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Top 10 Movies You Didn't Know Were Based on Comic Books

VO: JG
Written by Laura Keating With so many good comics out there, don’t feel bad if these ones flew under your radar on their way to the big screen. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Movies you didn't know were based on Comic books. For this list, we’ll be looking at studio films that were based off not-so-well-known comic books or graphic novels. Have an idea you want to see made into a WatchMojo video? Check out our suggest page at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest and submit your idea.
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With so many good comics out there, don’t feel bad if these ones flew under your radar on their way to the big screen. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Movies you didn't know were based on Comic books.

For this list, we’ll be looking at studio films that were based off not-so-well-known comic books or graphic novels.

#10: “Mystery Men” (1999)

This late 90s comedy sees a group of superheroes – all with some pretty peculiar powers – banding together to fight the forces of evil. Spoofing on the tropes of comic book superheroes, as well as exploiting some logical conundrums is what it did best, just like in the comics. The film was inspired by The Flaming Carrot comics, which had its main ruin in the early and mid-eighties. A parody of superheroes, Flaming Carrot is in the comics the founding member of the Mystery Men, although he does not appear in the film.

#9: “RED” (2010)

Created by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner, and published by imprints of DC comics between 2003 and 2004, ‘Red’ the comic has a fairly straightforward if dark story line. Between the three-book mini-series, the reader follows Paul Moses as he is abruptly and unadvisedly brought out of retirement after a botched assassination attempt from his old employer, the CIA, when their new Director of Central Intelligence overreacts. Revenge and rampage ensues. The film version incorporated not only humor, but extended the plot by added several characters. This made for a very different story, but we also got to see Helen Mirren kicking some serious ass; always a delight.

#8: “Snowpiercer” (2013)

Released in 2013, this English language South Korean/Czech production has many similarities to the material it is based on. In it, a huge, ever-moving train houses the last of humanity during a terrible ice age. Aboard the train, class divides push the impoverished people at the back of the train to revolt. The original French graphic novel was published all the way back in 1982, with the title “Le Transperceneige” and then later redubbed “The Escape.”

#7: “Blue Is the Warmest Colour” (2013)

In this French coming-of-age story about sexual identity and finding your true self, the viewer follows Adèle from her teens years to adulthood and her ever-evolving relationship with Emma, a young woman with vivid blue hair. The critically acclaimed film was based off the French graphic novel of the same name, Le bleu est une Couleur Chaude, (but which was originally marketed as Blue Angel). Even with a name change (Adèle is Clémentine in the graphic novel), the film and the comic follow close to the same plot for the majority of the story, but it is the ending which marks the sharpest difference.

#6: “Timecop” (1994)

While a financial success at the time of release, this Jean-Claude Van Damme outing has been largely forgotten despite its awesome name. Sharing virtually nothing in common with the three-part comic except for the protagonist’s name, the film sees Max Walker and his time-traveling police unit attempt to catch criminals, and alter timelines. In the comics “Time Cop: A Man Out of Time,” Walker stops a time-traveling diamond thief from looting a South African mine in the 1930s but must go back when a robot bodyguard gets left behind and starts messing up the timeline. Um, can we get that film?

#5: “A History of Violence” (2005)

Starring Viggo Mortensen and directed by David Cronenberg, the 2005 film – which altered a few details – is for the most part is a faithful adaption of the 1997 graphic novel of the same name. After defending his livelihood in an armed robbery, Tom Stall (last name McKenna in the comic) gains some unwanted media attention, and with it the eye of some dangerous mobsters. In 2006, the graphic novel was nominated for the Angoulême International Comics Festival Prize for Scenario, and the film was lauded with numerous awards and nominations.

#4: “Annie” (1982)

Even if you haven’t seen the film, or any of the earlier iterations, you are probably familiar with one of the Broadway songs, or at least passingly recognize the little red-headed orphan. All were inspired by the comic strip “Little Orphan Annie” – itself inspired by a 1885 poem – and which ran in syndication from 1924 to 2010! The film was based on the first several strips, in which the main players – Annie, her dog Sandy, Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks, and others are introduced.

#3: “The Addams Family” (1991)

They’re creepy, kooky, mysterious and spooky, and were first brought to light by Charles Addams in the pages of the New Yorker. The inspiration for the off-kilter family came after Addams met with famed sci-fi and horror writer Ray Bradbury in 1946. The one-panel cartoons and the memorably macabre household was first brought to the small screen in 1964. Animated ventures followed, and then in the early 90s they received their big screen live-action debut. Followed two years later by “Addams Family Values,” Gomez, Morticia, Wednesday, Pugsley and the rest have become household names.

#2: “Men in Black” (1997)

While many things in the sci-fi comedy remain the same (agents and their names, the relinquishing of identities, etc.), the film was only loosely based on the 1990 comics by Lowell Cunningham and Sandy Carruthers. In the movie, the MiB are concerned only with the presence and regulation of alien lifeforms on earth. But in the comics, their purview covers not just aliens but a full assortment of paranormal activities and creatures. The comics are also darker, as the MiB will kill a witness, if necessary. So… the good guys don’t ALWAYS dress in black.

#1: “The Mask” (1994)

The idea of the Mask started back in 1982, but it wasn’t until 1989 that the ugly green mischief maker finally made it to pages. While the name of the first owner of the mask, Stanley Ipkiss, and the fact that he comes to be in possession of the magical mask is the same, much was changed or added to create the plot of the film. In the comic, for example, the unworn mask is jade and is purchased; in the film, it's made of wood and was found on the beach. The comic is darker for sure, with Ipkiss shot and killed, and the mask more of a possessing spirit than alter ego.
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