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Comic-Book Adaptation

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"We're off to see the wizard, now in comic form!"
Movies and TV shows are often adapted into comic book form. Comics have certain advantages over other media: they are much easier and cheaper to produce than TV shows, and since the reader isn't restricted to experiencing the story at a particular time each day, the creators are more free to write longer-running, more complex stories.

Such adaptations tend to take three forms:

  1. The comic retells the story of the original work.
  2. The comic takes the characters and setting of the original, but tells a different series of stories.
  3. The comic continues where the original left off, or fills in the backstory.

In cases where the comic is intended to be released right from the start, it sometimes appears before the work from which it is adapted.

Comic book adaptations of movies were fairly common in the 1970's and 1980's, before home videos became common. In those days, a comic book was the easiest way to re-experience a movie no longer playing in theatres. But because of Animation Lead Time the comics were often written and drawn based on earlier scripts than the final draft, and before the movie was edited, which could result in scenes appearing in the comic adaptation that were never in the movie.


Another phenomenon is a comic strip series based on a famous celebrity. These comics are usually cheaply produced and part of the Cash Cow Merchandise around the media star himself. Sometimes the original celebrity is involved in the creation, but often it happens without his knowledge or approval. As soon as the fad around the star dies out these comics usually die a quick death.

See also Anime First. For comics adapted into other media, see Live-Action Adaptation, Animated Adaptation, and Licensed Game. Sometimes, the end product will actually be called Name: The Comic Book.


Examples, by original medium:

    open/close all folders 

  • Lyrical Nanoha The Comics. Covers the quiet moments not shown in the anime before, during, and after the season that it supplements.
  • The Vision of Escaflowne was adapted into two different, simultaneously published mangas. One was aimed at boys, and focused on the fighting at the expense of the Love Dodecahedron. The other was aimed at girls, and went into much more detail of the love story while downplaying the fighting aspect. Both are considered inferior to the anime.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya is an interesting example. The first manga adaptation was based off the light novels; however, it was utterly terrible, and when the anime was released, the author actually disowned his manga out of shame, and instead gave way for another, much better manga adaptation, this time based off the anime.
  • While the Pokémon mainline franchise has a few notable game-derived manga in their own rights, The Electric Tale of Pikachu is set in a verse heavily influenced by the first two seasons of the anime. Later seasons and the movies also got their own manga adaptations. Anime adaptations (including Electric Tale) are Type 2, the movie adaptations are Type 1.
  • The two Tenchi Muyo! manga, No Need for Tenchi and The All-New Tenchi Muyo! (Tenchi Muyo! and Shin Tenchi Muyo! in Japan) is this. It was initially just a two volume story set in the OVA-verse, but when it proved popular, it kept going for an impressive 22-volume run, greatly expanding on the universe (even if it was just for that canon) and the characters living there.
  • A type 2 manga of The Big O was released.
  • The Detective Conan movies have manga adaptations... well, at least some of them. The Raven Chaser is the latest one to get a manga adaption as of far. They're type 1.
  • DARLING in the FRANXX has two: A Type 1 manga illustrated by Kentaro Yabuki, and a Type 2 gag series illustrated by Mato.
  • Both Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball GT recieved "Animanga" comics that took screengrabs of the anime and added speech bubbles. Considering that the original Dragon Ball manga exists alongside a full color edition, this has been labeled as "Redundantly Redundant" by fans, albiet a bit less for GT since that wasn't based on a manga.
  • Despite starting as a manga, the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise moved to an Anime First model for its sequels, with the manga adaptations following a type 2 structure.

    Asian Animation 

    Comic Books 
  • In a strange example, the W.I.T.C.H. comic was adapted into a manga to be published in Japan. There have also been manga adaptations of other existing "western-style" comic books, including Spider-Man and even Sabrina the Teenage Witch (albeit the latter was incorporated into the actual Archie publication itself).
  • There was also a Batman manga.

