Everyone knows that videogames don't translate very well to movies, but what about comic books? Being the big old nerds that we are, we've spent plenty of ink (erm, pixels) singing the praises of games that got our favorite comic-book properties just right (or not), but what happens when you adapt in the other direction?
Well, you've got a ready-made group of fans for starters. There's such a big crossover audience between games and comics that an amalgamation of the two is far more likely to find success than, say, an RPG-based interpretive dance. And if there's genuine love for the property, the results can often be well worth a read for followers of either medium.
At the very least, they've got to be better than the infamous Doom comic.
Above: Even in a “best” list, there's always time to rag on this classic pile of dung. Now for the actual good stuff…
Deserved a comic because: Hideo Kojima's ongoing quest to become the King of All Media saw him not only packing the MGS games with convoluted movie references (Twins? Blue Velvet?? Titanic?) but packaging a full-length backstory-enhancing novella into Metal Gear Solid 2. If you're going to move into readable supplements, fella, at least put it down on paper so we won't be tempted by the Start button.
Above: Shoot terrorists or read fake news items: the choice is yours
Made the transition by: Laying down a fairly conventional adaptation of the games' stories on the page. Barring a couple of extra scenes that don't add much and a couple of edits that don't detract too far, the Metal Gear Solid comic is the Metal Gear Solid games with a much lower difficulty curve.
Why'd it work? Professional adaptation-scripter Kris Oprisko's script is serviceable if unremarkable, but the real treat here is Ashley Wood's vivid artwork. If the military precision of the Metal Gear Solid games can seem hollow, Wood's art fleshes the little details out and lends the characters new life… even if that means sacrificing the (really, somewhat inexplicable) Solid Snake/Snake Plissken connection.
Deserved a comic because: As the media would assure us, The Legend of Zelda is, in fact, really rad. Around the time of Link to the Past, the games' stories really started to come into their own, layering in time travel, secret identities, and an overarching narrative to rival Lost for its fan-vexing intricacies. If they could make a comic where Mick Jagger meets Batman, a Link to the Past comic is mandatory.
Made the transition by: Of course Link to the Past was far from the first time Zelda crossed media. The Zelda cartoons of the Super Mario Brothers Super Show, having won fans with their vision of Link as a hippy-haired dickwad, made the leap to comics form by conjuring up new and increasingly stupid adventures for Hyrule's favorite son. The Link to the Past comic turned this around by refusing to let American studios touch the adaptation until translation time.
Why'd it work? The Link to the Past comic was the first time the Zelda IP got into the hands of authors who weren't obviously embarrassed to be writing about Zelda. Where previous comics had poked fun at the game's elements in favor of their own, far stupider embellishments, LttP author Shotaro Ishinomori gave more page-time to bit-players like Agahnim and Link's uncle, as well as a Link who was emo before it was cool to diss emo.