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The 10 best comic books based on videogames

Metroid

Deserved a comic because: Metroid's ending, arguably the first decent plot twist in a videogame, set the tone for the series' story. Without stopping for ten-minute cutscenes between levels, the games have maintained a subtle focus on story which deserves to be explored with the nuance of a top-quality manga adaptation.


Above: The nuance is in the way the 'toe is implied, rather than shown 

Made the transition by: A series renowned for its almost Buster Keaton-ish levels of dialogue-free plot development obviously wanted for only one thing when it came time to make the leap to the printed page: buckets and buckets of yacking. Dialogue, interior monologue, disembodied chat... if it put words on the page, Magazine Z's Metroid manga was all over it like stink on a monkey.

Why'd it work? The austere, ominous solitude of the Metroid games couldn't be further from the raucous adventures of Samus 'n' chums. Yet the character-heavy plotting and explosive artwork masked a playful respect for the source material: many of the additions, after all, were brought over from Nintendo's own adaptation.


Above: Who doesn't? 


Sonic the Hedgehog

Deserved a comic because: Everything about Sonic the Hedgehog was calculated to endow the character with the absolute maximum amount of attitude. In fact, Sonic became a hedgehog when it was discovered that hedgehogs can pack approximately three times as much attitude as the humanly possible limit. (For the record, the maximum amount of attitude exhibited by any one person is displayed by the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air).

Anyway, Sonic's full charisma isn't in evidence when he's jumping on TVs to get magic shoes, so why not give him a comic?


Above: Also, the games couldn't figure out a way to have Sonic meet the President

Made the transition by: The Sonic property was handed off to the folks at Archie comics, best known for preserving comics' view of young people as milk bar-frequenting 1950s cliches for six decades and counting. Who better to handle an IP whose idea of “cool” was last updated around the time we took MC Hammer seriously?

Why'd it work? Gamers are quick to decry the soap-opera-for-furries tone of Sonic's ongoing adventures. But kids are mad for that shit, and who are you to deny them? Best to just let comics' masters of the no-second-base young-adult romance work their magic, while we twiddle our thumbs and wait for the next game to provide our ring-collecting fix.

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27 comments

  • american101 - April 7, 2010 8:15 p.m.

    I bet money eventually halo will have its own comic book since there are ahelluva lot of fans.
  • olliemcparland - April 6, 2010 12:34 p.m.

    well i never played these games or read the comics so i am ost in all of this article
  • Spybreak8 - April 2, 2010 7:18 p.m.

    Atlantis and Indiana Jones! oh man sold!
  • Kytl - April 2, 2010 3:12 a.m.

    what about Pokemon Special? it embodies what Pokemon is and shows that Pokemon won't turn you into a mindless zombie who begs their mother to make Pikachu soup like the anime does. basically it just blows the anime out of the water, and then takes aim with a sniper rifle and fires 50 explosive bullets that are also made of silver so that the anime becomes completely eradicated. and then it summons Alucard and RAEPS the anime
  • Personamanxx - March 31, 2010 8:22 p.m.

    Speaking of Videogame Comics. Is anyone planning on buying the "Dragon Age" Comic?
  • Conman93 - March 31, 2010 7:43 p.m.

    The Kingdom Hearts comics are pretty good and very random at some points. I saw the dead space ones in Extraction and they were pure WIN!
  • Personamanxx - March 31, 2010 7:34 p.m.

    Surprised that The current Mass Effect Comic was not mentioned. I reckon it's because it's not finished yet. As for the Halo Comic.... That can indeed be counted as a Graphic Novel. Or at least an Anthology Graphic Novel. The Four Stories were originally printed in that One Hard Cover book without being released as indidvidual Issues. Yes it is Still a Comic book, but the Term Graphic Novel can apply in it's case. ...... Also why did you not mention the many Halo Miniseries's that Marvel has Published? I mean there's been Three (At least) Seperate series not Including the Graphic Novel. Just Saying. Im far more of a Comic geek than a Gamer.
  • DriveShaft - March 31, 2010 7:24 p.m.

    The best still look pretty horrible x] I'm surprised you didn't even bring up Kingdom Hearts comics, it was the first thing that came to my mind.
  • romensuarez - March 31, 2010 7:09 p.m.

    What happened to the Resistance and Brothers in Arms comics? they were actually pretty good.
  • flamboyant_pinata - March 31, 2010 6:51 p.m.

    Jesus! No mention of Pokémon Adventures? You should be ashamed GR.
  • jakmac - March 31, 2010 3:41 p.m.

    what about modern warfares ghost comics
  • BornToLose3 - March 31, 2010 3:31 p.m.

    God I remember having the Link To The Past Comic, loved it so much. This makes me wanna dig it out and read it all over.
  • Blitztank - March 31, 2010 12:07 p.m.

    Surprised to see that the Doom comic wasn't added here. Just look it up on google and you should find it.
  • Mainman - March 31, 2010 9:39 a.m.

    I have to agree with Tingler about StC; a mix of staff per issue meant a healthy balance of lighthearted/serious stories (but still sensibly simple), it faithfully interpreted the Mega Drive/Genesis games while providing some welcome backstory (Sonic/Robotnik's origin), and the changes it DID make were extremely interesting (Super Sonic is cast as a demonic alter-ego, there's an entire army of Metal Sonics, etc). The bad news is that the later issues were forced to carry increasing amounts of reprints by the publisher (Egmont Fleetway), a practice which killed the publisher and took the comic with it. The good news is that it was so popular, fans have been producing a semi-official webcomic continuation for 7 years, and it's not half bad! http://info.sonicretro.org/Sonic_The_Comic
  • philipshaw - March 31, 2010 9:18 a.m.

    Must check out the MGS comic, the Dead Space comic was cool, it was on the disc of Dead Space: Extraction
  • Guardian88 - March 31, 2010 5:50 a.m.

    hay what about Kingdom hearts? And the other Zelda mangas?
  • Chapmoin - March 31, 2010 5:01 a.m.

    @Darklinkinfinite: I, Tom, the writer of this piece, thank you for your correction and apologize profusely for the oversight. Rest assured the offending writer (again, me) is deeply chagrined.
  • darklinkinfinite - March 31, 2010 4:48 a.m.

    There's a mistake in the Dead Space entry. The direct-to-dvd movie was Dead Space Downfall. Dead Space Extraction was the Wii game, which had its own one-shot comic book tie in by the same people that did the first.
  • The_Tingler - March 31, 2010 4:29 a.m.

    The UK's 'Sonic The Comic' was far superior to the US version. And it occasionally had a side-comic on Chuck D Head from Decap Attack.
  • soren7550 - March 31, 2010 2:26 a.m.

    Surprised to see that Modern Warfare:Ghost didn't make the list. I'm not however surprised to see that Perfect Dark: Janus' Tears wasn't mentioned (seeing as I must be the only person on the face of the planet that has read that & the novels by Greg Rucka, which is a right damn shame because all of them are quite excellent.)

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