    Comic Strips 

  • Many film comedians have had Newspaper Comics based on them: Charlie Chaplin, Harry Langdon and Laurel and Hardy, for instance.
  • Urbanus: This long-running comic strip series is based on the popular Flemish comedian Urbanus. He is directly involved in the creative process and writes all the scripts. Since he is popular in both Flanders and the Netherlands the comics sell extraordinarily well.
  • Woody Allen: Yes! Even he had his own newspaper comic strip, drawn by Stuart Hample.
  • Dennis P. Eichhorn drew a comic strip about Wild Man Fischer once.
  • The comic strip "Sjef Van Oekel" (called "Léon la Terreur" in French and "Leo, der Terrorist" in German.) by Theo Van Den Boogaard and Wim T. Schippers was based on a comedic character created by Dolf Brouwers. Since Schippers already wrote Brouwers' monologues he worked along with the comic strip scripts as well. Despite being a very popular comic strip Brouwers eventually took Schippers and Van Den Boogaard to court because his character was continuously shown in very vulgar and obscene situations. This ended the comic strip series effectively.
  • Bassie & Adriaan: Had a comic strip based on them drawn by Frans Verschoor, and direct involvement from one of the comedians themselves: Aad van Toor (who played Adriaan).
  • The closest modern example: Tyler "Ninja" Blevins, a popular video game livestreamer, has his own graphic novel series, simply titled Ninja, authored by him and Justin Jordan and drawn by Felipe Magaña. The series has him and his friends transported into and going on adventures in the virtual universe of a Fortnite-like game.

