A lot of folks in the comics industry wonder if video games are still likely to wipe out comics in our lifetime.
Well, one way to meet this head-on is to create comics that tie in to popular games, like the upcoming Batman: Arkham Knight prequel.
HERE’S THE RELEASE FROM DC
“Gamers rejoice! In February 2015, the Batman: Arkham Knight comic book series will begin to tell the prequel story to Rocksteady Studios and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment’s highly anticipated video game of the same name. The Digital First comic book will be written by Peter J. Tomasi with art by Viktor Bogdanovic and Art Thibert. Cover artist for the series will be Dan Panosian. The first issue, on sale March 11, will include two variant covers, one by Gary Frank and the other will feature art from the game.
“Fans of the award-winning and bestselling game series, including previous releases Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City, know The Joker is dead and Arkham City is closed. As a new day begins, Bruce Wayne finds himself in devastating pain, recovering from his injuries and questioning whether his role as Batman is still necessary to the city’s survival. But as the sun rises in Gotham City, dangerous new threats emerge from the shadows…and the Arkham Knight is just beginning. This in-continuity prequel comic set prior to the events of the brand-new video game Batman: Arkham Knight is a must-read!
“Batman: Arkham Knight is the epic conclusion to the Arkham game franchise, set to hit shelves on June 2, 2015. The game will be released for PlayStation 4, Xbox One consoles, and Microsoft Windows. Preorder for the game is now available.”
‘INJUSTICE’ PROVES THIS CAN WORK
Well, there’s a strong example of how this works well in Injustice: Gods Among Us, the video game that spawned the successful comics prequel.
Injustice took DC heroes where they hadn’t been before, divided as to how to tackle evil in this world. I won’t spoil anything here, but scripter Tom Taylor pits Superman against Batman with various heroes and villains on each side. You might be surprised by exactly who aligns with who.
Although recently word came out that Taylor will be leaving the digital-first series, his influence will be felt for some time to come.
So, if you’re DC Comics and you want to put out more Batman titles each month, which they seem anxious to do these days, you look into the final game in this series. Batman: Arkham Knight continues to exhibit excellent art and an engaging story dealing with the Dark Knight and Gotham’s seamy underbelly.
But how did they get where the game is? That’s what the prequel comics will help outline.
IS THIS GOING TO BE WORTH IT?
Of course, gamers may or may not be interested in the prequel depending on how tied in to the game it is. Also, comics readers who don’t want to buy the game but still collect all books Batman may want to keep their collection complete by buying the books.
My personal recommendation is to give it a go. Based on how Injustice and other game-related comics have done, I’m intrigued.
IS THIS THE FUTURE OF COMICS?
Again and again, I like to pose the question, Is this where comics will be heading before long? All comics are related to games or movies?
The rumor persists that Marvel will be making all their comics operate in the continuity of their feature films, so they believe those who go to the theater will also want to read books between films.
Personally, I hope not all DC Comics (or even Marvel ones, for that matter) will be in these universes. One is at the mercy of those making other aspects of the franchise if you are putting comics together. You’ve turned over a lot of your creativity to them, if that’s the case.
I like the way DC is doing it when it comes to their TV shows. We get nods to the books, but they don’t influence them in a big way. When this happens, if you don’t read the comics, you don’t get the joke but it doesn’t diminish your enjoyment of the show, game or movie, in my opinion. If you do “get it,” then you get a bonus from watching or playing them.
We’ll keep a close eye on how this trend develops, so stay tuned!