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Two Independent Comic Books You've Never Heard of Are Being Adapted into Cable Television Series

By Rob Payne | Industry | June 23, 2011 |

By Rob Payne | Industry | June 23, 2011 |

I hesitated posting the first bit of news this week in regards to the new cable series “Powers” and “100 Bullets” simply because they aren’t very well-known outside of the more hardcore comics community. Which is kind of strange, really, considering they would be good fodder for recruiting n00bZ into the fold. Hence TV adaptations, perhaps?

Well, now I feel comfortable in relaying that Jason Patric, he of Speed 2: Cruise Control, has been cast in FX’s “Powers” as co-lead Christian Walker. The original comic, created by living legends in the field Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming, follows the lives and cases of two cops, partners Det. Walker and Deena Pilgrim, as they investigate crimes involving “capes” — those civilians with super powers and who do not abide by Spider-Man’s number one rule. Patric joins Lucy Punch as Deena Pilgrim (she of the line, “Shut the front door,” in the new Jason Segel/Justin Timberlake buddy comedy Bad Teacher), Charles S. Dutton as Captain Cross (he of the grizzled, “urban” authority figures who can yell at underlings about property damage and endangering innocent lives), and Bailee Madison as child witness Calista (who has been in an episode of “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit,” so she was likely up for Mariska Hargitay’s replacement before she got this).

I also feel comfortable in saying that I am underwhelmed by this news. Mainly because of Patric. He’s a capable actor, he just doesn’t strike me as having the grim determination and silent suffering that Walker needs, and more like the smarmy well-I-guess-I-can-go-ahead-and-do-this-ness of being Jason Patric. Having some of the guys behind “Justified,” “Sons of Anarchy,” “The Shield,” and “The Walking Dead” (yes, even that last one) do keep me interested, however. The series is set to shoot this summer, so if you like awesome things, I highly recommend reading the graphic novels before then. If you do read the books, I think you’ll agree that the universe contained therein could make for a pretty incredible TV show, regardless of whether they stick to the script or not.

100 Bullets is a Vertigo title, and like Powers, it is a much different reading experience than the typical superhero comic.For starters, my personal nemesis Brian Azzarello’s story centers around seemingly disparate, sort of everyday people who’s only apparent connection are that they come into contact with the grizzledest grizzled enigma of all time, Agent Graves. Secondly, Agent Graves provides these various characters with the titular 100 (untraceable) bullets and the very real chance to get away with murder. Saying much more would probably give too much away. Suffice to say, the comics have won a lot of awards and deservedly so. This is not least of all due to Eduardo Risso’s artwork, which is grittier than DC ever lets any of the Batman comics get.

“100 Bullets” the show is going to air on Showtime, which is absolutely necessary and appropriate for the subject matter, and if they hue close to the source material, will not fall to pieces in later seasons like some of the network’s series. Universal-comic-book-adapter David S. Goyer has been tapped to write and produce the series, which could be good or bad, depending on if its the Batman Begins/The Dark Knight Goyer, or the Nick Fury: Agent of Shield Goyer. Overall, without any casting news to go on, yet, I’d say it’s a net positive for the adaptation, so far. If anyone at Showtime is reading this, I’d highly recommend sabotaging Fox’s “Terra Nova” and then casting Stephen Lang as Agent Graves. You can thank me later. All of you.

Rob Payne writes the indie comic The Unstoppable Force, co-hosts the internet radio show/podcast We’re Not Fanboys, and you can find him on Twitter @RobOfWar. He would like to take this opportunity to publicly and officially apologize to Brian Azzarello for asking an asinine question at a Chicago Wizard World convention in the early 2000s, and then following up with a sincere but stupid question at the 2008 Texas Wizard World convention in regards to the Joker graphic novel. No hard feelings?

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