For almost as long as comics have been around, major media franchises that publish tie-in comics have been a hallmark of the medium. These days, it’s common for any new movie, game, or TV series release to be accompanied by a comic book series.
However, what’s rarer – and far more interesting – is that tie-in comics eclipse their source material in their writing, art direction, and character arcs. It doesn’t happen often, but it’s important to recognize the talents of artists and writers who can take the franchise in a new direction and move beyond the stories they were based on.
ten Aliens vs. Predator delivers the ultimate match
Like Superman versus Goku or Batman versus Iron Man, Aliens vs. Predator was a match that people have always wanted to see happen. However, unlike many other fights between franchises, Aliens vs. Predator was frequently aired in official media and loved by fans.
The best-selling comic, written by Randy Stradle with a team of artists including Phill Norwood, Mark Propst and Karl Story, managed to blend themes from both universes. He dwelt on the culture of the Predators and always highlighted human corruption and greed, which are at the heart of the Extraterrestrial universe. By successfully balancing the two universes, the comic became so influential that it later inspired its own films, and many of the elements it introduced became standard lore for both franchises.
9 The Thing From Another World expands on the classic horror film
The thing is one of John Carpenter’s most famous films and one of his earliest forays into directing big-budget blockbusters. It’s not easy to make a sequel to one of the most iconic horror movies of all time, but The thing from another world manages to get away with it.
As the survivors of the original film try to stop The Thing from infecting a rescue team, Chuck Pfarrer’s writing creates dramatic tension and a sense of dread. Meanwhile, John B. Higgins’ art retains the horrifying aesthetic of practical and special effects used in the film; however, also uses the Stand to augment The Thing’s shape-shifting abilities.
8 Terminator: The Burning Earth shows future warfare in a new light
The terminator franchise has a long, if somewhat unsettled history. But despite most films revolving around time travel, James Cameron’s incredible visuals of the full-scale war between man and machine created more desire for stories set in an apocalyptic future. Terminator: Burning Earthwritten by Ron Fortier with early art by acclaimed artist Alex Ross, goes above and beyond to deliver this story.
The writing is dark and gritty, and both sides are shown to be at their wit’s end: Skynet is desperate to end the war and John Connor is losing hope. Alex Ross’ stunning art adheres to Cameron’s designs, retaining a cinematic feel, and the desperation on both sides is clear as the story shifts between John’s perspective and, surprisingly, Skynet itself.
seven Mighty Morphin Power Rangers smash the Morphin Grid
There’s no denying how pun-filled, silly, buffoonish humor of Power Rangers has a certain charm, but as fans of the original series grew, they began to desire more mature stories and characters. Boom! Studios delivered with their Mighty Morphin Power Rangers comics, most notably in the Shattered Grid arc, written by Kyle Higgins and Ryan Parrott with art by Jonas Scharf, Daniele Di Nicuolo, Dan Mora and Diego Galindo.
Shattered Grid features an evil alternate universe version of fan-favorite ranger Tommy Oliver, also known as Lord Drakkon, who slays both Rita Repulsa and many of the original Rangers in his dimension before attempting to steal power. of every Ranger in the multiverse. This epic crossover featured rangers from across franchise history, and Drakkon has since become one of its most iconic villains.
6 Graphic Novel Halo: Breaking Quarantine Makes The Flood Truly Terrifying
The most beloved characters of Halo are usually playable characters, like Master Chief, the Arbiter, and the ODST Buck. A major exception is Sergeant Johnson, who found himself the protagonist of many stories in the Expanded Universe. One of the earliest examples of this is found in the Halo graphic novelwhich is the franchise’s first foray into comics.
Johnson is the star of the short story titled, Break quarantine. Written and drawn by Tsutomu Nihei and set during the original game, it explains how Johnson was able to survive being attacked by the flood when Captain Keyes and the other marines with him became infected. Visceral art creates thrilling tension and spins Halo from sci-fi action to petrifying survival horror.
5 Star Wars: Poe Dameron Depicts Cold War Before Star Wars Sequels
Poe Dameron occupies a unique position as one of the few sequel trilogy protagonists already active in the Resistance prior to Episode VII. The First Order already had Kylo Ren, Captain Phasma, and General Hux in its ranks, while Rey was still a scavenger and Finn an unnamed stormtrooper. As such, many Resistance stories center on Poe, and the comic book written by Charles Soule with art from Phil Noto, Angel Unzueta, Joe Caramagna, and Frank D’Armata delivers fantastical adventures that enhance the character. sequel era.
The comic shows how desperate and overwhelmed the Resistance is by putting Poe in various positions — from spy to thief to pilot — and giving his character greater depth. It also describes how the war between the Resistance and the First Order was actually a Cold War, with both being secretly funded and supported by leaders of the New Republic and major galactic corporations.
4 Transformers: Hearts Of Steel is a fascinating steampunk adventure
Transformers: Evolutions was conceived as a new series of Transformers Marvel-like alternate universe stories What if? or DC Somewhere else. However, hearts of steel was the only story pitched, and the release of the first Michael Bay film caused IDW Comics to focus on live-action films. However, the story, written by Chuck Dixon and illustrated by Guido Guidi and Jay Fotos, was not easily forgotten.
Set during the industrial revolution, hearts of steel featured a dazzling steampunk aesthetic. The Autobots teamed up with John Henry, Mark Twain, and Nikola Tesla while the Decepticons worked to conquer Earth alongside powerful and corrupt industrialists. The world and its characters later reappeared in other crossovers within the IDW universe, and its unique art and story became fan favorites.
3 ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation – Mirror Broken’ brings back a classic Star Trek premise
“Mirror, Mirror” is one of the most famous episodes of the original star trek and one of the earliest examples of an alternate universe in science fiction. Its premise of an evil parallel universe has since become a popular plotline in many franchises, so it’s no surprise that IDW Comics revisited the mirror universe with a miniseries written by Scott and David Tipton and starring illustrations by JK Woodward.
Whereas The next generation Never having set episodes in the Mirror Universe, the comic did a great job of world-building, quickly getting readers familiar with its version of the cast. With only five issues, the writer’s ability to immediately establish its setting and characters is critical to the story.
2 Star Wars: Rebellion puts Luke Skywalker in a perilous moral position
Star Wars: Rebellion is a sequel to Dark Horse’s prequel star wars comics Republic and Empire, set shortly after Episode IV. Written by Rob Williams and drawn by Michel Lacombe, Wil Glass and Michael Heisler, the story focuses on Vader hunting down the Rebels as Luke Skywalker navigates his new role as leader, all the while wondering how to continue his path as a Jedi. without Ben Kenobi to guide him.
Crucially, it also features a rivalry between Luke and Imperial Officer Tank, one of Luke’s childhood friends from Tatooine. With Luke battling his own friend, the action and adventure is heightened as Luke grows through this moral dilemma.
1 Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye is a critically acclaimed adventure
The Transformers The series is almost always focused on the Cybertronian Civil War, so when IDW ended the war just a few years into their run and spent the next decade focusing on how the Autobots and Decepticons attempted to rebuild their shattered civilization, fans were shocked. But the series that followed, written by James Roberts with art by Alex Milne, Guido Guidi, Shawn Lee and Joana Lafuente, became an instant classic.
With twists and turns including Megatron realizing how far he’s come in his quest for power and joining the Autobots to atone, Bumblebee convincing Starscream to give up his political ambitions and confess to his crimes for Cybertron’s sake, and Thundercracker leaving the Decepticons to become a screenwriter on Earth, the aftermath of war was anything but boring, and the series met with fan love and critical acclaim.
Next: 10 DC Comics That Read Like Sci-Fi Epics