By Herman Lane
While comics and video games have long been some of the most popular forms of visual entertainment in existence, especially among the younger generations, many people may not realize that they aren’t exactly as segregated as they appear. Video games have long featured comic book heroes like Superman and Batman, but the reverse is also true. Many different publishers have released both adaptations of cherished video game titles and extensions of those universes in print forms. They’re a fantastic way for the video game aficionado to transition into the world of comic books using familiar fan favorites as spiritual guides.
Metal Gear Solid
IDW Publishing began adapting Hideo Kojima’s epic “Metal Gear Solid” series of games into comic book format in 2004. The first series covered the events of “Metal Gear Solid,” while the second tackled “Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty,” both originally released for Sony PlayStation gaming consoles. The art by Ashley Wood should be familiar to fans of the series, as it is intentionally mimicking the “artwork” present during various points of the game and on official packaging. The series is actually a wonderful way to experience the stories of the games at your own pace. Both games, but especially the second, contain numerous twists and turns that can be difficult to digest at their breakneck pace. Volumes are available containing 12 issues a piece or as one giant omnibus collection.
With a game as rich as the wartorn “Metal Gear Solid” finding success in comic books, it can only be a matter of time before similar games like “Battlefield 4” or even “Call of Duty” are adapted as well.
The Legend of Zelda
Though many companies and creators have taken a stab at adapting Nintendo’s powerful “Legend of Zelda” series into the comic book format over the years, none have been as successful as Akira Himekawa and his manga series from Japan. Himekawa has adapted all of the most popular games in the series including “Ocarina of Time,” “Majora’s Mask” and “Skyward Sword” into print form, available in both English and Japanese variants. The manga releases represent the perfect opportunity for a gamer looking to get into comic books using their favorite long-lasting video game series as a guide.
DC Comics has published a variety of miniseries based on the “Resident Evil” series of games, most recently in 2011. Written by Ricardo Sanchez, the story follows Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance agents as they try to prevent the spread of bioweapons both on land and outer space. The series doesn’t feature any of the game’s characters as protagonists, but it does act as an expansion of the established game continuity while throwing in a number of subtle nods that long time fans will love.
The “Dead Space” comic book adaptation was written by Antony Johnston, who not only writes video games in the series but also regularly writes comic books. As a result, the “Dead Space” comic series is a wonderful mix of both the horror and science fiction genres that feels very much like an entry in the popular video game series, yet still embraces all that the comic book medium has to offer. The comics act as a prequel to the first video game, making it a must -read for those who want to know the whole blood-soaked story.
With a game series as rich in backstory and with as many fan favorite characters as Capcom’s “Street Fighter,” it only makes sense that those characters would see their way into print form by way of UDON Entertainment’s “Street Fighter: The Comic Series.” The comic series allows readers to spend a great deal of time with all their favorite characters, allowing them to really get to know them as people before the action packed sequences of destruction really begin. The comic series is so good that it will likely allow you to appreciate the games even more.