5) Men In Black
That’s right – the surreptitious alien crime-fighting organization who wear shades in the winter actually started off in print form way back in 1990. Written by Lowell Cunningham, the espionage comic strip was eventually incorporated by Marvel and transformed into a classic American blockbuster in 1997, proving to be an exuberant success and spawning two subsequent sequels.
Cunningham’s comic may have inspired the paranormal setting and black suit attire for Barry Sonnenfeld’s movie adaptation, but the somber, dark, disturbing tones of the series were substituted for goofy humor during the transition from page to screen in order to cater for a wider Hollywood audience.
True, touches of depravity do exist in the MIB movie – and Vincent D’Onofrio’s gargling performance as an alien cockroach stuffed inside human skin might just be enough to terrify some viewers. But for the most part, the picture is jauntily carried along by the dynamic humor of the odd couple protagonists – with Will Smith starring as the frantic, fish-out-of-water newbie, and partner Tommy Lee Jones playing deadpan as the hardened, steely veteran.
The original comic strip only actually ran for six issues, but was more expansive than the movie it inspired given how the agents in question dealt with wider areas of paranormal activity, including zombies and demons. Taking a look a the comics really is worth it for anyone who found MIB to be a fun experience (and who didn’t?), but be warned: those expecting a tongue-in-cheek to-and-fro between Agents K and J will be disappointed. Not only is Agent K essentially sadistic in the comic book series, but he appears to regard J as little more than cannon fodder in his quest to wipe out evil earth activity.
Not exactly family-friendly stuff.