The Games on Which Comic Books are Based wiki last edited by Jagged85 on 10/23/14 11:09AM View full history

Overview

Comics and games have always had a fairly close relationship. In general, comics readers play games and gamers read comics, not to mention that a great many games get advertised heavily in comic books. It was only inevitable that the two would cross over each other to produce video-game-based comics.

In early years, the trend tended toward the comic adaptations being sub par or completely inaccurate to the games from which they were ostensibly created. But recently effort has been made to create comics that are very faithful to the source material and, in rare cases, even enhance the in-game story by providing background details not seen in the games.

Notable examples

The following are notable examples of video games on which comic books are based. This mainly refers to comic books that have been published in the English language, and as such, many manga works available only in Japanese may be missing here. For a more complete listing, see the list further below.

  • [PROTOTYPE] – A 6-issue mini-series published by DC Comics under the Wildstorm imprint. The series expands the backstory presented in the released game. Available in print format only. [PROTOTYPE2] is a 6-issue mini-series published by Dark Horse Comics that details the background of Sgt. James Heller. Single issues available in digital format only, collected print format available in hardcover.
  • Aliens: Colonial Marines – No Man Left Behind – A 20-page one shot published in partnership between Dark Horse Comics, SEGA and Gearbox Software as a promotional item that was distributed at San Diego Comic Con International in the summer of 2012, and possibly other venues. The story takes place aboard the USS Sephora during the simultaneous attacks by Weyland-Yutani soldiers and xenomorphs.
  • Army of Two Across the Border is a 6-issue mini-series published in a partnership between EA and IDW Publishing that bridges the story between the first game and Army of Two: The 40th Day. Available in print format only. Dirty Money is a 112-page original graphic novel published by Prima Games. Provides background stories for Rios and Salem from their early days and expands on the events leading up to the first game. Available in print format only.
  • Assassin’s CreedThe Ankh of Isis is a 3-volume original graphic novel set published by Titan Books that details Desmond Miles’ abduction by Abstergo to rip his ancestors’ memories from his genetic code, his subsequent rescue by Lucy and his first attempts at using the Animus. These volumes were originally only available as French editions, but Titan will publish English editions in November 2013. The Fall is a 3-issue mini-series published by DC Comics that follows the Russian Assassin Nikolai Orelov retrieving a powerful artifact from the Templars. Available in both print and digital formats. Hawk is A 3-volume original graphic novel set published by Titan Books that follows Assassin Johnathan Hawk as he searches for the Sceptre of Isis. These volumes were originally only available as French editions, but Titan will publish English editions in November 2013.
  • Batman: Arkham City – A 5-issue mini-series published by DC Comics that bridges the story between Arkham Asylum and Arkham City. Available in both print and digital formats.
  • Bloodrayne – Numerous one shots and mini-series have been produced by Digital Webbing expanding on the game universe.
  • Borderlands: Origins – A 4-issue mini-series published by IDW Publishing and written by the author of the original game, Mikey Newmann. Each issue gives the back story of one of the original Vault Hunters up until they board the bus with Marcus in Borderlands’ opening video. Available in both print and digital formats.
  • City of Heroes – A one shot promotional comic was published by Dark Horse Comics and has events that lead up to the game’s story. There is also a 12-issue series published by Blue King Studios and another 20-issue series published by Top Cow, both of which ran concurrently with the developing in-game story. For the life of the comic, subscribing to the game would also automatically include a free subscription to the comic as well. When the game folded, all of the digital versions have been taken offline as well.
  • Cruise Chaser Blassty – This early Squaresoft RPG from 1986 is the earliest known example of a video game adapted into comic books. The game's story was adapted into a manga and was serialized in Hobby Japan magazine from 1986 to 1987. A sequel titled Cruise Chaser Blassty 2 was released in April 1992.
  • Dark Sector – A one-shot prequel comic published by Top Cow. Available in print format only.
  • The Darkness - An ongoing series in the early 2000's (now cancelled) published by Image Comics. The first game in the series tells the origin of protagonist Jackie Estacado. While the sequel game, The Darkness II tells the story of a secretive brotherhood that wants Jackie's powers for themselves.
