Adaptations are generally met with mixed reviews, and video game comics are no exception. While movies and TV shows appeal to a wider audience, comics can usually reach fans with many cross-interests, which is why they’re a popular choice for video game franchises.
Comic book fans, however, are all too familiar with hyper-stylized links with a weird twist from the Bronze Age of comic books, because whoever ordered the run hasn’t read a comic since 1980. But Every once in a while, gamers and comic book fans are rewarded with a series well done, with dedicated artists passionately working on a new piece of a beloved universe.
1. Overwatch Anthology: Extended Edition
A collection of short stories about a handful of playable heroes in Overwatch 2, this anthology builds on the one published in 2017. Including stories about McCree/Cassidy, Symmetra, and Junkenstein, this volume adds new stories like Doomfist: Masquerade and Zarta: Research.
As a collection of works by multiple artists, each story has its own style and tends to have a tone that matches the personality of the protagonist. Every page has beautiful coloring work and the writing was clearly done by Overwatch team members and talented super fans. Fans who want a little more flavor to their favorite characters definitely need Overwatch: Anthology on their shelf.
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2. World of Warcraft
With MMORPGs, lore is something players fill up on without much effort. Finding books, doing quests, or simply waiting for an NPC to finish their sentence (rather than waiting for a quest marker to appear) all help create an immersive experience for players. But of course, World of Warcraft is too big to be contained online, so fans can explore the world even more through the exciting comic book series!
Featuring a full cast of characters diving headfirst into explosive action scenes, this comic is meant to be a feast for the eyes. The art is very detailed and the plot, while not necessarily a nuanced story, offers tons of combat, magic, and drama that fans will love to see on display. Originally released from 2008, this series has four volumes in total, making it the perfect dose of World of Warcraft art and storytelling for veterans and new players alike.
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3. Sonic the Hedgehog
Just like with the video game, this comic can be a little childish at times, but overall it’s a lot of fun to read. Featuring fan-favorite characters like Tails, Amy, Knuckles, and even Shadow, Sonic’s Adventures are true to the game, keeping the typical “cool kid” attitude and humor tightly tied to the writing. The art also mimics the game surprisingly well! Each page looks like a Sonic game cover, and the action scenes are clearly inspired by animation rather than standard comics.
A quick read for adult fans and a great introduction to comics for child gamers, sonic the hedgehog is a whimsical and nostalgic video game comic. This series is still ongoing, with the 13th volume due out in paperback on February 7, 2023, so there’s plenty of time to catch up on Sonic’s adventures with his friends!
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4. Minecraft: Withering away without you
Minecraft: Withering away without you is a YA graphic novel aimed at older Minecraft fans. The story follows two adventurers as they attempt to save their mentor with the help of a magical new friend. The art is a fantastic mix of detail and sparkle, with a less conspicuous and more true-to-game color scheme.
With this comic, the writing goes way beyond typical Minecraft fare. Not only are the dialogues realistic, but they’re hilarious! The writing is in line with many YA graphic novels, using puns, puns, and sight gags to perfectly crack the jokes. Wither away without you manages to create a unique story that feels true to Minecraft and its players, successfully providing a bridge between the game and the comic.
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5. Cuphead: Capers and comic trinkets
If Cuphead’s golden age of animation vibes is your cup of tea, then Cuphead: hugs and comic trinkets must be added to your library. A fairly standard adventure, what makes this story shine is the perfectly vintage art style, vibrant color work, and writing that expertly captures Cuphead’s spirit.
The overall aesthetic allows the story to be devoid of any surprises and creates plenty of opportunities for comedy. This light and fast-paced comic is a very enjoyable read, even for those who may not have played the video game. To those who love vintage-style comics, even in the era of great superheroes and heartbreaking visual novels, Cuphead: hugs and comic trinkets provides a refreshing reading experience.
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mega man by Archie comics concluded in 2015, but remains one of the best adaptations of this story to date. While the original Mega Man games didn’t offer too much of a story, there have been many expansions through TV, books, and art over the years that provide a ton of context for the world of Mega Man. .
This comic series can be hard to find, but it’s over 10 volumes and uses a retro anime art style that’s sure to appeal to many readers. The plot itself isn’t overly complicated, but it does offer fully fleshed out characters, awesome action scenes (they’ve got lasers!), and great instant writing. The wonderful nostalgia aside, mega man is truly a great series for video game fans and non-video game fans alike.
To buy Mega Man, Volume 1 on Amazon now!
7. Cyberpunk 2077: Trauma Squad
The Cyberpunk 2077-based comic follows a new set of characters with a familiar story: a job gone wrong. Fans who have seen the anime Cyberpunk: Edge Runners will really think the story is something they’ve heard before, as it revolves around a paramedic who gets into a shootout, loses most of his friends, and decides to get revenge.
That’s the biggest snag of this comic: the story is very vanilla. It’s been said over and over again, and readers see nothing new. That being said, they are shown a lot of exciting things. The art used to depict the action scenes is expertly done, with the atmosphere and overall dark vibes of the franchise perfectly captured through the color work and small details. Fans looking for a little more Cyberpunk flair in their space won’t be disappointed with this volume, and they might even like to hear another story set in this dystopian world.
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8. Mass Effect: The Complete Comic
This omnibus collection offers Mass Effect fans all six previously released comics in one volume. Each story focuses on characters fans are very familiar with, providing more depth through backstory and vignettes not directly related to the games.
The art and writing can be hit or miss, depending on specific tastes, but overall this comic knocks it out of the park. More importantly, the overall vibe of the world of Mass Effect is clear and present in this omnibus. There’s the colorful diversity of aliens and humans, the shades of inequality between those with power and those without, and of course the horrors of space that range from meaty zombies to political meetings. . Fans of the Mass Effect franchise who want to continue their journey through the Mass Effect universe will get plenty of entertainment from this chunky volume.
To buy Mass Effect: The Complete Comic on Bookshop or on Amazon now!
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