'Astro City' TV Series In The Works

FremantleMedia is developing a TV series based on Kurt Busiek and Brent Anderson's creator-owned comic book series Astro City, Deadline reports.

The series, which debuted in 1995 at Image Comics, has been with DC's Vertigo imprint since 2013. It remains a creator-owned project, though, and DC is not involved in the TV show. The series has been published intermittently since the '90s with painter Alex Ross on covers.

Astro City takes cues from Marvels, Busiek's acclaimed miniseries with Ross set in the early days of the Marvel Universe. In both, superheroes and supervillains exist in a city populated by regular people who are inspired and terrified by the daily exploits of gods and monsters over which they have no real control.

After the success of Marvels, Marvel and DC both regularly trod similar territory in their own superhero universes, and the high concept of Civil War could easily have been an Astro City story.

Busiek and Rick Alexander will write the pilot episode, with Gregory Noveck will be the executive producer along with Alexander and Busiek.

“Everyone, at every turn, is supportive, helpful and completely focused on capturing the feel of Astro City and bringing it to life as a TV show.”

Recently, DC announced that the ongoing Astro City comic could end, and be replaced by a series of original graphic novels.

Around the time of that announcement, ComicBook.com's Chase Magnett referred to the series as "the greatest superhero comic of the 21st Century."

FremantleMedia refers to it as the last fully-realized superhero universe that had not yet been optioned for TV and film. Besides Marvel and DC, Sony is developing the Valiant Universe, while Netflix has both Rob Liefeld's Extreme and Mark Millar's Millarworld.

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With over 100 single issues and numerous tie-ins, Astro City has introduced dozens of characters, including some fan-favorites who got stand-alone stories set in the world of the series. Astro City has won a number of Eisner and Harvey Awards over the course of its publishing history.

There is no official word on when Astro City's pilot might go into production or when it might be expected to premiere. No network or platform is yet attached.