The 1980s TV show Miami Vice is being resurrected this October, but this time as a digital comic book.
And it doesn’t stop there.
Lion Forge Comics is doing the same for a handful of popular 80s and 90s shows owned by Comcast's NBC Universal. Along with Miami Vice, Saved by the Bell, Knight Rider, Airwolf and Punky Brewster are all going to be released as comic books in digital format.
Miami Vice Is Eye Candy
The editor on the new Miami Vice series, Shannon Denton, says bringing Crockett, Tubbs and the Magic City to the tablet screen was a no brainer.
Miami Vice was one of the first TV shows with a filmic quality to it, which appeals to comic book types. “For somebody coming from the visual side of things as a story teller, Miami Vice is eye candy,” said Denton.
For that reason Denton said a lot of people on the Lion Forge Comics team were fans of the show while it was still on air, and its writer, Jonathon London, is no exception. It quickly becomes apparent that London is a walking Miami Vice encyclopedia and is having a blast converting the life and times of Crockett and Tubbs into splash pages and word balloons.
But, London doesn’t see the detective duo as the only stars of the new comic series. “Miami is a huge character,” said London. “I think the characters are the past, the era and Miami.”
No More Sidekicks
The comics are set between seasons one and two of the TV series. London is taking full advantage of his medium and is delighted by the fact that he can create “a big car chase in the middle of the day,” in downtown Miami and not worry about the restraints imposed by budgets or permits.
And although London promises to remain true to the original show, he says he wants to use this opportunity to give a little more depth to some of the characters he thinks were misunderstood or under-utilized in the TV series— for example, Detective Ricardo Tubbs. London was dismayed to learn there was a drinking game that requires participants to take a shot every time Tubbs does nothing or does something stupid.
“I’m not going to change Tubbs,” London made clear. “I’m just going to give him a lot more opportunity to show people why he was cool and on par with Sonny Crockett.”
And the same goes for the characters of female detectives Gina Calabrese and Trudy Joplin, whom London believes were a bit pigeon-holed in the original TV series, “It’s like, oh, we gotta get in with this guy? We’ll have Gina and Trudy act as prostitutes,” which, according to London, happened a lot. “It’s like, come on, they’re female detectives they’re capable of so much more!”
A Culture For Boys
Despite plans to flush out those characters, Denton thinks the central themes of beautiful women, fast cars, speed boats and the good-guy-always-wins will (still) largely attract an audience of men between the ages of 15 and 50.
For everybody else, there’s Saved by the Bell.