  • Dead Island – A 6-page one-shot produced in partnership between Deep Silver and Marvel Comics. It details events on Banoi and the Royal Palms Resort before the game begins. No longer available.
  • Dead Rising: the Road to Fortune – A 4-issue mini-series jointly published by IDW Publishing and Capcom. The series details the events that bridge the Willamette Incident and the DLC Dead Rising: Case West. The series is said to be an official canon storyline. Available in print format only.
  • Dead Space – A 6-issue mini-series published by Image Comics that is a prequel to the Wii game Dead Space: Extraction and to the animated film Dead Space: Downfall. Available in print format only.
  • Diablo III: The Sword of Justice – A 5-issue mini-series published by DC Comics set in the Diablo III universe. Available in both print and digital formats.
  • DmC Devil May Cry: The Chronicles of Vergil – A prequel published by Titan Books that details Vergil’s history prior to the game story. Available in both print and digital formats.
  • DOOM – A 16-page one shot was produced jointly by Marvel Comics and id Software as a promotional item to be distributed at video game conventions. No longer available.
  • Double Dragon – A 6-issue mini-series published by Marvel Comics in license with the Taito Corporation set in the game universe. If you thought that all that Double Dragon needed was expanded backstory, you were wrong. Available in print format only.
  • Dragon AgeThe Silent Grove is a 6-issue mini-series published by Dark Horse Comics and co-written by the game’s lead writer, David Gaider. Available in both print and digital formats. Those Who Speak is a 3-issue mini-series published by Dark Horse Comics and co-written by the game’s lead writer, David Gaider. Available in both print and digital formats. Until We Sleep is a 3-issue mini-series published by Dark Horse Comics and co-written by the game’s lead writer, David Gaider. Available in both print and digital formats.
  • End of Nations – A 4-issue mini-series set in the world of the game published by DC Comics. Available in both print and digital formats.
  • Fallout: New Vegas: All Roads – An original, 47-page graphic novel published by Dark Horse Comics and written by the game’s senior designer Chris Avellone. It is a prequel that ties directly into the game’s story. Originally only available with the Special Edition of the game, can now be obtained in digital format.
  • Gears of War – An ongoing series (cancelled with issue #24) published by DC Comics under the Wildstorm imprint that expands the Gears of War lore and bridges the story between games. The final 10 issues were written by Gears of War 3 author Karen Traviss as a lead-in to the game.
  • God of War – A 6-issue mini-series published by DC Comics under the Wildstorm imprint. The storyline ties to the events of God of War III. Available in both print and digital formats.
  • HALO Graphic Novel is a 128-page graphic novel published by Marvel Comics. It is an anthology of short stories set in the HALO universe. Available in print format only. Blood Line is a 5-issue mini-series published by Marvel Comics that is set just before Fall of Reach follows a stranded team of SPARTAN-II commandos. Available in print format only. Escalation is an ongoing series published by Dark Horse Comics written by Christopher Schlerf, lead writer of HALO 4. Fall of Reach is a 12-issue series published by Marvel Comics that adapts the Fall of Reach novel into comics. The series is comprised of three 4-issue story arcs, Boot Camp, Covenant and Pillar of Autumn. Available in print format only. Helljumper is a 5-issue mini-series published by Marvel Comics that centers around the ODST. Available in print format only. Initiation is a 3-issue mini-series published by Dark Horse Comics focusing on the origin of Sarah Palmer and the Spartan IV program. Written by Brian Reed, one of the writers behind the story in HALO 4. Uprising is a 4-issue mini-series published by Marvel comics that bridges the stories between HALO 2 & 3. Available in print format only.
  • Hawken Genesis is an original 136-page graphic novel published by Archaia Entertainment that is set in the Hawken universe and expands on the game’s mythos. Available in both print and digital formats. Melee is a 5-issue mini-series anthology published by Archaia Entertainment that further expands the Hawken universe.
  • InjusticeGods Among Us is a prequel series to the fighting game of the same name published by DC Comics. Available in both print and digital formats. Year Two is a sequel to the prequel series published by DC Comics that continues events begun in the first series. Available in both print and digital formats.
  • The Last of Us: American Dreams – A 4-issue mini-series published by Dark Horse Comics. It features a prequel story chronicling what happens with Ellie prior to in-game events and is written by the game’s lead writer Neil Druckmann. Available in both print and digital formats. As an interesting side note: There is a comic book series to collect in the game itself called Savage Starlight which appears to have been published by Dark Horse Comics. However, this series does not exist outside the game.
