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ADAPT THIS: “The Spectre”

ADAPT THIS: “The Spectre” (photo)

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With Hollywood turning more of its attention to the world of graphic novels for inspiration, I’ll cast the spotlight on a new comic book each week that has the potential to pack a theater or keep you glued to your television screens. At the end of some “Adapt This” columns, you’ll also find thoughts from the industry’s top comic creators about the books they’d like to see make the jump from page to screen.

This Week’s Book: The Spectre

The Premise: A murdered policeman is possessed by a powerful spirit that has been tasked with exacting vengeance on anyone who who deserves punishment. The spirit’s new host must reconcile his belief in law and order with the spirit’s need to deliver retribution, and use his skills as a police officer to determine exactly who deserves The Spectre’s wrath.

The Pitch: A few years ago, a live-action movie or television series based on The Spectre was probably impossible, given the limitations of special effects and audiences’ tastes. Now that we have hit shows like “American Horror Story” and “Fringe” regularly offering up moody, intense scenes of a supernatural or science-fiction nature, something like “The Spectre” seems entirely possible.

In fact, a good television series based on The Spectre would combine both of those series into a single show that relies on both procedural elements and supernatural horror.

Each episode of a “Spectre” series would feature detective Jim Corrigan (or Crispus Allen, depending on which incarnation of The Spectre is chosen) investigating vicious crimes and wrestling with the spirit inside him to make sure no one is punished before he’s proven their guilt beyond any doubt. The Spectre could also assist Corrigan in his work, much like he did in writer John Ostrander’s celebrated run on the character’s solo comic book series.

Along with offering a look at the procedural side of investigating crimes, the series could also explore the contrast between law and vengeance, science and supernatural, and the practical vs. the magical.

Rather than the more comics-accurate version of the character seen in last year’s animated “DC Showcase: The Spectre” (shown above), imagine the character portrayed as something more akin to the Dementors from the Harry Potter series or the Ringwraiths from Lord of the Rings. While he could assume his traditional form at times, envisioning The Spectre as less of a human and more a force of magical nature should offer some indication of the possibilities here.

Given that each episode would only require one or two scenes featuring The Spectre – both to maintain the impact of his presence in the show and to keep costs low – it seems like an entirely viable way to present the character.

The Closing Argument: At a time when audiences seem to be looking for more from comic book adaptations than just a dark tone, why not go back to one of the original “superheroes” of horror comics for a unique spin on the genre? Equal parts procedural investigation and terrifying tale of supernatural vengeance, The Spectre has always walked the line between traditional superhero stories and edgy horror – two genres that have no shortage of fans right now. Add a heavy dose of procedural drama, and there’s a lot to like about the notion of DC’s spirit of vengeance finding his way to the screen.

Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that the character was created by Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel. Seems like a ready-made tagline to me!

Would “The Spectre” make a good television series? Chime in below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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