Netflix’s 10 Best Live-Action Comic Book Adaptations

These 10 Netflix Original comic book adaptation series are well worth your time.

Ashley Hurst What's on Netflix Avatar
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Best Comic Book Adaptation Series At Netflix

Pictures via Netflix / DC Entertainment

From The Sandman to Heartstopper, Netflix is home to some fantastic live-action comic book adaptations, but which are the best? 

Over the years, Netflix has created some of the best comic book adaptations out there. From superheroes and sci-fi to horror and coming-of-age comedy-drama, the streamer has proven itself as the place to be for the top-quality comic book shows (and some not-so-good, admittedly).

Adapting the works of some of the biggest names in comic books, such as Neil Gaiman and Mark Millar, graphic novel adaptations have been a key part of Netflix’s success. Let’s look at some of Netflix’s finest comic book shows!


V-Wars

V-Wars

Credit: Netflix

Based on the graphic novels by New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry, V-Wars landed on Netflix in 2019. The series showed great potential, chronicling the story of Dr. Luther Swann (Ian Somerhalder), who is turned against his best friend when a disease turns people into vampires. However, it failed to attract enough attention, and Netflix ultimately axed it after one season.

V-Wars will go down as a show that never quite made it, but at least it gave us a bit of gory, action-packed vampire fun.


October Faction

October Faction

Credit: Netflix

You’ll find that most of the shows on this list are about superheroes; it is one of the main genres of comic books, after all. But if you’re looking for something a little different, then October Faction might be the thing for you.

Based on the comics by Steve Niles and Damien Worm, October Faction follows retired couple Fred (J. C. MacKenzie) and Deloris Allen (Tamara Taylor), who spend their retirement working for a clandestine monster hunting agency — and slowly uncover certain dark family secrets.


Raising Dion

Raising Dion S2

Credit: Netflix

Another show that met a premature end on Netflix is Raising Dion. The series lasted for two seasons, and it was all set up for a third outing before Netflix surprisingly axed it, presumably due to funding troubles. The show had a simple premise, all about a mother trying to hide her son’s superhero powers to protect him from being discovered by those who would exploit him.

The sci-fi series was a success among both critics and casual viewers; it still retains 91% on Rotten Tomatoes.


Jupiter’s Legacy

Jupiter's Legacy

Credit: Netflix

Back in 2017, Netflix acquired Millarworld — a comic book publisher founded by Mark Millar, the legendary writer and creator of everything from Super Crooks to Old Man Logan. The plan was to create adaptations of some of his most coveted books. And the slate began with Jupiter’s Legacy, a series following a group of young superheroes, each trying to live up to the immense reputation of their parents.

Sadly, the recurring theme of cancellation presented itself again and Jupiter’s Legacy was not renewed for another season, despite ending on a pretty big cliffhanger. Elsewhere in Millarworld’s Netflix foray, Super Crooks premiered around the same time in 2021 and hasn’t been renewed yet — although it hasn’t been officially cancelled either. Clearly, Millarworld has gotten off to a rocky start at Netflix. It can only go upwards from here, we hope.


Warrior Nun

Warrior Nun

Credit: Netflix

Based on the graphic novel series by Ben Dunn, Warrior Nun follows 19-year-old Ava Silva (Alba Baptista), who mysteriously wakes up in a morgue, realizing that she has been granted a second life — but she becomes tasked with fighting demons on Earth. The series quickly garnered a devoted community of fans, although Netflix shockingly axed the show after just two seasons.

However, despite being prematurely cancelled, executive producer Dean English has confirmed that Warrior Nun will return to our screens with a trilogy of feature films.

“I need to start by thanking all of you loyal fans. It’s because of you and your incredible energy that we keep pushing forward to make these stories. You guys really make it all worthwhile. So thank you so much for your continued support,” English wrote, via Deadline. “I am very happy to announce that Warrior Nun is coming back as a trilogy of motion pictures. Once again, a trilogy of feature films. Three.”

Going from being canceled to getting a trilogy of films, at least on paper, is an absolute win for Warrior Nun fans but there’s still a lot to learn about how that looks in reality.