    Fan Works 

    Film — Animation 
  • Disney Animated Canon:
    • Several Disney movies have some, which either end up in their own special promotional comic book/mini-series, or simply in the pages of Walt Disney's Comics and Stories. Sometimes both.
    • The Lion King has numerous, predominantly European exclusive, comics based on the first film. Many introduce new characters.
    • Bambi has a manga created by Osamu Tezuka.
  • Yellow Submarine had two, the first to coincide with the film's original release by Gold Key Comics, which is notable for featuring many unused ideas and characters including The Beatles visiting Penny Lane, John getting kidnapped by a mermaid, a fire breathing dinosaur, and "Lovely Rita" the meter maid! This is because the creators of the comic were given an earlier draft of the script and started working on it before the real film was actually finished. In 2018, for the film's 50th anniversary, Titan comics published a new adaptation that was more faithful to the final film and recycled from a scrapped comic adaptation by Dark Horse Comics in the 1990's.
  • Marvel Comics did a An American Tail: Fievel Goes West comic. It's Off-Model. Very off model.
  • The Twelve Tasks of Asterix was adapted into the unofficial comic book story Asterix Conquers Rome.
  • Daisy Town and La Ballade des Dalton were later adapted as an official comic strip album in the Lucky Luke canon.
  • Tintin and the Lake of Sharks has been adapted to a comic strip too, though this is not officially part of the Tintin canon and it's more or less a collection of screenshots from the film with text balloons added.
  • The Transformers: The Movie had two adaptations:
    • Original 1986 adaptation by Ralph Macchio (no, not that one) for Marvel Comics. Notable in that not only was it based on an earlier form of the script, but artist Don Perlin had to rely on earlier character models as well.
    • 20th Anniversary adaptation, titled Transformers: The Animated Movie, by Bob Budiansky for IDW Publishing. Notable for attempting to fix a few errors and Plot Holes from the film.
  • As a sort of Recursive Adaptation, Smurfs: The Lost Village had a related tie-in comic book album called Smurfs: The Village Behind The Wall consisting of five stories that take place within that movie's universe.
  • Ralph Bakshi's adaptation of The Lord of the Rings was adapted into comics by Spanish artist Luis Bermejo Rojo (thus "El Señor de los Anillos") and translated into many European languages - but never English for licensing reasons. It adds more dialogue and details from the book trilogy the movie left out, but stops at the same point, in the middle of the second book.
  • Atlantic Books published a Waltz with Bashir graphic novel, a year after the movie came out.
  • Groundwood Books released a graphic novel based on The Breadwinner in 2018.
  • IDW Publishing did a four issue adaptation of the 2007 Beowulf movie.
  • Harold Whitaker adapted Animal Farm into a newspaper comic strip.
  • Monsters, Inc. had two comic adaptations. One was a one-shot adapting the events of the film published by Dark Horse Comics, the other was a four-issue miniseries published by Boom! Studios that was titled Laugh Factory and took place after the events of the film.
  • The Addams Family (2019) received a one-shot comic tie-in called The Addams Family: The Bodies Issue, published by IDW Publishing in November 2019.
  • Mad Monster Party has had two comic book adaptations. The first was a one-shot by Dell Comics that was published only a few months after the film's original release, the second being a four-issue miniseries published in 1999 by Black Bear Press.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The Wizard of Oz, with versions by DC and Marvel. The first Marvel/DC collaboration was an oversized edition of MGM's Marvelous Wizard of Oz, based on the 1939 film. Marvel had almost completed its adaptation when they discovered that DC was working on their own adaptation and held the actual rights.
  • Graphic novels based on Clive Barker's Hellraiser were more like anthologies of short illustrated stories that invited writers and artists to contribute their own interpretations to the continuity. Adaptations of the movies were made later, and Pinhead had his own (brief) regular title with Marvel.
  • The 2010 The A-Team had two four-issue series released just prior to the film.
  • Inception had a one-shot comic, The Cobol Job, which recounts the events immediately leading up to the movie. A motion comic version is included in the Blu-ray release of the film.
  • An especially interesting example of these was Harvey's adaptation of The Flintstones. It presented the film's story in two forms — one drawn in the live-action style, the other drawn in the cartoon's style.
  • A comic adaptation of Ghostbusters II was published, with the characters drawn in their cartoon designs.
  • In addition to adaptations of the first two movies, Bill & Ted's Excellent Comic Book was a continuation of the Bill & Ted series, starting after the second film. It was written by Evan Dorkin, published by Marvel Comics, and ran for twelve issues.
  • The now-defunct publishers Dell Comics and Gold Key Comics published many standalone adaptations of movies from the 1950s through the 1970s, including many Walt Disney titles. Dell published many of these under its Four Color anthology title. For example this is Dell's adaptation of Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. And they did a direct comic adaptation of X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes.
  • Labyrinth has one, though it's based on the novelization. Justified, seeing as it would be hard to put the musical numbers into a comic book.
  • Pacific Rim: Tales From Year Zero which was written by the film's screenwriter Travis Beacham. The comic acts as a prequel to the film covering the events of the first Kaiju attack, how the Jaegers were created and goes into detail about the backstories of characters such as Stacker Pentecost and Mako Mori.
  • Out of the 10+ Friday the 13th films, only Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday got a comic book adaptation.
  • Elm Street series' sort-of finale Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare got a three-issue adaptation by Innovation Publishing, which also made two prequel series' to the film.
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show had a condensed three-part comic book adaptation that also included a section of popular (at the time) callbacks used in Audience Participation screenings.
  • All three films in the original RoboCop trilogy got comic adaptations. Marvel Comics, who also did a separate licensed series based on the franchise, released the ones based on RoboCop (1987) and RoboCop 2 and Dark Horse Comics, who picked up the license next, did the one based on RoboCop 3.
  • The first TRON film had a comic book adaptation by Marvel Comics released around the time of TRON: Legacy.
  • Back to the Future, which was an interquel series based on the movie trilogy.
  • Space Goat Publishing has published a number of comic continuations of horror films including Evil Dead 2 and The Howling.
  • While Star Trek has had many comics based on the various TV series (see Live-Action Television below), nine of the films have been adapted into comic book form, and four series simply titled Star Trek continued their stories from the most recent film at the time of each series' premierenote . In addition, IDW has published several tie-ins to the reboot films, and their current ongoing, Star Trek: Boldly Go, is set after most of the events of Star Trek Beyond, explaining what the crew did while waiting for the completion of the Enterprise-A at the end of the film.
  • Trick 'r Treat had two comic book tie-ins.
    • WildStorm created a four-issue miniseries that was originally supposed to be published weekly in October 2007 to coincide with the film's theatrical release. Instead, it ended up published as a graphic novel in 2009 around the same time the film was released directly to DVD.
    • Legendary Comics published a graphic novel containing new stories called Trick 'r Treat: Days of the Dead.
  • Both Little Shop of Horrors movies had adaptations.
    • DC adapted the 1986 Little Shop of Horrors into a one-shot notably omitting the songs and making the characters look completely different.
    • Roger Corman's Cosmic comics made a three-issue adaptation to the original movie in 1995 titled Welcome To The Little Shop Of Horrors. Each issue also includes a 2-page "Behind the Scenes" feature, as well as a comedic single-page original story chronicling the further exploits of the characters.
  • Freaked was adapted into a 32-page one-shot published by Hamilton Comics.
  • The Transformers Film Series had several comic book tie-ins, most of them by IDW Publishing.
    • The original 2007 film had several miniseries that served as prequels to the films, a miniseries that adapted the actual film and a sequel miniseries titled The Reign of Starscream.
    • Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen had a prequel miniseries titled Transformers: Destiny, another miniseries adaptation of the actual film, a miniseries titled Tales of the Fallen that told stories from the perspective of several characters in the film and a follow-up to Tales of the Fallen called Transformers: Nefarious, which also served as a continuation of the aforementioned The Reign of Starscream.
    • Transformers: Dark of the Moon had three prequel miniseries (titled Sector 7, Rising Storm and Foundation) and yet another miniseries adapting the actual film.
    • Transformers: The Last Knight had a comic book prequel titled Mission to Cybertron, which was exclusive to a Toys R Us Blu-ray/DVD bundle of the film.
    • Titan Magazines published a comic book series based on the film series that ran for about seven years, which also included material based on Transformers Animated and Transformers: Prime.
    • Bumblebee had a prequel miniseries that homaged the James Bond films by having Bumblebee working with British spies during the Cold War, complete with the ending caption of "Bumblebee will return". Ironically, the miniseries is incompatible with the film's continuity due to the discrepancy of the actual movie eschewing the original draft's premise of Bumblebee having prior adventures on Earth.
  • Longtime Batman writer and editor Dennis O'Neil wrote comic book adaptations of Batman (1989), Batman Returns, Batman Forever, and Batman & Robin; they would include scenes that don't appear in the movies themselves, as they would be based on earlier screenplays. They would be collected in the 1997 trade paperback, Batman: The Movies. There's also an adaptation of Batman Begins, written by Scott Beatty.

