10 Netflix Shows You Didn’t Know Were Based On Comic Books

Now that all of Netflix’s Marvel Comics TV shows, including several The Defenders shows and The Punisherhave left the long-running streaming service for Disney+, other comic book adaptations have begun to reach new levels of popularity.

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Some of the original comics that Netflix shows have been based on have also grown more popular thanks to their on-screen adaptations, such as The Umbrella Academy and Lucifer – despite the latter first premiering on Fox. That said, many people don’t realize just how many Netflix shows are based on comics and graphic novels.



Split Image of Hilda TV Show and Comic

Following the success of the 2021 animated movie Hilda and the Mountain King, fans are eagerly waiting for further news regarding season 3 of this sweet fantasy animated series full of endearing characters and magnificent creatures. The main character, Hilda, is an 11-year-old girl who loves adventuring with her friends and her deer fox, Twig. She is voiced by Bella Ramsey, who is best known for her portrayal of Lyanna Mormont in Game of Thrones.

This animated children’s show is based on a series of graphic novels written and illustrated by Luke Pearson, who continues to play a major part in the production of the show. Since the success and positive response of the adaptation, more tie-in comics have been created as part of the wonderfully charming world in which Hilda lives and explores.


Split Image of Sweet Tooth TV Shows and Comics

sweet-tooth follows a “hybrid child,” Gus, as he tries to find his mother while avoiding those who want to hunt him. Though a bit too close for comfort regarding the viral pandemic that sweeps the world in this fantasy drama, audiences became enamored with the imaginative part-animal, part-human appearances and riveting storytelling.

RELATED: 10 Huge Differences Between Sweet Tooth And Its Comics

With season 2 on the way, fans are flocking to the original Vertigo comics written and drawn by Jeff Lemire. These post-apocalyptic stories have been dubbed by many as “mad max meets Bambi.” Though the original series concluded in 2013, a sequel was published in 2020 and brought the series to a close. While the television adaptation offers a more colorful and optimistic approach to the story, Lemire’s comics have a much darker and sinister tone.

Kipo And The Age Of Wonderbeasts

Split Image of Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts TV Show and Webcomic cover

Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts is an animated television series created by Radford Sechrist and developed by Bill Wolkoff. It follows the coming-of-age story of “burrow girl” Kipo Oak and her friends de ella as they navigate the post-apocalyptic surface which is full of mutated animals.

The series was inspired by Radford’s 2015 webcomic kippo, which was initially published on Tumblr. Only consisting of 32 pages posted over a few months, the webcomic was soon abandoned by Radford and is only available to be read via web archives. With many similarities to character and world-building, the comic brought about a beautifully animated and LGBTQ+ positive story inspired by the likes of ND Stevenson and Rebecca Sugar.

Warrior Nun

Split image of Warrior Nun TV show and original comic Warrior Nun Areala

Blending science-fiction, fantasy, and religious deities, Warrior Nun is the modern equivalent to Buffy the Vampire Slayer but with a much more reluctant hero in the protagonist and “Halo-bearer,” Ava. With season 2 set to premiere in 2022 at some point, many fans might be surprised to know just how different the show is from its comic book inspiration.

It is based on Warrior Nun Areala by Ben Dunn and first published in 1994. This manga-styled American comic book follows Sister Shannon Masters, the Halo-bearer who dies in the pilot episode. There has also been much controversy over its appropriation of Catholic imagery, but it remains a unique independent comic series in the mainstream market.


Split Image of Colin Ford in Daybreak and Daybreak comic cover

Like The Society and the recent news about Archive 81, day-break was canceled after just one season. it starred Supernatural Alum Colin Ford as high school outcast Josh Wheeler in a more-or-less well-received 2019 apocalyptic comedy-drama. The story surrounds a nuclear fallout that led to the end of the world, as well as zombies, teen angst, and a sort of mad max meets Mean Girls theme in the show’s high-school clique turf wars. However, day-break couldn’t compete with Netflix’s vast collection of programming and was canceled due to low viewership after its initial 10-episode series.