Sweet Tooth

Sweet Tooth

Credit: Netflix

Based on the comic by Jeff Lemire, Sweet Tooth is a lovely, heartwarming story of young Gus (Christian Convery), a rare breed of human/animal hybrid. Following the death of his father, Gus is left to fend for himself out in the woods, constantly hunted down by those opposing hybrids. That is until he meets Tommy Jepperd (Nonso Anozie), a friendly stranger who takes care of him and escorts Gus across a post-apocalyptic United States to a fated refuge for hybrids.

Sweet Tooth has been a big hit on Netflix, and will return for a third and final season to completely wrap up the story. The new season doesn’t have a release date yet, but it is expected to premiere sometime in 2024.


Locke & Key

Locke & Key

Credit: Netflix

Based on the comic written by Joe Hill (the son of Stephen King), Locke & Key intertwines all the creepiness of Stephen King’s work, with a bit of Stranger Things mixed in. It’s a super fun, family friendly, wild ride. The series centers around a group of kids after they move into the mysterious Keyhouse — a home that holds many mysteries, including a bunch of keys that unlock all sorts of strange things. The keys can make you become a ghost, teleport you anywhere, open up people’s brains, perform time travel, and more.

And this is a show that Netflix renewed right until its natural conclusion. Fans got a satisfying ending after three seasons.


Heartstopper

Heartstopper

Credit: Netflix

The only show on this list that’s not sci-fi, Heartstopper quickly proved itself one of the most popular shows on Netflix. Adapting the series of graphic novels by Alice Oseman, Heartstopper is a tale of young love, following teens rugby player Charlie (Kit Connor) and recently-outed Nick (Joe Locke) as they navigate through school together and realize that their friendship could be something more.

Both seasons 1 and 2 were huge successes, and its much-anticipated season 3 will hit Netflix in October. In the meantime, check out the recent season 3 announcement teaser:


The Umbrella Academy

The Umbrella Academy

Credit: Netflix

Superheroes! Time travel! The end of the world! The Umbrella Academy is all of this and more. Created by My Chemical Romance star Gerard Way, the series follows an irreverent, fun superhero team of unlikely siblings, each randomly born in one day in 1989. The team, adopted by billionaire Sir Reginald Hargreeves, become known as the Umbrella Academy. Each of them have peculiar, unique superpowers, from incredible throwing accuracy, to the ability to see dead people, and so on. Throughout the series, the team must work to avert the impending apocalypse, not once, but numerous times.

The upcoming fourth and final season, airing in August, promises to be the wildest one yet. “[It’s] really, really packed with classic Umbrella Academy family nonsense and shenanigans that you look forward to,” Emmy Raver-Lampman (Allison Hargreeves) told Netflix. “There’s some unbelievable new characters and villains that are super exciting.”

Season 4 arrives on Netflix in August 2024.


The Sandman

The Sandman

Credit: Netflix

Based on the beloved comic by Neil Gaiman — widely regarded as one of the best of all time —  The Sandman is a fantastic television series.  The fantasy series follows Dream of the Endless (Tom Sturridge), the anthropomorphic personification of Dreams, as he goes about his duties as the ruler of The Dreaming; the place we go when we fall asleep. At the beginning of the series, Morpheus is captured and endures captivity for many decades. Upon his escape, he embarks on a journey to reclaim his totems of power and rebuild his fallen kingdom.

The Sandman is a story that spans myth and legend, jumping between genres with ease. At one moment, it’s set in the modern day, and the next it transitions to Hell, before heading into wild and whimsical places. The series was a faithful adaptation of the comic, gaining positive reviews from newcomers and longtime fans alike.

Moreover, Netflix has already renewed The Sandman for season 2, which is currently in production. Plus, on April 25, Dead Boy Detectives will premiere — a show set in the same universe. Clearly, Netflix has huge plans in place for the future of Sandman, and we’re here for it!

Written by

An expert in all things geek with a particular emphasis on DC, Marvel, Star Wars, and Game of Thrones. On Netflix, Ashley is an expert on The Sandman, Dead Boy Detectives and Avatar: The Last Airbender. Bylines at Winter is Coming and Comic Book Resources and notably runs a fan page social account for Netflix's The Sandman.

 Poster Rating: TV-14
Language: English
Genre: Drama, Romance
Cast: Joe Locke, Kit Connor, William Gao
Season Additions:
  • - Season 2 was added to Netflix on August 3rd, 2023
  • - Season 1 was added to Netflix on April 22nd, 2022
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