8 More R-Rated Comics
That Should Be Turned to Movies
By Kevin Christian L.Santos
First there was the Deadpool movie, and now we have another R-rated comic book movie with Logan. The berserker’s latest movie is already getting rave reviews. Toronto Sun’s Mark Daniell says “Hugh Jackman isn’t just giving us the definitive X-Men movie; it could just be the definitive comic book movie.” USA Today’s Brian Truitt in his review says “Easily the best Wolverine outing, Logan is The Dark Knight of the mutant-filled X-franchise, a gripping film that transcends the comic-book genre by saying something important.” So needless to say, DIS GON BE GUD.
Though we’ve had crap-tastic movies on mature comics in the past (we’re looking at you, LXG. Holy hell did that movie suck.), the massive success and positive reception of Deadpool and Logan can pave the way for more mature-themed books to be made into movies.
As we’ve discussed in the first part, here are more R-rated comics that deserve a shot at the big screen, in no particular order:
Written by Brian K. Vaughan (of Y: The Last Man fame) and with the gorgeous art of Fiona Staples, Saga is an epic sci-fi fantasy series that you simply MUST read. Vaughan says the series is heavily influenced by Star Wars and is based on concepts he thought of when he was a child and when he became a parent. Saga tells the story of Alana and Marko, two lovers from warring extra-terrestrial races, Wreath and Landfall. They flee from the war as they struggle to take care of their newborn daughter Hazel. The problem? Their races aren’t exactly cool with their union and they are hot on their trail. Can’t a couple raise a child without an alien race trying to kill them? Damn.
This book has everything. An armless bounty hunter with the lower torso of a spider? Check. A babysitter who’s actually a ghost who’s missing her lower body because she stepped on a landmine and now her intestines peek out of her shirt? Check. A giant triclops with his balls hanging out? Sadly, check. An epic, action-packed love story? Double-check.
Saga is space soap opera masterpiece. You get characters that feel very real and authentic. There are no clear-cut villains, there are no caricatures. Think of it as Star Wars meets Game of Thrones, albeit funnier and more romantic. Though Vaughan has said he wouldn’t want Saga to turn into a movie or series, let’s hope he changes his mind.
2. Doom Patrol
Doom Patrol was published in the 60s, just a few months prior to when the Uncanny X-Men made their debut. Both teams were made up of misunderstood super-powered misfits. Doom Patrol and the X-Men were both feared and viewed as outcasts. Both teams were led by a brilliant man confined to a wheelchair. As such, Doom Patrol was always compared to its Marvel counterpart. After fading into the shadows, writer and goddamned legend Grant Morrison took over writing duties for the series decades later and turned the comics and the superhero genre in general to bat-shit outlandish places it hasn’t been before.
The group was organized by a researcher to combat evil. The founding member, Robotman, is a brain possessing a mechanical body and has superhuman strength, speed, and endurance as well as having electromagnetic feet. He fights alongside Dorothy Spinner, a woman with an ape for a face and has the power to bring her imaginary friends to life. Crazy Jane suffers from severe personality disorder, with each of her 64 personalities possessing a specific superpower. Then there’s Danny the Street, a teleporting street with the personality of a transvestite. Are you still with us? Together, they fight horrifying beings that threaten our existence. It’s a book filled with genius and borderline WTF ideas. I mean, they have an enemy called the Beard Hunter who wages war against facial hair. Doom Patrol isn’t just about heroes versus villains, bad versus good, it’s about how we perceive heroes and opening them up to journeys you could never imagine them in, down a rabbit hole that keeps getting stranger, and stranger, and stranger.
Simply put, Doom Patrol is one of the weirdest and most surreal comic books you’ll ever read. If done right, Doom Patrol on film will be one of the wildest, strangest you’ll ever see. Maybe it’ll need Alejandro Jodorowsky or Terry Gilliam to unleash an acid-trip of epic superhero proportions on the big screen. Oh, and do yourself a favour and pick up a collected edition of Morrison’s run on Doom Patrol. You’ll thank yourself later.
Speaking of Grant Morrison,
3. The Invisibles
Are aliens among us? Is the world really ruled by the Illuminatti? Are lizard people really deciding how the world runs? If you’re a conspiracy nut, The Invisibles is for you.
Written by Grant Morrison, the series chronicles the battle between The Invisible College, a secret group of anarchists dedicated to fighting the Archons of the Outer Church, inter-dimensional alien gods who have already enslaved most of humanity. We don’t even know it.
The protagonists aren’t the traditional heroes you’d expect. We have a man with a penchant for ultra-violence, a transvestite who’s also a shaman, a telepath, and a young man who may be the next Buddha. Because if you’re going to go head-on against aliens that have already made mankind its bitch, it helps to have Buddha in your team.
Similar to Doom Patrol, The Invisibles bathes itself in weird. It’s filled with magic and conspiracies, with a healthy, HEALTHY dose of sex, drugs, and grotesque violence. At one point, the heroes get trapped in the banned movie Salo: or 120 Days of Sodom. Do not watch or even Google that movie if you don’t want to feel filthy. Morrison says that much of the comics’ story was told to him by aliens when he was abducted in Kathmandu because THAT MAKES TOTAL SENSE. The book reads like a bizarre psychedelic trip, and not necessarily the good kind. The Invisibles is a challenging but rewarding read. It’s the type of book that will violently dry-hump your brain and gives you a hard slap in the face and forces us to examine what is real and what is important in this crazy world of ours.
Art Spiegelman’s Maus is an award-winning masterpiece. It’s also one of the most painful, harrowing books you’ll ever read.
Maus tells the story of Spiegelman’s father Vladek, a Polish Jew who also survived in the concentration camps during the Holocaust. The book portrays the characters in the story as animals: Jews are mice, Germans as cats, British as dolphins, Americans as dogs, and non-Jewish Polish as pigs. Despite the cartoonish portrayal of its cast, the constant barrage of violence and abuse is very real. Maus pulls no punches. It will constantly rip your heart out in a story about surviving a difficult life marred by tragedy after tragedy and persecution after persecution, abuse after abuse in one of history’s darkest chapters. It all feels very real, because it is.
Maus is the first graphic novel to win the Pulitzer and is simply one of THE pieces of literature you have to read in your life. Given the racially-charged environment we’re currently living in, reading Maus is relevant in these times, and maybe even turning it into film may just be what the world needs now.