The first thought in my head when I heard about the new A Game of Thrones comic was,”Way to milk a series already!” The books are ridiculously successful, the HBO television show was a hit, and now, jumping on the popularity wagon, a comic has come out. However, having read it and thought about it a bit, my tune has changed. I think this comic is a great way for people who are curious about the series, but are intimidated by the size and depth of the books, to explore the wonderful world that Martin has created.
Since I read and reviewed the book not that long ago, I am not going to re-hash out the basics of the story, but rather jump right into the comic. Issue #1 starts at the beginning of the story in the novel, with the little prelude that happens on the other side of the wall. The comic then continues through all the different beginning chapters of the book, switching between the Lannisters and the Targaryens and setting up the scenes for future events. Since it is just the first issue, we are only barely getting into the story, but it is enough to captivate a reader. Within the few pages of the comic we meet a scary frozen north monster, See Eddard Stark cut off a head and take home some wolf puppies for his kids, and discuss the king’s impending visit with his wife at the heart tree. The comic then continues into Daenerys and Viserys discussing her upcoming marriage to the dothraki warrior Khal Drogo. There is some nice back story here, about their past. The issue ends with Daenerys meeting her future husband.
The first thing I noticed, even before the images, is the fact that the narrator voice is quoted verbatim from the book, mentioning all the main thoughts that aren’t spoken sections. These narrative transitions bring Martin’s voice to the comic and keep the feel of his writing.
At first the transition between the different character stories was confusing, as there was no stop or block in the pages to show that I was moving on to another set of characters. But upon closer inspection, I noticed that the narration boxes changed colors, depending on what section I was reading. Now that I know, that will help me a lot for future issues. Perhaps this is a common comic thing, but since I’m a newbie comic reader, as far as that goes, I thought I’d mention it for those of you out there curious about the story who aren’t as familiar with comics.
The art by Tommy Patterson and the colors by Ivan Nunes were such a wonderful addition to the tale I am so familiar with. I think I might even like the comic a bit better than the actual book, for a quick catch-me-up, since it is so vividly illustrated. The shadowed faces and intense expressions added so much to the words, and I found myself once again getting swept up in the story that I loved. And the color tones added way more than I expected, the cold segments being an icy iron grey, Ned’s parts a rich hunter green and brown, and Daenerys’s parts beautiful warm tans.
The comic came to an end much too quickly for my taste (this is why I’m only now starting to get into comics, as I’m way too impatient to wait for the next issue!), but I enjoyed the set up for future story lines, and I’ll be looking forward to reading the next issue.