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Pop culture is still on the comic book bandwagon -- which is more like a band-tank at this point -- and you'll hear few complaints from the CinemaBlend staff, as we're all crazy about comic book TV shows! And while we're waiting for the returns of such shows as Luke Cage and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., there are plenty of other new comic book that are on the way or in-development for later releases. Here are some of the ones that we absolutely can't wait to watch.
The Punisher - Netflix
Marvel will continue its streak of Netflix dramas with The Punisher on November 17th. Jon Bernthal will reprise his role of Frank Castle that he first donned in Season 2 of Daredevil, and his character looks to uncover the deeper conspiracy behind the event that led to the death of his family, among other crimes. Bernthal will be joined by fellow Daredevil co-star Deborah Ann Woll and former Girls star Ebon Moss-Bachrach, to name just a few. This will be the first Punisher-centric TV series, which follows 3 prior films, although ABC did attempt to make The Punisher a police procedural drama back in 2011. Luckily, Netflix got the rights in 2016 and put Hannibal vet Steve Lightfoot in charge of giving fans a Punisher that's definitely too brutal for network television.
Those who have already seen Jon Bernthal portray The Punisher in Daredevil Season 2 likely don't need to be convinced why this series will be great. His hardened performance was one of the highlights of the season, and the emotional weight he brings with his portrayal of Frank Castle has fans eager to see if this series marks Bernthal as the definitive Punisher when put up against all who've played the role. There's also going to be a ton of violence and justice, and who doesn't love that in a Marvel show?
Sabrina The Teenage Witch - The CW
Sabrina Spellman is heading back to The CW, although she's definitely going to be different this time around. Arrow-verse co-creator Greg Berlanti, who knows a thing or two about comic adaptations, is developing a version of Sabrina the Teenage Witch that's much darker than the original series. It'll be closer to the source material first featured by Archie Comics, and Riverdale fans will reportedly get to see the character sometime soon, as she will be introduced in a one-hour special that's sure to cause some trouble for Archie and the gang.
So why should anyone be excited about an adaptation that sounds nothing like the awesome original show? While this new take on Sabrina The Teenage Witch sounds worlds away from the former TGIF hit, actress Melissa Joan Hart (who is not involved at this time) compared the reimagining to Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and combining Sabrina and Buffy sounds like a dream for anyone who grew up during the '90s. We'll have to wait and see if it'll be anything like Buffy, though. The project is planned to debut on The CW during the 2018-2019 TV season.
The Boys - Amazon
From the same twisted minds who brought you Preacher, The Boys is officially on the way. Comic genius Garth Ennis is teaming up yet again with Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen to adapt another one of his works from Dynamite Entertainment for Amazon in 2019. This time, the group is enlisting the help of Supernatural creator Eric Kripke who will be serving as showrunner and writer for the eight-episode season that will start production in the spring. As for what The Boys is about, the series will follow a superpowered CIA task force that monitors an increasingly corrupt superhero community that has gotten too comfortable.
If the cover art from the picture above, and the fact that the guy who wrote Preacher thought up The Boys, didn't clue you in already, this series is going to get bloody. Things will also be raunchy, as storylines for the comic book ranged anywhere from superheroes obsessed with orifices to assassinating the President of the United States. When Garth Ennis first announced he was developing the comic, he promised it would "Out-Preacher, Preacher." If things are even slightly as crazy as Preacher making Adolf Hitler a sympathetic soul, we're in for a hell of a ride.
Black Lightning- The CW
The marriage between DC Comics and The CW will continue in Spring 2018 with Black Lightning zapping his way into the lineup, though initially not as part of the Arrow-verse. Cress Williams will play Jefferson Pierce who, as a superhero older than one might see on other shows, suits up after a decade off the streets and attempts to stop crime once again in his city of Chicago. We won't see Black Lightning teaming up with The Flash or Green Arrow (at least at the beginning), but there's still plenty of cause for folks to get excited about this series.
Simply put, Black Lightning sounds like it will bring a much-needed twist to the typical superhero show found on The CW. Jefferson Pierce is an aged hero, and he's dealing with villains that could feasibly operate in real criminal underworlds. It's also been reported that Black Lightning will touch on much heavier topics that shows like The Flash and even Arrow tend to steer clear of. Take that, and the fact that we'll soon have yet another hour of DC programming to tack on to our week, and who wouldn't be excited about this series? It's set to kick off in early 2018.
