Hello, TV. It’s been some time since we last talked, but I feel it’s my responsibility to tell you what you’re missing out on by not hiring me.
You may have noticed that you’re playing a lot of comic book-based shows, these days. They’re really quite popular and they run the gamut of genres, from heroes who look good in tights to heroes who don’t look good in tights. From to zombie harassers to zombies working for hospitals. From human parasites to gender-swapped cowboys of legend. Why, even your too-cool-for-school internet streaming rivals are filling the series of tubes with an unending stream of shows about superheroes.
For a geek like me, it’s admittedly a great time for live action entertainment. But you know what this glut of comics-based shows needs? More. I need so much more. And there’s one person you can turn to to give me what I need.
Now, I’ve written before about superhero shows you need to make. Don’t believe me, TV? Click this link, jerkball, and see why I should be put in charge of making Resurrection Man, starring Sean Bean. But that idea was only partly mine (although I’m more than willing to accept all the credit). Like any nerd worth his salt on the internet, I have a million other surefire ideas. Allow me to regale you with just a sampling.
(I’m sorry about the jerkball comment. That was out of line.)
I was once told that an anthology series wouldn’t work really well, as people only want to see the same cast over and over again until they vomit into their own shoes. I’m paraphrasing. Seeing main characters die used to be forbidden by the network cash gods. TV, times are changing.
(These will all be 12-episode seasons, because that’s a reasonable thing to do.)
Season 1 and 2:
Hunter Rose, dressed to... kill? Get it?
We meet Hunter Rose, a brilliant and bored genius and athlete who decides to take over the entire criminal underworld, simply because he can. Season 1 introduces the whole cast and details his rise to power. Season 2 shows his escalating conflict with Argent, the hundreds-of-years-old native American werewolf-type guy who works with the police (as werewolves often do).
We get the anti-hero vibe of rising criminal shows like Breaking Bad, all the way up to the sprawling criminal empires of Boardwalk Something-or-other or The Sopranos. We also get to mix that with anti-Batman fights in tights with werewolves. (I think that happened in The Sopranos?)
This series could easily be stretched into three seasons, if we really want to dig into his past, his original identity before becoming a fencer. Plus, we would need to make sure his antagonistic relationship with real estate mogul Barry Palumbo so that Hunter adopting his daughter, Stacy, after Barry dies becomes all the more poignant. (Stacy has close ties to both Argent and Hunter, adding more tragedy to the Shakespearean events that unfold.)
Well-known writer Christine Spar, daughter of Stacy Palumbo, (nicknamed Grendel’s Granddaughter by the press) takes up the mantle of Grendel in a mission of retribution against the vampire kabuki dancer (no, seriously guys, Grendel comics are awesome!) who kidnapped and ate her son. She uses her skills and wits, as well as her intimate connection with Grendel lore to wear Hunter Rose’s persona to effect a campaign of revenge. It’s set in the indeterminate near-future where people wear ‘80s music video fashions completely unironically.
The season will also bring Argent, the werewolf police consultant out of retirement, as he somehow senses the return of a Grendel. Ooh! Mysterious.
The theme of this series revolves around how far a mother will go to get back her child who has been taken, and what she’ll do to avenge a murdered son. Answer: she will do a shit-tonne of brutal things. Along the way, her cast of characters will include a sassy reporter friend, handsome love interest who tries to be her conscience (Brian Li Sung), and a seemingly effete cyber-policeman who is Argent’s right hand man (Captain Wiggins).
Here we have a bit of a conundrum. Clearly, we start with the tale of Brian Li Sung. After the death of his lover, Christine Spar, at the hands of the effeminate cyborg police Captain Wiggins (spoiler alert for a thirty-odd year old comic), Brian takes up the mantle of Grendel to seek vengeance. He will die halfway (killed by Captain Wiggins) through the season and then we will focus on Wiggins and his descent into madness after he writes his novels about Grendel, discovering that Grendel is more than a name or a title. Grendel is a kind of zeitgeist which may or may not be an entity of some kind.
