These shows were great, but have you read the source material they came from? You should.
When I first saw the trailer for The Umbrella Academy, I was immediately drawn to the concept and plot they had laid out. Still, I knew this was a must-read after finding out it was an Eisner Award-winning comic book created by My Chemical Romance's frontman Gerard Way. Like many comic books on this list, the show took some liberties in diverging away from the source material, which makes the comic book an even better read when you get to compare the two. I thoroughly enjoyed both and am excited about this next upcoming season.
The only animated show on this list, Invincible, is from the mind of Robert Kirkman which you will know from The Walking Dead franchise and similar to Garth Ennis took an approach to superheroes that we hadn't seen before. The graphic novel starts relatively tame but becomes a very mature and intense comic book with storylines that'll make your head explode. The show had to cut some story arcs out for the sake of time, and I'm assuming budget, but it hit some pretty essential marks from the comics. If you enjoyed the show as much as I did, you'll love the comic book and seeing Mark Grayson's ascent into the hero he becomes.
Like many others, I had fallen in love with the show when it was first released in 2010 but never thought to pick up the comic books as I wasn't sold on the all-black-white illustrations. After a day at Barnes & Noble just reading through the story arcs I had seen on the show, I decided this is something I need to continue reading. If you think some of the show's scenes are intense, wait until you read the graphic novel. I've always loved how Rick goes through an evolution of sorts as he is trying to survive in a world filled with the undead while also trying to uphold his morals as a former lawman. This long-running comic book has some fantastic story arcs, and I highly recommend it to any Walking Dead TV show viewer.
You might not know this, but Lucifer is a DC Comics original, and although there were many iterations of him in the past, the one that we get to see on the show debuted in Neil Gaiman's The Sandman as a supporting character. Though the show depicts a dark-haired Lucifer compared to the David Bowie look-alike in the comics, the show is more a cop procedural than the comic books have it. As the show has been a smash-hit for audiences, it's only fitting if you dive a little deeper into the character by reading his graphic novel.
This show captivated audiences with its fresh take on vampires from the novel of the same name written by Guillermo Del Torro. This novel was then later adapted in a limited series of graphic novels written by David Lapham, which garnered plenty of positive reviews and showed an even more gruesome view of the events in the novel series. Guillermo Del Torro has always been known to have a dark and twisted mind for great stories, but to see it illustrated the way it was by Mike Huddleston in the comic books made the horror even more memorable. If you like horror, this one is for you.
Another fantasy horror show based on an Eisner Award-winning comic book by writer Joe Hill. Locke and Key has made waves on Netflix as a show, but if you want to see precisely why this graphic novel was adapted for TV, I recommend picking up a copy of the source material at your local comic book shop. The supernatural's unique setting and Hill's original concept of keys that unlock several different powers to those that wield them set the foundation for a great story. Considering Joe Hill is the son of renowned author Stephen King, this graphic novel showed that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree and that those many awards were justified with its rich storytelling.
Unfortunately, the show couldn't make it past the first season, Y: The Last Man is also an Eisner Award-winning graphic novel from writer Brian K. Vaughan. This series in a post-apocalyptic setting where a plague kills all but one man was another fresh take on the post-apocalyptic genre. Making the protagonist, Yorick, an escape artist with a monkey sidekick, isn't who you think would survive a disaster of this nature, though, with the help of a highly-skilled bodyguard and genius scientist, it's a group of survivors you can get behind. It's a shame viewers won't be able to enjoy the show any longer, but that's more reason for you to pick up this fantastic comic book.
When I had first heard of this show, I thought, "Hollywood is running out of ideas," but when I came to find out that it was a graphic novel with a large fanbase, I was intrigued as to why. The concept of a descendant of Wyatt Earp out there fighting the supernatural in the present day is new and original. However, the limited series graphic novel came out in the '90s, so the show's modern take really puts a spin on the source material. You should pick up a copy of the comic book for anyone missing the show but maybe wants a vintage take on the character. There's a reason why the show and comic book were a success; now go find out why.