Fight Club 2 (Chuck Palahniuk/Cameron Stewart) – Sean Fallon
When Palahniuk announced he was going to create a comic book Fight Club sequel I was doubtful. As divisive as he is I find Palahniuk’s work fascinating and Fight Club was a big cinema touchstone for me in high school. I expected the book to be an awful cash grab but instead Palahniuk has made something fascinating, funny, and insane. Picking up years after the movie the nameless narrator of Fight Club is calling himself Sebastian and married with a child to Marla Singer. Their lives are boring and loveless so Marla begins swapping his meds with placebos in order to bring out Tyler for an affair. Little does Marla know that once Tyler is out of the box, it’s very hard to put him back in. Fight Club 2 is Project Mayhem on a global scale and proof that some imaginary friends never go away.
The Movie: Easy one. Directed by David Fincher and starring Ed Norton as Sebastian and Brad Pitt as Tyler Durden with Helena Bonham Carter as Marla. Or swap the lead actors. Or swap all three and remix what the audience knows.
Batman: Superheavy (Scott Snyder/Greg Capullo/Danny Miki)- Richard Newby
The very idea of Jim Gordon fulfilling the role of Batman in the absence of Bruce Wayne sounds kind of silly. It becomes even sillier when you think about Gordon fighting crime in an 8-foot tall robotic bat-suit. But if Snyder and Capullo have proven anything during their four year run on Batman, it’s that they’re not afraid to take risks and upset the status quo. Since the New 52 relaunch, Batman has consistently been one of DC’s best titles. The “Superheavy “arc breaks away from many of the traditional Batman tropes and putting Gordon in the batsuit gives the book a fresh and often darkly humorous perspective. This isn’t about turning Gordon into a dark and brooding figure like Wayne, but about putting a cop in a superhero suit and seeing if he can make an really difference. Snyder doesn’t shy away from the current public opinion of cops. Racial relations between the GCPD, Batman, and the disenfranchised of Gotham plays heavily in the storyline with issue #44 being one of the most topical superhero comics of the decade. Balancing real-world questions of what superheroes mean in the face of systemic racism and poverty along with horror elements, Batman adds enough twists to the mythos to keep even the most diligent of Bat-fans on their toes.
The Movie: I’d love to see Jose Padilha direct this one. Robocop, for reasons seemingly beyond his control, wasn’t very good but Elite Squad is fantastic and Padilha’s got a good eyes for action and setting. And for Jim Gordon/Batman, affectionately referred to as Gor-Bat by fans? Ethan Hawke has got the wit and now the kind of mature looks to pull of this take on the character.
Bitch Planet (Kelly Sue DeConnick/Valentine De Landro) – Sean Fallon
Bitch Planet by Kelly Sue DeConnick is a female prison movie set in space. It is like reading one of those women behind bars exploitation movies from the 70s. It is violent, funny, gripping, and has something to say and says it with every panel. Feminist comic books are becoming more and more popular and will hopefully bury the boy’s club mentality prevalent in comic stores and comic companies hiring practices. Bitch Planet is just getting started with only seven issues released at the time of writing but already it has established itself as a title to watch. The plot so far is about Kamau Kogo, an ass-kicker sent to Bitch Planet for a crime she didn’t commit and blackmailed into leading a team of inmates in a sports contest. And this being a prison story they are obviously planning a jailbreak. This is definitely a book that needs the movie treatment but also it needs you to buy the issues so that the book can continue and so you can read the feminist essays featured in each one.
The Movie: Directed by Kathryn Bigelow the casting of this movie would be a tough one. There are no actors in Hollywood who look the way there characters look. They aren’t super glamourous and don’t conform to usual Hollywood standards, which is why they’re on Bitch Planet because they’re not compliment with the way the ruling Fathers want them to look.
Invincible (Robert Kirkman/Ryan Ottley) – Sean Fallon
Invincible recently saw the release of its 126th issue and began a hiatus until April giving you more than enough time to catch up by reading the 21 trade paperbacks. Invincible is a super hero comic book lover’s dream as it pays homage to the classics and also in turn mocks them and subverts them. It is the story of Mark Grayson, the son of superhero Omni-Man and a high school student, who one day finds he has inherited his father’s powers. The early issues of the book deal with him acclimatising to his powers while being a high schooler before everything goes crazy and then continues to be crazy non-stop for the next hundred or so issues. The best thing about Invincible is that Robert Kirkman (creator of The Walking Dead) loves to keep you guessing and will kill whichever goddamn character he feels like with no regard for my feelings at all. He also likes to up the stakes as high as they can possibly go and then raise them even more. Funny, heart-breaking, huge, deftly written and illustrated, this is the superhero book you’ve been looking for.
The Movie: Directed by Joss Whedon, the only person I can think of who’s got the chops for big scale action, some scale comedy, ensemble work and geekiness. Mark/Invincible would be played by Dylan O’Brien, Omni-Man by Nick Offerman, and Atom Eve by Chloe Grace Moretz. There are about two hundred other characters as well but I’ll stop there.
Featured Image: Dark Horse Comics