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Adapt This: “The Sword” by The Luna Brothers

the sword

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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 various comic creators about the books they’d like to see make the jump from page to screen.

This Week’s Book: The Sword by The Luna Brothers

The Premise: Dara Brighton is a wheelchair-bound college student whose life is forever changed when three strangers brutally murder her family. When she accidentally discovers the mysterious sword the killers were looking for, it sets her on a path of vengeance that threatens everything — and everyone — around her.

The Pitch: Ever since this series reached its end in 2010, there’s been talk of a big-screen adaptation of The Sword — and for good reason. Packed with epic action sequences, globe-spanning adventure, and a fascinating mystery that slowly unfolds over the story’s 24-issue run, The Sword has all the makings of a summer blockbuster.

In the series, Dara is granted superhuman powers from a magical sword, and sets off on a quest to find the three element-controlling strangers who killed her family and left her for dead. Pursued by the government and accompanied by two friends, Dara’s journey takes her around the world and reveals some deeply hidden family secrets before it reaches its bloody conclusion.

A big-screen adaptation of the series could follow either of two paths: dividing up the series into multiple films or compressing the entire four-volume story into a single film. Given the difficulty many intended franchises have had with getting their second film made, one movie seems more likely — and since the series only spanned 24 issues, there shouldn’t be much need to cut material from the comic in order to fit it all into the movie.

Between Dara’s own, sword-given abilities (including enhanced speed, strength, and accelerated healing) and her enemies’ control over air, water, and earth, there’s a lot of opportunity for eye-catching effects in an adaptation of The Sword. Even more appealing, perhaps, is the fact that many of these effects occur on a smaller, more believable scale, instead of the usual budget-busting displays of CG spectacle. Not only does this make the adaptation’s budget a little more manageable, but it also makes the transition to the few larger, effects-heavy sequences less jarring. A movie based on The Sword would do well to take cues from a film like “Chronicle” when it comes to presenting its characters’ superhuman abilities.

The Sword comic also covers a lot of ground in 24 issues, which makes for a fast-moving story but limits some of the character development that could occur over the course of the narrative. This is one area of the story that an adaptation could actually improve upon, and bring an extra dimension to Dara and the supporting cast. This would also allow for a little more directorial and screenwriting flexibility — something that would certainly appeal to the project’s creative team.

The Closing Argument: As it stands in the comic, The Sword is already structured like a fantastic adventure film with plenty of action and just the right pacing to make an easy leap from page to screen. Given the right young, talented actress playing Dara, a movie based on The Sword could be the project that anoints the next female action hero.

Recent films like “Chronicle” and “District 9” have done a great job of balancing the need for cool effects with great character development, and an adaptation of The Sword should be approached with a similar focus. Handled properly, it’s easy to see “The Sword” as another film that comes in under the general public’s radar but surprises the heck out of audiences with its perfectly blended mix of story, characters, and effects.

Would “The Sword” make a good movie? 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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