The beauty of comics may be the infinite range of stories they can tell. Unlike film and television—with the accompanying restraints of those media due to production costs, broadcast standards, ratings potential, etc.—comics can simply get as crazy and imaginative as a writer wants.
Happy, SyFy’s new series drawing upon the Grant Morrison comic of the same name, is the kind of comic-inspired adaptation that may not have existed a few years back. The violence can be extreme, the concept itself (a twisted buddy-cop caper involving a disgraced hitman and an imaginary unicorn) is absurd, and the humor and situations definitely exist in the high-end of the TV-MA range. But as the array of content-hungry providers has diversified and comics as varied as The Walking Dead, Legion, and Preacher paved the way, a show like Happy can finally exist on television, too.
We’ve collectively come a long, long way from Adam West’s Batman or even the more recent Dean Cain in Lois & Clark. And for a certain type of fan, that’s a very welcome development.