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As the co-creator of the comic book The Walking Dead, Robert Kirkman has become one of the most recognizable names and faces in the medium, and his entertainment empire has been growing over the years, thanks in large part to the massive success of AMC’s live-action take on the zombie drama. The network, which is currently airing Kirkman’s other co-creation Fear the Walking Dead, is working with him on a new comic-related TV series that won’t be based on something he’s written, but rather the history of comics in general.
With a tentative title of Heroes and Villains: The History of Comic Books, the documentary-style series will be spread out over six hour-long segments set to premiere next year, making it more likely to only last one season, unless it’s so ridiculously amazing that the ratings inspire a second round. (Many limited comic series end up producing more issues in the future for similar reasons, so that would be applicable.) As AMC puts it, the show will dig into the people, the stories and the events that turned comic books from an artistic novelty to a worldwide phenomenon. A “filmmaker approach” will be utilized in bringing out untold histories of iconic characters, as well as touching upon how comics have affected and been affected by a wide range of social topics, such as race, gender, politics, sexuality and pop culture.
Robert Kirkman will be executive producing Heroes and Villains alongside his Skybound Entertainment cohort Dave Alpert, as well as Skybound’s Film and TV heads Bryan and Sean Furst. While you can be sure that Batman, Spider-Man, Donald Duck and other classic comic stalwarts are going to be handled in depth in those early days, Kirkman’s name on this thing almost certainly means we’ll get to see a segment devoted to Walking Dead, and hopefully something on his superhero saga Invincible and/or the twisty con drama Thief of Thieves.
Of course, there are also hundreds of other titles and thousands of other characters that are worthy of audience’s attention. From the obvious superheroes of the Golden Age to the horrific EC comics to the explosion of new titles in the 1990s and beyond, there definitely isn’t a lack of subject matter for this docu-series to delve into.
Heroes and Villains marks the third show to branch off of The Walking Dead’s success, alongside Fear and the upcoming reality show Ride with Norman Reedus. Kirkman also has another project coming to TV that isn’t on AMC, as Cinemax’s Outcast will premiere on June 3.
Remember when AMC changed up their schedule a couple of years ago by excising most reality shows and devoting more time to scripted series? I guess so long as a comic book is part of it, and Chris Hardwick can talk to people about it after it airs, anything is game for AMC. Keep your eyes out for Heroes and Villains, by this name or another, when it premieres on AMC in 2017.