  • The Legend of Zelda – Many comic books have been based on this series, including an American series by Valiant Comics, a long-running Japanese manga series by Akira Himekawa, other manga works by Ataru Cagiva and Yuu Mishouzaki, and an American online comic by Penny Arcade.
  • Line of Defense – A 30-page one-shot published by DC Comics in partnership with 3000AD, Inc. The story expands on the game world background.
  • Lost Planet: First Colony – A 52-page original graphic novel published by Titan Comics that chronicles the first attempts at the colonization of E.D.N. III.
  • Mass EffectEvolution is the second 4-issue mini-series published by Dark Horse Comics and co-written by Mass Effect 2 & 3’s lead writer Mac Walters. The story reveals the origin of the Illusive Man. Available in both print and digital formats. Foundation is a 13-issue maxi-series published by Dark Horse Comics and written by Mass Effect 2 & 3's lead writer, Mac Walters. Homeworlds is the fourth 4-issue mini-series published by Dark Horse Comics and co-written by Mass Effect 2 & 3’s lead writer Mac Walters. The stories revolve around James Vega, Tali, Garrus, and Liara and the unbreakable ties they each have to their home planets. Available in both print and digital formats. Invasion is the third 4-issue mini-series published by Dark Horse Comics and co-written by Mass Effect 2 & 3’s lead writer Mac Walters. The story details the events that lead into Mass Effect 3. Available in both print and digital formats. Redemption is the first 4-issue mini-series published by Dark Horse Comics and co-written by Mass Effect 2 & 3’s lead writer Mac Walters. The story follows the events in Mass Effect 2 and revolves around the search for the missing Shepard. Available in both print and digital formats.
  • Max Payne 3 – A 3-issue mini-series produced in a partnership between Rockstar Games and Marvel Comics and written by Dan Houser and Remedy’s Sam Lake. The series focuses on Max’s life during the first 2 games and the events leading up to the third. A print graphic novel collection is forthcoming, individual issues are available in digital format only.
  • Mega Man – An ongoing series published by Archie Comics in license with Capcom and stories that focus on the Mega Man universe. Available in both print and digital formats.
  • Metal Gear Solid – A 12-issue series published by IDW Publishing that adapts the story from the game into comics form. Available in print format only. Metal Gear Solid: Sons of Liberty is a 12-issue series published by IDW Publishing that adapts the story from the game into comics form. Notable changes include many sequences with Raiden being altered to include Snake instead. Available in print format only.
  • Metro: Last Light - The Gospel According to Artyom – A digital-only graphic novel published in a partnership of Dark Horse Comics, Deep Silver and 4A Games that will be bundled into some versions of the pre-ordered game, depending on the retailer. The story is written by the author of the original novels, Dmitry Glukhovsky, and will bridge the story between the games Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light.
  • Mirror’s Edge – A 6-issue mini-series published by DC Comics under the Wildstorm imprint and written by the game’s lead writer Rhianna Pratchett. The series expands on the Mirror’s Edge universe and Faith’s back story. Available in both print and digital formats.
  • Perfect DarkJanus’ Tears is a 6-issue mini-series published by Prima Games that bridges the stories presented in two Perfect Dark prose novels. Available in print format only. Perfect Dark Zero: Hong Kong Sunrise is a 16-page one shot comic published by Cold FuZion Studios that was bundled into Collector’s Editions of Perfect Dark Zero. The comic sets up backstory for the events in the game. Available in print format only.
  • RAGE: After the Impact – A 3-issue mini-series published by Dark Horse Comics that expands the mythos of the in-game world. Available in print format only.
  • Ratchet & Clank – A 6-issue mini-series published by DC Comics set in the Ratchet & Clank universe. Available in both print and digital formats.
  • Remember Me: Cubed - A 22-page one shot produced jointly by Dark Horse Comics, DONTNOD Entertainment and Capcom was distributed by GameStop/EB Games as a pre-order bonus. An 8-page story set 4 years before the events of the game when Nilin was an Errorist agent is coupled with 14 preview pages from the art book.
