Though the 1990s aren’t considered a real “Golden Age” by comics aficionados, characters from that era are enjoying a renaissance via media adaptations in movies, TV and games. Suicide Squad, the much-hyped DC/Warner Brothers movie due out on August 5, features the character Harley Quinn, created in 1991 for the Batman Animated television series. Deadpool debuted the same year. On the tube, Preacher, Lucifer, and Wynonna Earp all appeared in comics in the 1990s. Pokemon? Famously a product of the 1990s.
Some of the best-known or best-loved products of this period like Hellboy, Sin City, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, The Mask and the Rocketeer did make their way to the big screen for better or worse. Others like Neil Gaiman’s Sandman are under development. But there are still plenty of works that might not make great Hollywood blockbusters, would fit right in with rise of sophisticated, continuity-driven television. Here are ten to consider.
A Distant Soil. Colleen Duran began working on this epic space opera that mixes intergalactic politics with Arthurian legends when she was just a teen in the 1980s, but it really hit its stride in the 90s. Featuring a rich cast of characters, appealing teen protagonists, loads of political intrigue, thought-provoking social themes, romance, action and hardcore science fiction, all presented in Duran’s gorgeous, Manga-influenced artwork, A Distant Soil hits all the right notes to be the next big young adult sci-fi/action series. SyFy might not be heavy enough in the wallet to do this series justice from a production values standpoint, but audience this could bring in might make the investment worth it.
Black Hole. Once David Lynch wraps up Twin Peaks, maybe he should look into adapting Charles Burns’ creepy masterpiece for a 6-part mini-series. Originally published in 12 issues over the course of the 1990s and then collected as a best-selling graphic novel, Black Hole tells the story of a mysterious sexually-transmitted disease that turns ordinary, awkward teenagers into freaks and monsters. It’s a tense, poignant story that works on multiple levels. A great director and a young cast eager to make their reputations could capture the atmosphere that Burns so beautifully depicts with his artwork. I’d sign up for Showtime just to watch this.
Supernatural Law. “Beware the creatures of the night… they have LAWYERS!” So says the promo of this long-running independent series by Batton Lash, which began life in a legal trade publication in the 1980s and continues online to this day. The intrepid legal firm of (Alana) Wolff and (Jeff) Byrd defend zombies, vampires, swamp creatures and other poltergeists in a creative series of plots that balances humor and suspense. Underneath the genre trappings, though, this is really a character-driven drama featuring a rich cast of loveable folks whose relationship subplots end up as compelling as the monsters. If ever there were a series tailor made for USA, TBS or FX, this is it.
Transmetropolitan. The future that writer Warren Ellis and artist Darick Robertson saw in 1997 wasn’t pretty: a glutted and exhausted culture, overcommercialized, saturated in technology, ruled over by a corrupt and venal plutocracy, with democracy debased to a popularity contest between the most vile politicians imaginable. Luckily, the last honest man – profane journalist Spider Jerusalem, modelled rather closely on Hunter S. Thompson – was there to fight for the little guy. BBC America, surely this caustic series, originally published by DC’s Vertigo imprint, has your name on it?
Want to know the other six? Read the rest at Forbes.