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5 Best Comics Based on Video Games

by Eve Andrews
Comics Based on Video Games

Some of the best video games out there have more memorable plots than the average modern novel, movie or TV drama. As a result, fans are often left hungry for more as they watch the credits roll on their latest engrossing game. And with a wealth of detailed worldbuilding, compelling plotlines and iconic characters to work with, it’s no surprise that many popular video game universes have carried through from the computer screen and found their way onto the page – or, in this case, the panel. Here are some of our favourite comics based on video games!

1) Mega Man 

Who remembers Mega Man?! A typical retro video game from the late 80s, Mega Man is a treasure trove of playground nostalgia for many. As such, the announcement of a Mega Man comic book drew cheers of delight from kids and adults alike. The first issue was published by Archie Comics in 2011 and adapted several classic Mega Man video game plots into comic book form, honouring the source material while exploring a number of deeper, underlying themes from the game in more detail. While the comic did garner some controversy for redesigns on classic characters and general areas of artistic liberties, it was ultimately well received and is still enjoyed by Mega Fans today. It ran for 55 issues before being discontinued indefinitely in 2015. While there have been on and off mutterings of a continuation during the years that followed, nothing official has ever been announced – here’s to hoping!

2) Halo 

Halo is without a doubt one of the most iconic giants of the gaming industry, as well as one of the most impressive examples of 3D gaming in the early twenty-first century. With the new Halo series from Paramount+ and the video game series still ongoing, the wild popularity of Halo has exposed the franchise to various media platforms outside the world of gaming. One of the best examples of outside Halo media is the 2006 graphic novel, published by Dark Horse Comics. With the engrossing plot of Halo in full swing, fans were dying for the story to be told in a more conventional fictional format. In response, The Halo Graphic Novel arrived in collaboration with Marvel Comics, containing four episodic stories expanding on the lore of the Halo gaming universe.

3) Tomb Raider 

Here’s one that will dredge up memories for all the 90s kids out there. While Tomb Raider didn’t rise to quite the same levels of mainstream fame as Halo, it wasn’t far behind and was a quintessential predecessor in the art of 3D gaming. With the first game released in 1996, the Tomb Raider franchise remains active to this day, backed by a sizable band of loyal followers. It has since ventured into various other facets of media, including film and, of course, comic books. The first issue of the Tomb Raider comic was published by Top Cow in 1999, starring Tomb Raider’s classic heroine, Lara Croft, and ran for 51 issues before coming to an end in 2005. While there have been other Tomb Raider comics since, it was the original series that cemented the fearlessly feisty personality of Lara Croft that we know and love today.

4) Sonic The Hedgehog 

While Halo is considered gaming royalty within the 3D medium, one of the most famous (and infamous) giants in the retro world of 2D gaming is undoubtedly Sonic The Hedgehog. From its humble beginnings as a pixelated adventure game in 1991, the Sonic The Hedgehog franchise has since become a content spewing titan. Games, movies, animated TV shows – there are a few platforms out there that Sonic hasn’t touched, comic books among them. Given its astronomical popularity, there have been many Sonic themed comic series; some of them great, some of them not so great (we don’t talk about Ken Penders). The remaining fan-favourite is the Sonic comic series published by Archie Comics. Following the misadventures of the Sonic cast and even featuring the aforementioned Mega Man, the Archie Comics series was heaps of fun for fans of the game and provided extra layers of character to the gang of cute critters they had come to love. First published in 1993, the series ran for an impressive 290 issues before coming to an end in 2016. While some eras of this comic series are plagued with controversy, content issues, and copyright claims (again, looking at you, Mr Penders), many issues of the comic are remembered fondly. If you choose to go at these, buckle up because it’s a wild one.

5) Wolfenstein

Have you ever imagined how the world might be if the Nazis had won The Great War? Yeah, this one’s a little darker than our previous entries. The Wolfenstein video game series does just that. Set in a parallel world of sorts in which the Third Riech reigns victorious, its gripping plot unfolds within a grim, dystopian view of a world fallen into the clutches of fascism. What’s really scary about it, though, is how close it came to happening – makes us think about how damn lucky we are. With the first humble instalment released in 1981 and the latest in 2019, the Wolfenstein game has developed into a plot too hairraising to be told via video games alone. And so came the release of the first Wolfenstein comic book, published by Titan Comics in 2017. Set in 1960, it throws us into the terrifying world of Nazi-occupied America. Featuring chilling artwork by Piotr Kowalski and Ronilson Freire, and featuring the beloved Jewish Nazi hunter, Billy J. Blazkowicz; fans were flocking to grab the first issue.

What do you think of our list? Are there any we’ve missed that you think deserve a mention? Let us know in the comments!

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