  • Resident Evil – A 16-page one shot produced jointly by Marvel Comics and Capcom and distributed as a promotional item for the first game. The story is the lead up to the events in the game. No longer available. Resident Evil (2009) is a 6-issue mini-series published by DC Comics under the Wildstorm imprint that is a prequel to the events in Resident Evil 5. Available in both print and digital formats. Code Veronica is a 4-issue mini-series published by DC Comics under the Wildstorm imprint that is an adaptation of the game’s story in comic form. The issues were originally published in Hong Kong and were translated for Western audiences. Available in both print and digital formats. Fire and Ice is a 5-issue mini-series published by DC Comics under the Wildstorm imprint that revolves around a G-virus outbreak at a circus. Available in both print and digital formats. The Official Comics Magazine is a 6-issue magazine-sized series published by DC Comics under the Wildstorm imprint with short stories set in the Resident Evil universe. Available in print format only.
  • Scribblenauts Unmasked: A Crisis of Imagination – An ongoing series published by DC Comics in partnership with 5th Cell Media and WB Games.
  • SCUD: The Disposable Assassin – A 24-issue series, the first 20 of which were published by Fireman Press LTD and the last 4 were published by Image Comics. Available in print format only.
  • Silent Hill – A series of one-shots and mini-series all published by IDW Publishing that are set in the town of Silent Hill. The stories are tangential to the ones occurring in the games.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog – An ongoing series with over 200 issues published by Archie Comics in license with SEGA that feature numerous characters from the Sonic universe. Several mini-series and spin-offs have also been produced, some featuring secondary characters.
  • Star Wars: The Old RepublicBlood of the Empire is the second 3-issue mini-series published by Dark Horse Comics and written by senior game writer Alexander Freed. Available in both print and digital formats. The Lost Suns is the third 5-issue mini-series published by Dark Horse Comics and written by senior game writer Alexander Freed. Available in both print and digital formats. Threat of Peace is the first 3-issue mini-series published by Dark Horse Comics and written by game writer Rob Chestney. It is a prequel to the game’s story. Available in both print and digital formats.
  • Starcraft – An ongoing series (cancelled with issue #7) published by DC Comics under the Wildstorm imprint that expands the game’s lore. A special, digital-only #0 issue was included with the special edition of Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty. The rest of the series is available in both print and digital formats.
  • Street Fighter – A 15-issue series published by UDON Comics in license with Capcom that contains stories set in the Street fighter universe. Available in print format only. Street Fighter II is a 7-issue mini-series published by UDON Comics in license with Capcom. The stories lead into the events depicted in the game. Available in print format only. Street Fighter II: Turbo is A 13-issue series published by UDON Comics in license with Capcom that continues the events of their Street Fighter II comic series. Available in print format only. Street Fighter IV is a 4-issue mini-series published by UDON Comics in license with Capcom that depicts events that lead into the game. Available in print format only. Street Fighter Legends is a group of 4-issue mini-series published by UDON Comics in license with Capcom that focus on a particular character. Sakura, Chun-Li and Ibuki were the featured characters. Available in print format only. Street Fighter Origins: Akuma is a 128-page original graphic novel published by Udon Entertainment. Quite obviously, the story is Akuma's origin. Super Street Fighter: New Generation is an original graphic novel published by UDON Comics in license with Capcom that continues the storyline from the Street Fighter II: Turbo comic book series. The events of the story apparently take place during the time of Street Fighter III. Available in print format only.
  • Streets of Rage – Based on the Streets of Rage series, these comic books are side-stories detailing the back-stories of the characters. This comic book series is mainly based on Streets of Rage 2.
  • Tomb Raider – A 50-issue series published by Top Cow that contained various stories starring Lara Croft and set in the Tomb Raider universe. There were also various one-shot crossovers including one with The Darkness. Available in print format only.
  • Uncharted – A 6-issue mini-series published by DC Comics under the Wildstorm imprint. The original storyline does not tie to any of the games in the series. Available in both print and digital formats.
  • Valve Presents: The Sacrifice and Other Steam-Powered Stories – A 208-page graphic novel published by Dark Horse Comics that collects all of Valve’s game comics originally only available in digital form. Contained within are: “The Sacrifice”, which follows the four characters from Left 4 Dead before, during and after The Sacrifice DLC; “Lab Rat” a story that bridges the events of Portal 1 & 2; and 6 Saxton Hale stories from Team Fortress 2. Available in both print and digital formats.
  • The Wolf Among Us – Based on the ongoing Fables comic book series published by DC Comics under the Vertigo imprint.

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