Judge Dredd: Mega-City One - No Network Yet
The network that Judge Dredd: Mega-City One will eventually call home isn't the only question being asked of this in-development series. While there are no definitive answers to when this series will finally air, or if Dredd actor Karl Urban will reprise his role, we do have a two-year time estimate from Rebellion CEO Jason Kingsley, as well as a strong maybe from Urban. What IS known about Dredd's potential live-action TV debut is that if Urban gets on board and the series finds a network fond of showing blood and guts, comic book fans can finally consider forgiving Hollywood for a lack of a Dredd sequel.
Karl Urban's performance in Dredd, combined with Pete Travis' excellent direction, is what sparked fan dedication that made a show like Judge Dredd: Mega City One a possibility to begin with. Even without Urban in the titular role, the series still has a chance at being iconic if it comes anywhere close to the quality of Dredd, while telling some of the crazy stories from 2000 A.D. and beyond. That quality didn't translate to success at the box office, but hopefully a television series will be better received by the masses.
Titans - DC's Streaming Service
After a batch of successful animated projects with wildly different tones, the Teen Titans are finally ready for the world of live-action TV. Unfortunately, the news that the series won't be on The CW means it probably won't be a part ofd the Arrow-verse, but an ensemble as promising as Titans' doesn't need crossovers. So far, the lineup includes Dick Grayson (Brenton Thwaites), Raven (Teagan Croft), Starfire (Anna Diop), Hawk (Alan Ritchson), Dove (Minka Kelly), and Beast Boy (Ryan Potter). With a lineup like that, 2018 can't come soon enough for this in-development series.
Comic book fans have waited for a Dick Grayson-centered live-action series (or movie) for a long while, and with other shows like Gotham just now getting around to showing off its Batman-esque rise, it almost felt like Grayson would never get his due. Of course, there's already a Nightwing movie happening, so that iteration is not getting used. And fans of the original animated series will be psyched to see Raven, Starfire, and Beast Boy back in the fold, although it's a shame Cyborg is already off with the Justice League. The additions of heroes like Hawk and Dove will surely make up for those absences, right?
Locke & Key - Hulu
After a failed film series and pilot, the world may finally get to see IDW Publishing's Locke & Key in live-action on Hulu. Exactly when that's going to happen is still up in the air, and all we really know right now is IT director Andy Muschietti is helming the pilot, which was written by comic co-creator (and Stephen King's son) Joe Hill, with Lost vet Carlton Cuse set as showrunner. It was also recently reported that Frances O'Connor has been added to the cast to play the role of Nina. That's not the "straight-to-series news" many fans of this imaginative comic title are hoping to hear about, but it is a sign that things are still chugging along on this series.
The hype for a Locke & Key live-action series has been high amongst the comic book community since 2010, and it's been a disappointing journey ever since. Now, six years after the original pilot aired to an audience at SDCC 2011, the series that tells of a world of power-bearing keys and alternate dimensions is once again close to being an actual series. Not too many projects are given chances like this again and again, so anyone even remotely pumped about Locke & Key needs to stay pumped so the project doesn't get locked behind a door that isn't powered by magical keys.
Marvel's Runaways - Hulu
It's been in development since 2008, but now it's finally (almost) here. Beginning November 21st, Netflix won't be the only streaming service with an original live-action Marvel series, as Hulu's Marvel's Runaways looks to tell a superhero tale with a twist. Those familiar with the more youthful source material know we'll see a gang of teenagers team together to take on their evil parents, whom they discover are actually a tight-knit supervillain organization dubbed the Pride. The series has a big and talented cast that also features a few TV veterans like Buffy star James Marsters that any comic book fan will surely appreciate.
Those with a love of drama will surely be drawn to Marvel's Runaways, with two of the best drama-centric producers in the business -- Stephanie Savage and Josh Schwartz -- making it happen as co-creators and co-showrunners. Beyond that, the show is yet another product that is tied into the MCU, which means there's a possibility for tie-ins to other projects down the road, not to mention building up Hulu's own corner of the Marvel-verse. Plus, our Head TV Editor Nick Venable is already a big fan, and other critics seem to be pretty high up on it as well, so why not get as excited as possible?
Are there any upcoming comic book shows to be excited about that didn't make the list? Feel free to share them below, and head over to our fall premiere guide to keep tabs on all upcoming programming coming out over the next couple months!