One of the benefits of comic books is that they allow for extensions of t.v. shows once it becomes too expensive for them to be produced in that medium. The truth of the matter is that after X years actors want a bump in their salaries. Oftentimes, actors become bored with their roles and they need to move on. If an actor leaves (such as in The X-Files), the story changes, often for the worse.
One way to continue to tell good, solid stories is to change mediums. Comic books offer a different means to tell those stories. The cost is far less—there’s no actors’ salaries and filming costs to incur. Plus there are no practical concerns such as needing hundreds of extras or thousands of space ships. CGI can handle those issues, but it’s expensive and takes a long time. In a comic book, an artist and inker can produce a panel or a page with hundreds of people or a two page spread that depicts an epic space battles, which costs no more than depicting two people talking in a room.
Just to be clear, I’m not discussing tie-in comic books that are published while the t.v. show is still in production. Those products vary in quality. Many can address character arcs or interesting backstory, but just as many are published to cash in on the interest in the t.v. show. This is a buyer-beware situation.
Right now, three books are interesting. The X-Files has started an interesting story arc where the series left off. I thought the last years of the series without Mulder were mediocre at best. This book has Mulder and Scully together. It feels like the some of the best The X-Files episodes.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer is in the middle of a Season Nine run. Previously, they produced a Season Eight that picked up where the series left off. It was well executed, and the same can be said for this run.
Lastly, Star Warshas a book set between the original move, A New Hope, and The Empire Strikes Back. It shows Luke growing into his leadership role via a compelling story to find a new base while dealing with a spy in the rebellion’s midst.
What I’m after is a good story. One that’s structurally sound, has good character development, and an interesting plot. I don’t care whether the medium in books, movies, t.v., or comic books. Good story telling is good story telling, regardless of the medium.