The Sleuth Long Box: Issue Number #1: The Best Marvel Film to Comic Adaptations of All Time

Here we go folks, a new feature here at the Sleuth. Weekly, we will be taking a look at random, sometimes weird, always controversial top ten lists of comics. We'll be covering a wide range, and our answers will always be at the very least....interesting. We strive to look at things a little differently than our esteemed competition, and here we will be no different. Love it or hate it, we will at the very least aim to give you something to discuss with us, and perhaps argue among each other. So, without any further ado what-so-ever, I give you our inaugural Sleuth Longbox!


2001: A Space Odyssey

While it is beautiful, as it should be with Jack Kirby on the art, it sadly has to take last place. With a story that had absolutely nothing to do with the novel or the film, 2001 was a complete miss as far as adaptations go. On the upside, it did give us one character that has stuck around since it's release in the personage of Robot Man. I have to say, even though it veers way off the course that was intended, it's still a fun read and the art is King Kirby flexing his creative muscles to create an entertaining ride.



Where 2001 couldn't stick to the source material, this one was faithful, but dare I say it, hideous. The story is the usual Marvel faithful adaptation (You'll see what I mean by faithful as you read), but it lacked any sort of soul, it felt like the bare minimum to make George Lucas and the brass at Marvel happy. But since it is Willow, it is at least a fun read.


The Last Starfighter

Yup, the classic Arthurian legend retold in space got an adaptation too, like the movie it's a ton of fun, the art is the standard for the '80s film adaptations (or most of) and the heart of the story is well captured. This is one of the rare ones where the writers and the artists seemed to have a bit of fun on the book, creating a read that was entertaining and not too hard to look at. I for one have enjoyed the read at least a few times over the decades.


Marvel Comics - Dune

I have to admit something here, this one is here because of a massive bias on my part, Bill Sienkiewicz is possibly my favorite comic artist of all time, and his style is dripping from this three book mini series. With Sienkiewicz on cover and interior art, it oozes with style that seems to suit the David Lynch film well, the art and the writing blend together smoothly to create an experience that we don't often get in comic adaptations, heart, real heart. I would put it number one, but i can't let bias be such a driving force here, and honestly, it's not the best of them all.


 Time Bandits

This is another of my favorites, the adaptation captures Terry Giliam's world perfectly. Some of the art is downright photo-real, the story telling is perfect and it even has a few bits not in the final cuts of the film. It's a joy to read, tons of fun and lives up to it's source. Strongly recommend giving this a read.


 Buckaroo Banzai

If I'm totally honest, this might not be the 5th best, but, it's my article and I'm saying it's fifth best. Based on the completely out of whack film of the same name this story is just as goofy, just as fun and the property feels like it belongs in comics from the jump. If you aren't a fan of Buckaroo Banzai, what's wrong with you? Give it a read anyways. If you are, what are you waiting for? Read this book, you will enjoy it, as long as you don't take it or the source material too seriously.


 Raiders of the Lost Ark

Of course this is top five, it's freaking Indiana Jones! it's faithful, the art is excellent, it tells it's story perfectly, it's tons of fun and it's INDIANA JONES. Honestly, it is a very well done adaptation, the art is solid, we all know the story is fun, and it's captured perfectly in this retelling. There is nothing about it to not like, it's just a joy to read.



The movie is a cult classic, partly because it was a genre that at the time was considered a joke and this film decided to take the the Anti-Hero comic book trope and take it seriously. The comic, is more of that, but in the setting it deserves, without the limitations of special effects the character comes alive. The action is more dynamic, the makeup effects don't require suspension of disbelief and you can just strap in and enjoy the ride. The same holds true for the books that Marvel published later and not translations of the movie. Seriously underrated work right here.


 Star Wars

Yeah, it's number two, yes it has spawned more comics than the X-Men. Yes it's beloved by fanboys and girls everywhere, why is it number two? Because it wasn't terribly faithful, because Marvel perhaps knew that they were really onto something here so it veered and went where Marvel thought it should go, I mean we end up with a green rabbit that is somehow an intrinsic part of the comic stories, despite, you know, there never being a green rabbit in the movies. They are fun, and the newer books Marvel has been putting out for the last few years, are absolutely amazing. Do I love these books? Absolutely, are they the best adaptation of a movie to comic book? Well apparently they are second best.



Yup, I'm saying it. The Marvel Magazine version of RoboCop is absolutely perfect. It's actually one of my favorite stand alone comics of all time. It's faithful, but not so much so that it's stuck in that a lot of adaptations get into. Yet, it doesn't veer so far away that it's not recognizable. It's brutal, funny, the art is spectacular, the story is perfect, it's by far the best read out there if you are looking for a comic adaptation of a film. I've yet to read a better or more lovingly done translation of a movie. 

So there we have it, our first top ten that I'm sure plenty of you will have plenty to say about. 

-Trevor West