn appeared in one sole 2004 book.
What Could Be: This could make a great button-mashing video game if paired with a talented studio who isn’t afraid to break the mold on these kinds of games.Brit
The Concept: Brit is a hardened and weathered invulnerable super soldier who owns a strip club that his wife works at, being constantly pulled back into service for the government by a well-meaning but android government bureaucrat. He’s less a superhero and more an action-adventurer in the mold of Doc Savage or someone else who could coldcock Godzilla.
The Comics History: The third and final creation of the original Walking Dead team Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore. Brit debuted in three prestige-format one-shots, and was later launched as an ongoing series that lasted for twelve issues. He became a key character in the Invincible title, and was picked to head the world’s premiere superhero team in Guarding The Globe.
What Could Be: Although set in the same world as Invincible, I view Brit as a more mature kind of character and would be a great fit for a live-action special effects romp that doesn’t try to make the audience think too hard.Capes
The Concept: Blue-collar superheroes working the 9 to 5, Capes Inc. is a modern “heroes for hire” operation where the office antics match up with the on-the-job adventures.
The Comics History: One of Robert’s earliest miniseries, Capes also appeared in backup stories in Invincible.
What Could Be: Robert Kirkman says, “If done right, I see Capes as being an excellent TV Show.” I’m thinking The Office meets superheroes.Invincible
The Concept: The son of the world’s greatest superhero joins the family business and finds out his father is an alien sent to take over Earth. After miraculously defeating his father, Invincible fills in for his father while coming to terms with his identity, his powers, and his social life.
The Comics History: Launched as part of a rejuvenated line of superheroes for Image in 2003, Invincible has become the the second half of Kirkman’s double-fisted rise in comics. The series just broke the 75 issue mark, and has prompted several spinoff series.
What Could Be: Series artist Ryan Ottley says, “I don’t see Invincible as a movie, but maybe a long continuing animation. HJow shocking would it be to see a lighthearted animation and then SLAM, Omni-man beats the crap out of his son. It'd be pretty powerful, just like it was in the comics.”Cloudfall
The Concept: A detective with an admittedly fractured but normal life is thrown for a loop when she’s put on the case of a dead Governor. A Conspirary is revealed… and then the aliens show up.
The Comics History: Published early on in Kirkman’s budding career, Cloudfall was published as a one shot with artist E.J. Su.
What Could Be: Robert Kirkman says, “Cloudfall has everything it takes to make a good TV Show; it’s got an alien cop for chrissakes. It was originally going to be a series of square-bound books, but it didn’t really work out. I hope to get back to it someday; I have the rest of it plotted out, but I just wasn’t able to do it at the time. “Science Dog
The Concept: Science Dog is a heroic hybrid of hound and human who sets out to thwart evil hijinx in a pulp-themed all-ages adventure story.
The Comics History: While to many Science Dog is known as a incidental character in the Invincible title, it holds the distinction as the original idea Kirkman and Cory Walker had for their first Image series before it was shot down and replaced by Invincible. The character popped up in that title as a fictional comic book character who came to life, and has appeared in several backup stories in milestone issues.
What Could Be: This could be the perfect combination for an hour of animated power on Cartoon Network with Ben 10: Alien Force, done perhaps in the style of the classic video game Viewtiful Joe. Hmm… a Science Dog video game wouldn’t be bad either.How would you like to see Kirkman's projects adapted?