Thanks for joining me for yet another issue of Quintessential Comics! This time we’re going to focus on graphic novels that have undergone either a film or television series adaptation. Some of these contain mature content. If you’ve been looking for a different format in which to enjoy your comic goodness, this is for you. Let’s get right to it!
This series is about as wild as they come. Jesse Custer, a preacher hailing from Texas, finds the belief system that he has devoted his entire life to called into question when he realizes that he has the ability to command others to do anything he wants. This mysterious power comes as the result of a merger with a being known as “Genesis.” While it seems as though this gift has been bestowed upon him by Heaven itself, Custer isn’t so sure. He decides to hit the road with his renegade girlfriend Tulip and his unlikely best friend Cassidy, who just so happens to be a vampire, in order to find out the truth about his power and why he was chosen to wield it. Originally airing on AMC, this series is now available through Hulu and you can also check it out on DVD.
This entry has gone from novel to graphic novel to television show! Available on Hulu and on DVD from the library, American Gods satisfies any appetite for the mystical and supplements it with a heavy dose of drama to deliver a show that enraptures you with its refreshing take on the deities that have been a part of various mythologies for ages. When ex-con Shadow Moon is released from prison, he is devastated to find that his wife is dead. Just when his life is in shambles, a shadowy figure by the name of Mr. Wednesday appears and offers him a job as his bodyguard. Unbeknownst to Moon, this opportunity will thrust him into the middle of a war being waged between the ailing gods of old and the new, rising powers of the modern age. If you’re a fan of mythology and are looking for a fresh take, come and get it.
If you’ve been into graphic novels for any significant amount of time, chances are that you’ve heard of “V for Vendetta.” You might have even read it! Somewhat of a cult classic, this graphic novel discusses the dangers of a totalitarian government. The series shares some of the themes and messages that you’d find in Orwell’s “1984,” if you happen to be a fan. The story focuses on a masked vigilante working to destroy the powers that be that are profiting from the subjugation of the common-person. The graphic novel deals with themes of oppression, bigotry and prejudice. What can two people do against the tyranny of the wealthy and corrupt? And, what happens, when in your pursuit of vengeance, you risk becoming a monster yourself? Be sure to pick this one up to find out! The film is available on HBO Max and at your library!
Okay, imagine that this is the story of Peter Parker becoming Spider-man. There’s a relatively normal high school kid who likes to hang out with friends and struggles to talk to girls. That’s pretty much our protagonist, young Mark Grayson. It’s just that: instead of living with his aunt and uncle, he lives with his mom and dad. And his dad happens to be the most powerful being on the planet. And, instead of the whole “with great power…” spiel, Mark learns some hard truths about being a superhero, some of the harshest coming from his own father. Throw in an abundance of violence and trauma and you have Invincible. Hmm. Maybe that wasn’t the best comparison after all. Regardless, you should check this one out and catch the show on Amazon Prime!
What to say about Doom Patrol? It’s partly a story of the heroic exploits of an unlikely group of misfits and partly a fever dream full of the chaotic akin to a psychedelic field trip through time and space. Did that grab your attention? Okay, great. So, the roster is Negative Man, a guy who can project his astral form from his body, Elasti-Girl, who is able to expand or shrink her body at will, Crazy Jane, who possesses different powers based on one of her many personalities, Chief, the intelligent and enigmatic leader of the team, and Robotman, who’s, well, a robot. The team tends to tackle some of the more outrageous threats to the universe and the stories can get quite abstract. Also, did I mention that some of the run has been written by Gerard Way? You might know him as the front man of My Chemical Romance. Strange indeed. Be sure to check out the television series here at the library!