The show is based on a comic book series of the same name written and illustrated by Brian Ralph. The comic’s illustrations were originally just published on Brian’s blog until they developed a cult following and were compiled into a graphic novel and a compelling story.

Super Crooks

Split image of Super Crooks Animated show and original comic

In the same world as Jupiter’s Legacy, Super Crooks follows a group of super-powered thieves led by small-time crook and supervillain Johnny Bolt, as they try to pull off one last heist before retiring. The story is by author and executive producer of Jupiter’s Legacy and comic book legend Mark Millar – who has also written several graphic novels in the Millarworld, including kick-ass and Kingsman.

Super Crooks is a four-issue limited series published in 2012 co-created by Millar and artist Leinil Francis Yu, known for his Marvel and DC Comics illustrations. As one of the first spin-offs from the Jupiter’s Legacy universe, Super Crooks was released in November 2021 to an audience welcoming more of Millar’s content – who are also waiting in excited anticipation for more development news surrounding super crooks’ upcoming live-action adaptation.


Split Image of Alexandra from Trese and the original comic cover

Debuting in 2021, Three explores ancient Philippine folklore and culture through anime-influenced design. The main character Alexandra Trese, a skilled and persevering supernatural crime-fighter, is aided in her battles by a myriad of interesting and often mythical characters.

It is based on the ongoing Filipino komik series written by Budjette Tan and illustrated by Kajo Baldisimo. First published in 2005, this award-winning series fuses Philippine mythology with dark storytelling and horror. Similar to the yet to be renewed animated adaptation, the comics follow the private detective Alexandra Trese as she tries to solve what the police cannot handle.

raising dion

Split Image of Dion using his powers in Raising Dion and the original comic cover

raising dion season 2 raised everyone’s expectations of this superhero drama series surrounding a single mother raising her super-powered son. It is based on a 2015 comic book and short film both created by Dennis Liu – who is also one of the show’s executive producers and has so far directed three episodes.

No adaptation is exact and there are some minute changes. Since it remains a one-issue story, there is a mass of space for Netflix’s own invention. This coming-of-age story is considered one of the main examples of why Netflix’s comic book TV adaptations are better than Marvel’s. Though full of action sequences and amazing CGI, the show remains grounded in the story’s original themes of family, love, and diversifying or even completely ignoring classic superhero tropes.

I Am Not Okay With This

Split Image of Syd at the dance in I Am Not Okay With This TV Show and the original comic cover

Netflix’s habit of canceling shows, especially after just one season with an immensely intriguing cliffhanger, has aggravated many viewers. I Am Not Okay With This was an instant hit for dealing with young adult issues of body image, sexuality, and family drama – as well as the well-known teen problem of unexpected superpowers.

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Fans are still not okay with the cancellation of the popular dark comedy, but they can still enjoy to an extent the original and far darker graphic novel by Charles Forsman – also known for his award-winning comic The End of the F***ing World which was also made into a popular Netflix adaptation that did manage to score a second season. While fans hoped for a happier ending for Syd in the TV adaptation, it was clearly not meant to be – just yet, anyway.


Split Image of Ian Somerhalder in V-Wars and the original comic cover

VWars was a 2019 science-fiction horror series starring Ian Somerhalder as Dr. Luther Swann, who becomes overwhelmed when a deadly outbreak caused by climate change turns humans into vampires. Despite having a dedicated fanbase and one of The Vampire Diaries alums at the helm, this series also fell privy to Netflix’s cancellation curse after only one season.

The streaming series was based on the eponymous anthology series and graphic novel by Jonathan Maberry. The comic book series published from 2014 to 2015 explores the ongoing battle between humans and the ever-expanding new subspecies of vampires. First published in 2012, there have also been four anthologies edited by Maberry and consisting of short stories, “eye-witness” accounts, and reports regarding the vampire apocalypse. It has featured writers such as Jennifer Brozek, Larry Correia, John Everson, and Gregory Frost.

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