Friday, September 16, 2011

Spectre TV series coming to Fox?

I was all set to write a review for the first issue of Paul Cornell's Demon Knights (which I enjoyed very much BTW) when I learned of something which was one of the first comics-related news items in a long time to actually make me spit my beer out: A Spectre TV series is in development at Fox!!!

The Spectre eyes the men who run Fox

If this actually gets made, it may just be the most perfect marriage between comics and television ever. I've often wondered how a Spectre movie would work, and I honestly can't think of anything that could be padded out successfully. Would it be a straight-up superhero scenario, with the origin story, love story subplot and a final showdown with the villain? Clearly they couldn't adapt just the origin story for a full length film because it would just be dull having to watch a 2 hour movie of an omnipotent ghost killing normal thugs. Both because it would kill the suspense factor, and would probably remind people too much of another comics-based film with a similar plot. Maybe Gat Benson's mob could be changed into cult members worshipping Zor, Butcher the Rage Entity or Oom? That would at least provide a supervillain, but it would seem a little too forced. Too superhero-y. Or maybe it could be an anthology film showing the origin of the Spectre, and then the seperate fates that the Spectre dishes out to the mobsters; a cross between Pulp Fiction and the old Amicus movies.

See, all those possibilities, but no coherent whole, just "maybe"s and "or"s.

But in television you don't have to worry about that because of the shorter run time and the continuing nature of television series. You could have the show be a straight up adaption of the Fleisher/Aparo run, with Jim Corrigan investigating a crime, then changing into the Spectre at the end to punish the villains. Sort of a supernatural version of CSI crossed with Dexter. Earl Crawford, the reporter who was always on the Spectre's trail in the Fleisher run, would make for a good supporting character in the vein of Jack McGee in the old Hulk Tv series. Hell, considering the time period, Earl Crawford could have inspired Jack McGee! Using him in a Tv series would be so cool in a meta way.

A Spectre Tv series would have great possibilities, more so than a Spectre movie. Anyway, I'm genuinely excited and will keep my mind open for whatever the producers have in store. Unless of course if it turns out to be a sitcom based off of those "Percival Popp the Super Cop" stories from the end of the 40's run, where the series became a comedy with the Spectre playing guardian angel to a dumb wannabe detective who looked like a gross jewish caricature. Brrr. The thought of Michael Richards and a ghostly half-naked Patrick Warburton trading hip banter while investigating crimes scares me more than even the freakiest stuff in the Ostrander/Mandrake run, and that run had some scary shit in it.

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