(Also, if you have a Grendel problem, give Wiggins a call.)
The season will deal with two guys who have very different kinds of guilt on their consciences, and the very different, very specatcularly bad ways they deal with it.
Now, how do we get through the intervening century of short stories? I actually don’t know yet, but I have four years to figure it out. You see, the comics at this point went into a kind of anthology series, following the Grendel “persona” as it went from being a person, or a mantle, to being a way of life, to eventually being the way of the whole world in the far future. This will surely be the hardest season to write, so I kind of hope for a writer’s strike to cut it short, then I can move on the the easier stuff that follows.
Season 5 and 6:
Now, this is where the whole thing just kind of goes off the rails into wonderful insanity.
So, in the 26th century, most of the Earth is kind of a wasteland, and America is divided into feudal corporations. Vatican Ouest (in Colorado, naturally) is building a huge cathedral/tower for Pope Innocent XLII who is actually the same vampire who killed Christine Spar’s son some six hundred years and eight paragraphs ago! Orion Assante (an aristocrat and auditor) is trying to source some apparent financial improprieties within the church, while Eppy Thatcher (an insane, drug-addicted genius and factory worker) becomes an anti-church terrorist fueled by a designer drug called Grendel. The two have the same goals, to bring down the church, but are entirely on opposite sides of the law. It turns out, though, that vampire popes are a sneaky bunch, as you well know, and the new tower being built actually houses a weapon called the Sun Gun which will be used to block out the sun!
The Pope commissions a new Inquisition whose security is headed by a man named Pellon Cross. The Pope manipulates Cross to his own ends, then eventually turns him into a vampire.
Orion’s family meets with tragedy, as a result of his meddling, and he ends up leading a private army in an assault on the Vatican Ouest. Pellon Cross escapes the pope’s power, turns some of his fellow police into vampires, who aid in the battle against the Pope. Eppy Thatcher gets involded and the whole thing goes insane
Did I mention the Sun Gun was created by a vampire named Elmer Kittenclaws and is powered by 600 tons of bananas? Look, you just— sometimes you just can’t adequately put Grendel comics into words.
In the end, Eppy and the pope are dead, Pellon flees to the nuclear wastes of Russia and Orion is on his way to becoming the first Grendel-Khan, ruler of the whole whackin’ planet Earth. Season 6 deals with his efforts to unify everyone under his rule. We have psychic powers, international politics (thrilling!), and perhaps a wife who is secretly scheming to assume the throne of the khanate.
It’s Game of Thrones on Dune, kind of. With vampires. And legalized menage-a-trois incest. So, a lot like Game of Thrones.
We skip ahead a few years after Orion Assante’s death to the abduction of his young son by the cyborg knight we will call Grendel-Prime. He has secretly been tasked to protect Orion’s son Jupiter from Orion’s scheming wife until he can be of age to take the throne. Listen, this article has already been going on for a while, now, but let me give you a few highlights:
Speeder Bike chase scenes!
A pee-drinking witch on the bayou!
Post-apocalypse biker gangs!
(Sorry, the lesbians thing might seem salacious, but that’s not how I meant it.)
Take a step back and admire that incomplete list of things for this season. Tell me you wouldn’t want to watch that realized with high production values. Go ahead and lie to me. You can’t. This series is just too incredible!
Now, after this, the series goes back into anthology mode, and I don’t know if there’s a sustained narrative to feed further TV seasons under my steardship, so this might be the end.
That is, unless I can get some good sauna time with WB executives and wrangle the business deal of a lifetime. If I can further this fever dream of an idea to that extent, then imagine two sequel series based on the following covers:
That’s it for me for now, but look forward to me further deluding myself into thinking I could run another comics-based show in further installments of this series!
In the comments, let me know your dream casting calls for a Grendel TV series, or maybe just Grendel/comics discussion in general. Also, what can you do to really liven up oatmeal? Any secret recipes?