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Our 5 Favourite Under-The-Radar Comic Adaptations

atomic-blonde

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When it comes to comic book adaptations, there are the standouts that you’ll never forget (see: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Hellboy, and Ghost World) and there are the adaptations that are such strong interpretations you forget they were ever anything but (like Wynonna Earp, Kick Ass, Old Boy, and Edge of Tomorrow). Some adaptations, however, slip by without getting the recognition they truly deserve. Here are five of our faves (including one upcoming series we’re super excited about):

 

Atomic Blonde

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Take John Wick’s assassin schtick, set it during the Cold War, and up the brutality by a factor of 127 (at least) and you’ve got Lorraine Broughton, an MI6 agent with style to spare and a pain threshold Wick only dreams of. Played by Charlize Theron in the film version, Broughton is willing to kick any ass that gets in her way—a trivial thing like whose side you’re on hardly matters in East Berlin. The film, based on Antony Johnston’s graphic novel The Coldest City, is a near-perfect spy flick soaked in vodka, sex, and unflinching violence. We’re praying for the promised sequel to arrive ASAP.

 

Persepolis

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Rock ‘n roll is alive and well in Iran—or at least it was back in Marjane Satrapi’s day. The graphic novelist and director adapted her own work, based on her life growing up in Tehran and her tumultuous teenage rocker years spent on her own in Vienna. The film documents her life as a dissident as well as the ever-present danger of the Iranian authorities. Perhaps because the autobiographical story remained in the author’s hands throughout the adaptation process, it never comes across as anything but authentic (even if it did lose the Oscar for Best Animated Feature to Ratatouille).

 

The Rocketeer

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Every kid’s dream of flying is made real in Dan Stevens’ Rocketeer comic series, brought to the big screen by director Joe Johnson. The faithful adaptation even included the author’s Bulldog Cafe, a diner built in the bulbous shape of a real bulldog. It’s as adorable and whimsical as it sounds (only it’s not entirely fictional—a similar eatery actually existed until the ‘60s). While Batman has foes like the Joker and Superman has to go up against Lex Luthor, Rocketeer was charged with defeating Nazism. Who’s the superhero now?

 

Tank Girl

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Looking like a genuinely punk version of Gwen Stefani, Lori Petty plays the titular role in this adaptation based on Jamie Hewlett and Alan Martin’s graphic novel. Does misandry really exist? Yes, but only in the completely insane world of Tank Girl, a dystopia that is such thanks to the greedy, violent blundering of the more brutish sex (men, duh). Critics panned and/or shunned the movie, but decades later it’s finally been awarded the respect it deserves and deemed a cult classic. Tank Girl is a female superhero for the woman whose hair will never be as frizz-free as Gal Gadot’s—and who doesn’t give a damn.

 

Deadly Class

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We gave fans of this brand new adaptation a sneak preview in late December ahead of the show’s official debut on January 16. From what we’ve seen so far, it looks like Deadly Class (originally written by Rick Remender and illustrated by Wesley Craig) is going to be killer. Set in the late ‘80s, the story follows orphan and assassin school neophyte Marcus Lopez Arguello as he struggles to fit in at a school full of kids who, to varying degrees, want him dead. It’s all very punk rock.

 

Tune in to the Deadly Class series premiere January 16 10e 7p, and check out the first episode below.