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Love That Game? Read This Comic

by Matt Miller on Jul 02, 2016 at 04:00 AM

A love of video games rarely exists in a vacuum. If you’re like many of us at Game Informer, your enthusiasm for richly imagined characters and worlds extends out beyond the gaming world into other mediums, like television, movies, and comics. We’re always on the lookout for great new comics to explore, and sometimes we just want something that matches up well with one of the games currently residing on our game systems. We asked comic expert Matt Kolowski for his picks for awesome comics to read alongside some of our favorite games.

Matt Kolowski is the co-host of The comiXologist podcast and comiXology: Conversations podcasts, where alongside co-host Kara Szamborski, they discuss the best in comics, and talk with many of the creators  working in the field. In addition to Kolowski’s love of comics, he has a deep love for video games, including a current obsession with Rocket League. 

We’ve included links to the Comixology pages for each series in the entries below, and you can try out the first entries in many of these titles through a subscription to Comixology Unlimited, which we recently evaluated. If you prefer print, you should also be able to easily track down any of the suggested titles at your local comic book store. Enjoy!

If I like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, what comic might I like?

by Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda (Image Comics) 

Kolowski: Monstress has some of the lushest, most intricate art out there, so if the worldbuilding visuals of Skyrim are what drew you in, you're basically already a Monstress fan. There’s not much better than trying out a first issue of a new series and this one is TRIPLE-SIZED. MONSTRESS is billed as Steampunk meets Kaiju and that’s pretty much all I need. In this fantasy epic, you follow Maika Halfwolf as she gives herself up into slavery once more just to get close to someone from her past. Someone with answers and keys to a secret power. She may not like what she finds out but she won’t be alone in the search.

If I like Grand Theft Auto V, what comic might I like?

The Boys Volume 1
by Garth Ennis & Darick Robertson (Dynamite) 

Kolowski: If you dig the over the top humor and violence of GTA, then The Boys has to be on your reading list. Pretty much just envision the writers of GTA putting a team together to keep watch over the world’s superheroes to make sure they don’t foul up. And boy, do they foul up! You may know the writer, Garth Ennis from his legendary runs on Preacher, The Punisher: Welcome Back Frank, and Fury MAX. It doesn’t get more irreverent, dark, controversial, and twisted than this take on a rag tag group set to keep the whole world safe from these dopey reckless superheroes no matter what it takes. Mature readers only. No glory, no guts.

If I like Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, what comic might I like?

Manifest Destiny
Volume 1 by Chris Dingess & Matthew Roberts (Image Comics)

Kolowski: If sinister, daring historical reimaginings are your bag, Manifest Destiny should definitely be next on your list. The year is 1802, and Lewis & Clark are off seeking what hides in the undiscovered American frontier. But what if what they discovered was more than they bargained for and a heck of a lot more exciting than most history books we remember from school? I’m talking strange looking human/animal hybrids and what looks to be walking dead coming out of the forest. I don’t know about you, but if I was walking into undiscovered lands and finding monsters and the supernatural, I’d be getting the heck out of dodge. This book makes Lewis & Clark unbelievably cool, and I'm shocked this hasn't already been turned into the next USA-fueled blockbuster/Broadway smash.

If I like Destiny, what comic might I like?

Fear Agent
by Rick Remender, Tony Moore, & Lee Loughridge (DARK HORSE Comics)

Kolowski: If deep space, alien worlds, dark secrets from ancient civilizations are your bag (and maybe hard liquor), then you should give Fear Agent a shot. I’m a bit biased since it’s my fave comic book of all-time, but I’m going to go ahead and recommend it anyhow. Fear Agent is about an alcoholic alien exterminator from Texas. Early in the book he stumbles upon an alien plot and he’s forced to go back home to Earth to face his past. The journey takes you from an over-the-top adventure series with a foul-mouthed Texan, to poignant emotional moments underscored with perfect Mark Twain quotes. Time travel, reptilian aliens from the future, large robots powered by the brains of their ancestors and the whole time trying to make things right. I mean, you get it all - Wild West, rockets, doppelgangers, alternate timelines, and the sinking feeling that there is someone pulling the strings to make sure Heath, the main character, screws up. Whether it is fighting an alien invasion or giving up alcohol, you want Heath to finally succeed and catch his break. 

Next Page: If I like Uncharted 4, Left 4 Dead, God of War, or Alien: Isolation,  what comics might I like?

If I like Uncharted 4, what comic might I like?

Tom Strong 
by Alan Moore & Chris Sprouse (DC Comics) 

Kolowski: This is a really unsung title from Alan Moore and artist Chris Sprouse. Tom is billed as the greatest science-hero of the 20th century, “his adventures have spanned our world...and beyond!”  But in my opinion he’s a combination of Superman, Reed Richards, Tarzan, Flash Gordon, and Johnny Quest. Let’s be honest, you’ve never heard of such things being combined before into an enjoyable combo. Each issue follows a different adventure so it’s amazingly easy to get into a tale where Tom is trying to uncover some new treasure, or solve a gigantic problem that only he can fix. My favorite part about this series when I read it years back was that I truly wished I was living in this world. Not many comics make you feel that way, so this one is really special.

If I like Left 4 Dead, what comic might I like?

Echoes # 1
by Josh Fialkov & Rahsan Ekedal (Top Cow)

Kolowski: This book is easily one of the most psychologically frightening books I’ve ever read. Brian Cohn is trying to keep his life in check thanks to his wife about to give birth to their first child. But, his father reveals from his deathbed that underneath a house nearby there is proof that he was secretly a serial killer. Not only that, but Brian is struggling with his medication to keep his schizophrenia in check. Was his dad really a serial killer? Was there anything else he passed down besides the schizophrenia? This collection follows Brian as he tries to come to grips with this revelation while trying to keep himself in check to prevent going down that path as well.

If I like God of War, what comic might I like?

Conan Vol. 1: The Frost-Giant's Daughter and Other Stories
by Kurt Busiek, Cary Nord, Tom Yeates, and Dave Stewart (Dark Horse)

Kolowski: We’ve all grown up watching or at various stages of our lives seingn Arnold’s rippling body wrecking fools as Conan. Who knew they actually came from Robert E. Howard's literary works? Okay, everyone put their hands down. These collections follow Howard’s vision as told by legendary writer, Kurt Busiek. It all starts at a point in Conan's journey when he has grown tired of all the usual riches of this world. Being fed grapes and all that can only go so far. He remembers stories of a place called Hyperborea, where Immortals walk among magic and have all there is to have. Conan needs to see this with his own eyes, but along the way he gets mixed up with various troubles/monsters/women/demons and needs to figure his way out of them. 

If I like, Alien: Isolation, what comic might I like?

Southern Cross
by Becky Cloonan, Andy Belanger & Lee Loughridge (Image Comics)

Kolowski: Creepy encounters in space aboard desolate ships and planets make for ideal comic books as well as video games. Southern Cross follows Alex Braith as she heads on a multi-day voyage through space to collect her sister’s belongings after her mysterious death. As she tries to make sense of what happened aboard the Southern Cross, the oddities happening on the ship itself get darker. It’s hard to make a comic that takes place in the silent reaches of deepest space pop, but Loughridge’s colors make for a vibrant title. If you’re looking for a book about trying to stay alive in a super creepy deep space environment while solving a sinister mystery, this one’s for you.