WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Dandelion Naizen is the leader of a rock and roll band, but in another life, she could have been the greatest enemy the Vikings had ever known — although, there's really no reason she can't pull that off in this life, too. At the very least, Dandelion and her band mates — drummer Wade, guitarist L'Lihdra and bassist Robot Phil — are ready to roll up their sleeves and bring down the pain on their musical competitors.
But can Dandelion and the rest of the band pull themselves together long enough to survive a literal intergalactic battle of the bands on Planet Flenders? Can they ever trust each other again in light of some very surprising and very bizarre reveals? Can anyone understand what the heck Dandelion is talking about? Like, ever?
WHY IT WORKS: Like last week's "Adapt This" selection of "Red Rocket 7," Whedon and Moon's "Sugarshock" is a science-fiction epic with plenty of rock-and-roll on display. As a one-shot issue, "Sugarshock" boasts a surprising amount of heart, comedy and action. Whedon brings his signature wit to bear on each of the four central characters, creating memorable personalities that stay with the reader long after the story ends. Likewise, Moon has crafted a visual world that is as stunning to behold as it is ludicrous.
"Sugarshock" would be an easy sell for Whedonites everywhere, but it has an infectious energy that science fiction and movie lovers far and wide could get behind. If mainstream audiences end up falling in love with this summer's "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World," I think that they would happily line up for "Sugarshock" as well.
WHY IT DOESN'T: Surprisingly, the greatest difficulty with adapting "Sugarshock" is the musical aspect. While you would think that a movie or television series would enhance that area, there's a lot to be said for the way music is handled in the comic book. For example, Whedon uses his words to describe "the saddest song ever," whereas a film would presumably play the song — a move that would lose a lot of the moment's comedy and charm.
That said, we all know how Whedon handles music based on past endeavors like "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog," so the potential to actually hear some winning "Sugarshock" tunes is certainly there.
HOW TO DO IT: As much as I would love to see a live action version of "Sugarshock," I think an animated adaptation would work best. Frankly, live action would be far too expensive to produce given the galaxy-spanning content of the story. Instead, an animated incarnation of "Sugarshock" could maintain the entirety of Whedon and Moon's one-shot without having to worry about budgetary constraints. That's not even mentioning that Moon's gorgeous artwork could easily translate to the animated medium.
The real question is whether or not to pursue "Sugarshock" as an animated feature film or as an Adult Swim style television series. While there's only enough comic book content for the former, I would love to see Whedon and Moon executive produce a whole series of new "Sugarshock" episodes.
THE FINAL WORD: It's interesting to me that one of the most charming and imaginative creations of Joss Whedon's illustrious career is also one of his least exposed. With wonderfully written and memorable characters, far out ideas and a brilliant design sense to boot, "Sugarshock" has potential to become a popular culture staple if properly adapted — preferably as an animated series created by Whedon and Moon themselves.
What do you think about our latest "Adapt This" selection? Let us know in the comment section or on Twitter!