5 years ago, AMC started took a chance on a long running black and white comic book about zombies. At the time, most comic loving nerds held their breath and thought that we would be lucky as all get out to get one full season of The Walking Dead. And now, 5 years later, The Walking Dead is a phenomenon and the highest rated series on cable television.
This got me thinking about what could be the next series to become the latest comic to television screen sensation. Over the next few posts, I want to spotlight some series that I think could be rip to become the next television sensation.
An Introduction to DMZ
The first series that I would think could be a successful and great show is the comic series DMZ.
DMZ is set in the near future and tells the tale of Manhattan and NYC, which is serving as a demilitarized zone following the second American Civil War. The island is stuck between United States of America and the Free States of America, which wants to secede from the United States.
The series is completed and tells the story of the DMZ from the perspective of Matty Rouse, a journalist who winds up implanted in the DMZ of Manhattan and is telling that tale.
Why Could DMZ be the Next Television Sensation?
Here are some of the reasons why I think this series could work as the next great television series.
- It mines the current political scene extremely well and it would make compelling television. It would need to be done well so that neither side of the war becomes a caricature. One of the things that I loved about the series was that at times, creator Brian Wood gives each side some degree of sympathy and understanding. The danger of television series would be to turn one side or the other into the obvious bad guys. What would be great is to see war from the perspective of people stuck in the middle of two armies and two ideologies. And that story is just about survival!
- The series has really compelling characters beyond the lead. Not to spoil too much but different areas of NYC are led and run by different gang leaders. Different character come into and out of Rouse’s life and story. It would also allow for some interesting side stories to happen, and it really is a full world that could be built on.
- The story is finished. While it has worked for Walking Dead to have a start point in the comics, borrow loosely from ideas in the comics and let the television show be its own entity, if I was a creator of television, it would be nice to have a beginning, a middle and an end already mapped out. This story is compelling, interesting and has the episodic material that is needed to be a successful television series.
Read part two of the series: Y the Last Man
What are some comic stories and series that you think would make great television? What exists out there past the superhero genre that is just waiting to be mined for television?