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The 10 best comic books based on videogames

Resident Evil: Code Veronica

Deserved a comic because: We're at a point where Resident Evil games will be getting made until the sun blossoms into Supernova and immolates us all. And while we'll be playing these games solely because findin' keys and shootin' zombies is dope, we'll continue trying to rationalize our addiction by pretending we care about the characters. We may as well read some comics to keep up the pretense!

Made the transition by: There have been a bunch of Resident Evil comics, the vast majority of them utterly terrible. Highlights include killer zombie walruses, a sympathetic, non-teammate-eating undead and the always-great gambit of rebooting the series… in space. About the only decent RE comic around is the Korean Code Veronica series, by virtue of only being as nuts as the game on which it was based.


Above: When bad writers get imaginative, disasters like Resident Evil: Fire and Ice happen 

Why'd it work? When the Koreans decide to do a faithful adaptation, brother, they don't skimp on the “faithful.” Where an American team might send a wise-cracking punk-rocker and a bugger-me-cobber Australian stereotype to battle undead polar bears in Alaska, the Code Veronica comic hews to a strict policy of “take everything in the game and make it look cool on paper.” Which, it turns out, is exactly what Resi needs.


Gears of War

Deserved a comic because: Um... it didn't. Sure, Gears moved plenty of 360s, but Zool the Ninja Ant sold systems, and we don't give him a comic book. Gears has its priorities sorted and makes no bones about it: it's got a scant story, minimal characterization, and that's the way it likes it. That's a great recipe for a kickass game, but only the stuffiest cynic would suggest that it's how we get good comics.

Made the transition by: Inexplicably being pretty great. Whereas Gears the game dragged during cutscenes then picked up the pace when chainsawin' time rolled round, Gears the comic's quiet moments boast cool dialogue, a well-paced story and sequences that aren't just “good, for a tie-in"… they're just plain great comics writing. Also the explosions look like a million bucks, which never hurts.

Why'd it work? Instead of rehashing ground covered in the games, the Gears comic book chose to explore the undocumented gap between playable installments. With no obligation to include  details that gamers had already uncovered anyway, authors Joshua Ortega and Liam Sharp were able to go nuts with the comic's story, knowing it would only pique players' interest in the next game.

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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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