10 Best TV Adaptations Of Comic Book Characters
To make a perfect TV adaptation of a comic book character is a difficult feat. Not many shows manage to pull it off, with some characters muddied in the transfer from page to the small screen. And yet, among the failures, some have risen above the rest to be the best adaptations of those characters ever seen.
While it goes without saying that liberties are taken with some characters and a good number of comic characters, like Luke Cage or Deathstroke, aren’t on this list when perhaps they should be, some adaptations of characters do hit the mark.
Billy Butcher – The Boys
Although the prominent source for comic book shows belongs to DC and Marvel, plenty of comic book adaptations have been made outside of those worlds, like the incredibly bloody yet enjoyable The Boys series, which sees Karl Urban perfectly bring a complicated Billy Butcher to life.
Despite some liberties being taken, like an added beard, among other things, Urban’s Butcher is a standout in the series, full of dark comedy, brutal tendencies, and colorful language that encapsulates and mimics the vicious comic counterpart.
Michonne – The Walking Dead
The silent badass is often a staple of movies and TV shows and actress Danai Gurira took on such a role in season three of The Walking Dead as the quiet and deadly Michonne, a katana-wielding badass.
Over the course of most of the show’s run, Michone evolved throughout the series, much like her counterpart, with Gurira aiding in the creation of a truly awesome character in an otherwise overlong and bloated series that will soon be ending.
Green Arrow – Arrow
Sometimes, changing characters is for the betterment of a show, although it didn’t take much to make Oliver Queen, the Green Arrow, into an amazing hero. For years, a guy running around with a bow and arrow was seen as a bit of a joke by comic standards.
Yet, when the CW decided to bring the character to life in Arrow, Queen was made into more of a badass. Equipped with a more realistic and grounded story that still fits some of the humor and goofs from the comics, Arrow became a standout series and kickstarted the ongoing Arrowverse.
The Flash – The Flash
After Arrow became a success, CW kickstarted a new series based on a familiar character introduced in season two: Barry Allen, the Flash, and fastest man alive. Although many fans felt that The Flash TV series ended up waning in later seasons, the series began strong, largely due to Grant Gustin’s take on the iconic character.
Despite Barry’s constant perchance for messing with the timeline, Gustin’s charm, wit, and quirky nature carried the show and copied the classic DC character in a picture-perfect manner.
Supergirl – Supergirl
It can be said that it takes more than one try to get comic adaptations just right. Back in 1984, there was an attempt at making a Supergirl movie, an attempt that failed. Years later, Supergirl was brought back in the Arrowverse and with Melissa Benoist at the helm, the series took off.
For six seasons, Benoist gave the audience a fantastic take on the cousin of Kal-El. While the rest of the show had some problems, Benoist’s Kara Zor El was a standout and great part of the series that still shines, even in the show’s final season.
Superman – Superman & Lois
Everyone’s favorite hero, Superman, has made a splash on the big screen again in a way that some fans like but others don’t, with the DCEU creating a darker and grittier character that doesn’t always work. So when Superman & Lois began, fans had similar fears.
Surprisingly, after only seven episodes, Tyler Hoechlin recaptured the old, good-natured feel of Superman, a feeling not felt since Tom Welling and Christopher Reeves, keeping a tad of darkness in the Man Of Steel and already leaving his mark on Kal-El.
Kingpin – Daredevil
Without a doubt, DC owns TV. From their animated and live-action series, the universes have thrived, while Marvel made their mark in the movies until 2015. When Daredevil began, it kickstarted the Netflix Marvel Universe, with Matt Murdoch facing off against his first big threat, the Kingpin.
Played by Vincent D’Onofrio, the Kingpin became a standout villain throughout the course of Daredevil. Layered with a mix of vicious, brutal rage, cold intelligence, and an ounce of humanity, D’Onofrio aided in Marvel getting a leg in the world of TV, alongside Agents Of Shield.
Jessica Jones – Jessica Jones
Like Arrow, Daredevil was the start of the Netflix Marvel universe, but it was far from the end. As Daredevil wrapped up its first season, Jessica Jones took shape, a series focused on the titular hard-drinking, PI former superhero, with Krysten Ritter taking the lead.
Tackling difficult topics and ideas throughout the series, Ritter showed off a good amount of humor and snark, alongside some intensely emotional moments that hit hard thanks to her incredible performance in another great addition to the universe.
Punisher – Daredevil
Before the MCU took off, Marvel struggled for years to find a rhythm in their movies. After three disappointing attempts at bringing the classic anti-hero Frank Castle aka The Punisher to life, many fans didn’t think it was possible. Then, Jon Berthenal took on the role in Daredevil season 2.
From brutal and bloody scenes with Berthanal screaming in pure rage sandwiched alongside quiet and heartbreaking moments, Berthanal finally broke the curse and crafted a Punisher for the ages that saw his own spinoff series launch shortly after his debut.
Daredevil – Daredevil
Similar to so many before it, the first attempt at bringing the Man Without Fear to the big screen was regarded as a failure by fans back in 2003. It’s why it took over 10 years to bring the character back in 2015, with Charlie Cox’s take on the character.
Even though the show ended, audiences still want Cox back as Daredevil. His grounded, gritty, and intense take on the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen stands out among so many others, alongside an epic set of costumes and performances reminiscent of the comics.