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5 comic book-to-screen adaptations if you liked Netflix’s The Sandman

From Japanese cyberpunk to British black comedy, these adaptations are based on renowned comic books

Saikat Chakraborty Calcutta Published 24.08.22, 12:56 PM
Scarlett Johansson in a still from Ghost in the Shell.

Scarlett Johansson in a still from Ghost in the Shell. Twitter

Netflix’s The Sandman has pleased diehard fans of Neil Gaiman with its astonishing adaptation of a comic book that has been long considered unadaptable. This is the magic that screen can conjure when it is true to its source material – the books and the illustrations. Here are five comic books/manga that have been successfully transported on screen as films or television series. If you loved The Sandman, definitely watch these if you haven’t already.


Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (2010)

This 2010 romantic action comedy film directed by Edgar Wright, based on the graphic novel series Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O’Malley, was a box office disaster. However, it did not disappoint its core fan base and since its release on DVD, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World has developed a cult following. The film and the graphic novel follow young Canadian musician Scott Pilgrim as he battles the seven evil ex-boyfriends of the girl of his dreams, Ramona. Funny, quirky and inventive, this adaptation is filled with eye-popping visuals that echoes the original material.

Watch it on: Amazon Prime Video Rental

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (2018-2020)

Netflix’s supernatural horror series Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is based on the comic book series of the same name, published by Archie Horror (an imprint of Archie Comics). The film is eerie, magical and thrilling. The series deals with occult and witchcraft elements but also incorporates the teenage goofiness of the Archie universe. Created by the team behind Riverdale, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina follows the coming-of-age tale of teenage witch Sabrina Spellman and her misadventures with her loving aunts Hilda and Zelda. The series is undoubtedly darker than the comic books but it doesn’t alter the essence of the source material.

Watch it on: Netflix

The End of The F***ing World (2017-2019)

Based on Charles Forsman’s mini-comic of the same name, Netflix’s romantic dark comedy The End of the F***ing World effectively captures the distinct black humour that made its source material an instant hit. The two-season, 16-episode series follows James, a teenager who considers himself a psychopath, and Alyssa, a vengeful classmate who finds in James a way out of her turbulent home situation. However, James wants to murder Alyssa before falling in love with her.

Watch it on: Netflix

Ghost in the Shell (2017)

Masamune Shirow’s Japanese sci-fi manga Ghost in the Shell was adapted into a film by Rupert Sanders. Scarlett Johansson stars as the first cyborg supersoldier, Major, who goes on a mission to investigate her past to end the ongoing cyber-terrorism. The original source and film are replete with brilliant pictures that allude to a deep, rich story about how humans and technology will interact in the future. The essence of the manga is matched in the film through breathtaking visuals and mindful direction.

Watch it on: Sony LIV

Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

Director Robert Rodriguez’s big screen adaptation of Yukito Kishiro’s Japanese cyberpunk manga series Gunnm is a cinematic spectacle. Backed by Avatar maker James Cameron, the film follows Alita, a cyborg soldier who has the soul of a teenage girl with no memory. Both the manga and the film chronicle Alita’s journey to find out her identity and purpose. Although Americanised in the film, the dazzling images of the postapocalyptic world and the profound quest of the human spirit translate from the pages to the screen.

Watch it on: Apple TV Rental

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