Unlike its historical rival Nintendo, Sony never tried to make bank solely on its characters. Even thinking back to the simpler days of the original PlayStation, it’s hard to find a single, definitive mascot towering above all other characters like the Marios and Sonics of other consoles.
Sony never had a console mascot, sporting instead a variety of characters, representing the many aspects of PlayStation productions. Many of those characters became so popular that they grew into a global phenomenon representative of video games as a whole. More than just symbols of gaming, characters like the rebooted Kratos or treasure hunter Nathan Drake have become pillars of all popular culture, including comics.
7/7 Sly Cooper, The Adventures Of Sly Cooper
Originally released by Sucker Punch and DC Comics, these promotional issues bridge the gap between each game. Even then, the games don’t add anything too relevant to the story of the PS2 trilogy, but that’s fine.
The story was never the strong suit of Sly Cooper, and that extends to the comics too. Even then, each issue of The Adventures of Sly Cooper manages to cover a hit from the gang as well as a short flashback or a confrontation against Carmelita Fox in just 25 pages.
6/7 Parappa The Rapper, Parappa Gets A Job
It’s hard to describe exactly how, but the Parappa the Rapper comics embrace the chaotic spirit of the games like nothing else. Lines like “I’ll be a freaky, funky dog; With a job; And that’s the bomb!” would not be out of place in the original PS1 Parappa the Rapper.
The story is just like that of a Parappa the Rapper song: Parappa wants to buy a video game, so he gets a job. As for the visual style of the comics, this isn’t anything to write home about. While the style is exactly that of the original games, the lack of color and overall incomplete feel of some panels lowers the final quality significantly.
Covering the story of Metal Gear Solid and Sons of Liberty, this comic book began serialization in 2004 and ran all the way to 2007. Both comics are illustrated by Ashley Wood but with a visual style eerily reminiscent of Yoji Shinkawa, the art director for the Metal Gear series as well as the artist behind the games’ striking box art.
Both comics, but especially the one dedicated to the first Metal Gear Solid, are faithful to a fault. Sticking close to the source material is nothing to sneeze at, but much of Snake’s lines are the exact same as his video game counterpart. That, for a collection aimed at fans of the series, might just be too much.
4/7 Ellie And Riley, The Last Of Us: American Dreams
American Dreams takes place before The Last of Us: Left Behind, the prequel to the original game. It recounts Ellie and Riley’s first encounter while showing their first contact with some aspects of the games’ world. The Last of Us: American Dreams was well received by fans, and while it does not reveal anything essential to the plot, it serves as a nice prequel to The Last of Us: Left Behind.
In what is a surprising change of pace for video game comics adaptations, the visual style distances itself noticeably from that of the games. Doing so allowed the artwork to complement its own narrative instead of blindingly replicating Naughty Dog’s style.
3/7 Kratos, God Of War: Fallen God
Fallen God acts as a bridge between God of War 3, chronologically the last of the pre-reboot era, and the first game in the Norse mythology reboot of the series, God of War (2018). In those four issues edited by Dark Horse, writer Chris Roberson follows Kratos through the travels that brought him away from his home in Greece and all the way to Ancient Egypt.
Kratos was already the protagonist of a six-issue comic book set during the Greek era of the series, edited by DC. Dark Horse also published another God of Warfour-issuecomic book, this time set during Kratos’ stay in Scandinavia, though fans looking for new lore or fulfilling stories might want to look elsewhere.
2/7 Nathan Drake, Uncharted (DC Miniseries)
The six-issue Uncharted miniseries by DC Comics is an original story that might very well be the plot of one of Naughty Dog’s games. In this new adventure, series protagonist Nathan Drake embarks on a quest to find the Amber Room, a Prussian artifact lost after the end of World War 2.
The comics feature recurring characters like Chloe Frazer, the series’ co-protagonist and Nathan’s love interest, as well as Uncharted 2: Among Thievesantagonist Harry Flynn. The miniseries received positive feedback from fans, while also being self-contained enough to be accessible regardless of previous Uncharted knowledge.
1/7 Sora, Kingdom Hearts Series (GanGan Comics)
Square Enix’s own press GanGan is surprisingly prolific. They are responsible for publishing, among a mountain of lesser-known series, the extremely successful Soul Eater and Full Metal Alchemist. They are also involved in adapting other video game sagas into comics, like The Legend of Zelda and The World Ends With You. The latter even shares author, Shiro Amano, with the Kingdom Hearts comic series.
The Kingdom Hearts comic series doesn’t span through all the video games but more than covers its basis. Starting with the original Kingdom Hearts, Amano faithfully retraces Sora’s steps through Chain of Memories and 358/2 Days before going back to the numbered sequels of Kingdom Hearts 2 and Kingdom Hearts 3. The (still ongoing) series more or less ignores Birth by Sleep and Kingdom Hearts χ, but there’s no saying if those will be covered in the future.
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