So the bandwagon of comic book movies seems to be still burning donuts in Hollywood and I would love to jump on, but I want to hold on to my gas money for somewhere I really want to go. Besides I like to keep spinning my wheels on projects that will more than likely never make the production line let alone hit a showroom. Sure, you may be drooling in anticipation for The Avengers and The Amazing Spider-Man and who doesn’t dig Nic Cage in the latest Ghost Rider installment. Seriously, who doesn’t? Nic wants names.
I offer you what SHOULD BE delivered to the movie going masses in the form of comic book movies. Over-looked, forgotten, ignored, and ridiculed, these stories wouldn’t just light up the silver screen, they’d make it radioactive.
MOON KNIGHT: Marc Spector is a U.S. Marine, and a mercenary from Chicago. While in Egypt working for the African mercenary Raoul Bushman, Spector comes across Dr. Peter Alraune and his daughter Marlene who have unearthed several artifacts in an archeological dig. Among the artifacts is a statue of the Egyptian moon god Khonshu. Bushman kills Dr. Alraune to loot the temple and leaves Spector beaten and dying after Spector tries to stop him.
Spector basically dies at the foot of the altar to Khonshu, who then appears to Spector in a vision, offering Spector a second chance at life if he becomes the God’s representative in the land of the living. Spector agrees, comes back to life and drapes himself with the silver shroud that covers Khonshu’s statue ready to kick some ass. Spector tracks down Bushman and proceeds to open a can of industrial sized whoop ass.
Spector returns to the good ol’ U. S. of A. with Marlene and the statue of Khonshu and decides to become a masked crime-fighter known as Moon Knight. If that wasn’t enough of a back-story Spector invests the money that he had made as a mercenary to buy a new identity as millionaire entrepreneur Steven Grant, and if that wasn’t real enough for all his homies, Spector also creates the identity of lowly taxi driver Jake Lockley so he can keep an eye on the streets. Now couple this with the fact that Spector’s knowledge of boxing and hand-to-hand combat makes him pretty badass, all depending on the phase of the moon. Throw in a case of amnesia to the storyline and a bad ass super-villain (I suggest Morpheus, a criminal mutated to never needing to sleep and being able to project nightmares into the minds of others) and you’d have a great new masked marauder for Marvel’s mantle.
CLOAK & DAGGER: No, I’m not referring to the Henry Thomas & Dabney Coleman VHS classic. I’m on about the Marvel Comics duo of Tyrone Johnson and Tandy Bowen. Though never really gaining a foothold in Marvel fandom, these two have an interesting story that begs for a big screen adaptation. Tandy runs away from home and meets Tyrone and they become friends only to both fall victim to a criminal experiment to develop a new synthetic heroin.
After being injected and managing an escape, the experimental serum awakens their latent mutant powers. Together they team up as Cloak & Dagger and declare war on dope-pushers everywhere, involving Tandy blasting junkies and evil doers with her “light daggers” and Tyrone sucking them into an endless vortex of perpetual darkness that resides within his cloak. Soon Tyrone grows an unquenchable hunger for “light” that is sucked away from those that enter his darkness, but can he keep the hunger at bay? Throw in a romantic back-story and a couple cross-over appearances and maybe we can even introduce the New Mutants or the New Warriors the way they should be introduced.
Benjamin Marra’s NIGHT BUSINESS: Far too often it’s only Marvel or DC Comics getting all the recognition at the box office. Well, it’s time to change that. The brains behind the comic Gangsta Rap Posse also delivers an unflinching look at the neon lit nightlife of Night Business. Here pimps, junkies, dope-pushers, strippers, serial killers and bad, bad men mix it up in a no holds barred peek at the seedy underbelly of non-stop excess and those that just don’t give a shit about society. When strippers and call girls start getting slashed up it’s up to Johnny to protect his beauties and find the demented fiend responsible by any means necessary. The violence, humor, and surreal cast of characters all play out like Grand Theft Auto by way of Death Wish via Betamax. The artwork, story, and dialogue beg for director Jason Eisener of Hobo with a Shotgun at the helm. Visit www.benjaminmarra.com to learn more about this indie comic.
Ross Campbell’s MOUNTAIN GIRL: The talent behind Water Baby, Wet Moon, and The Abandoned delivers a surreal look into the naturalistic world of Ina Naga, Mountain Girl. One of Campbell’s lesser known comics, this story centers on a young female warrior cast out of her tribe who stalks the expansive tundra battling a variety of animal gods in a drive at valor and redemption. Mountain Girl is gritty and grotesque at times and yet majestic in its splendor. You are forced to accept the world on its own terms and become compelled to follow along on Ina Naga’s quest. The creature design alone would make for a fantastic action film with a strong female lead plunging the story forward. Be sure to track this comic down along with Campbell’s other works.