Archive for the ‘Walking Dead’ Category

In 2003, when the comic series The Walking Dead began, there was little to suggest that it’d become the marketing behemoth that it is now. The book was well received and popular despite the fact that this was still the early days of the zombie pop culture convergence that’s been going strong for the last decade. While the series was always successful, its sustained popularity and new-readership these days is largely thanks to the fact that the comic was turned into a television series by AMC in 2010. The show has been running for five seasons (with a sixth on the way as I type this) and has lead to all manor of merchandising, up to and including a spin-off series.
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The 2014/15 television season has become well known as the season of the comic book television series. While we used to be content with the occasional Smallville or Birds of Prey (ok, no one was content with Birds of Prey), it’s now possible to watch comic book programming 5 nights a week (or more thanks to DVR). While most of these shows have been ratings successes, I’ve been looking at them on my own scale of general artistry and adaptation. To me, not all of them have been stellar, but it’s certainly been interesting to watch them grow, regardless.

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**This edition of The Unadapted was written by Andrew Prenger, former comic-book monger and future best-selling novelist. Here’s a look at a unique science-fiction series that needs some big (or small) screen love.**

When I was a retailer in a comic store I often tried to sell this by describing it as “Han Solo the comic book.” That does a disservice to the overall story, but was generally a nice elevator description to get customers interested. In reality the story of Fear Agent is much more complex than that. Created by Rick Remender and Tony Moore in 2005 for Image Comics, the book is about Heath Huston who is initially introduced as a space-traveling exterminator. His job is to fly around to planets and get rid of unwanted alien infestations. What starts out as a simple eradication job on a backwater planet spins out to a sprawling space epic.

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It’s been a damn good year for comic book media. Perhaps the biggest advances have been in the realm of television. Once the black sheep of the entertainment industry, TV is now the go-to for intricately plotted, nuanced and serialized drama. Add to that the continuing dominance of comic book movies and it’s no surprise that countless properties continue to be optioned and adapted.
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This television season is nearing its mid point (when did mid-season finales become a thing? Seems recent to me) and as such a lot of shows are going on winter hiatus. Thus, it feels like a good time to check in and see how everything’s progressing.

The Flash
I think this is the probably been the most consistent show in its first season. It quickly and easily established its tone in the pilot as well as the season-long storyline. There haven’t been any major revelations or changes to the status quo as of yet, and that’s fine. Arrow built up a pretty impressive world within its first couple of seasons. The Flash has taken that world and (literally) run with it. The introduction of Barry back in Arrow‘s second season kind of feels like the Nick Fury stinger scene in Iron Man, in retrospect. Now, we get to see how cool this newly expanded universe can be. The show skews a bit on the formulaic side for now, but its episodic nature only enhances the “comic-bookishness” of it for me. It’s amazing how much more natural a “villain of the week” story can feel when said villains are culled from DC’s long history of characters. Speaking of characters, the actors on this show do a hell of a job. Grant Gustin’s Barry is just idealistic enough to be loveable but doesn’t come off as naïve. Jesse L. Martin’s Det. West has become the soul of the show as his mentorly relationship with Barry has progressed. And then there’s Dr. Wells. Speculation has been rampant as to just what is motivating Tom Cavanagh’s character. I guess we’ll see.

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