    Light Novels 


By Author:

By Work:

  • The first four Artemis Fowl books. They retell the plot accurately and well, the art is quite eye-catching, and the graphic novels are pretty well-liked among casual fans, but the character designs have been criticized. A lot. Among the criticisms are characters who pass as human in the books looking like they couldn't pass for Rubber-Forehead Aliens, Foaly the centaur appearing to have the top half of a baboon rather than a human, and just plain contradictions with the originals — Artemis' eyes not being blue is comparatively minor, but a pet peeve for his fangirls. Captain Holly Short, the heroine, is arguably recognizable only by her role in the story, as other than being female and attractive, the drawings have nothing in common with the descriptions — among other things, her hair is an ash-brown bob instead of an auburn crew cut, and her skin colour has changed from coffee-brown to almost exactly the same shade as Artemis'.
    • The same people also adapted Colfer's The Supernaturalist.
    • Disney have announced a second adaptation of the original Artemis Fowl novel to coincide with the movie.
  • The Baby-Sitters Club is a series of adaptations of the novels of the same name.
  • Battle Royale has had a manga made. The manga series differs from the novel in three areas. It is far more graphic (not surprising, considering it's in a visual format), spends much more time on developing the whole cast of characters, and ramps up the action as it approaches the conclusion.
  • The Beast Player has a very faithful manga adaptation of the original duology.
  • Beautiful Creatures received a manga adaptation entitled Beautiful Creatures: The Manga, in February 2013 shortly before The Film of the Book was released.
  • The Bible. Several in fact. Even Robert Crumb did a faithful adaptation of the entire Book of Genesis.
  • Billy Bunter has been adapted into a successful comic strip series too. In the Netherlands, he is probably better known as a comic strip character than as a literary figure.
  • The Book of the Named has an adaptation planned for its first novel (Ratha's Creature), successfully funded on Kickstarter.
  • The City of Ember received a Graphic Novel adaptation in 2012.
  • Classics Illustrated printed comic versions of classic literature, such as Moby-Dick, for 20 years.
    • Though a few comic book adaptations of the novels of Jane Austen existed prior to 2009, they were mostly small press, low profile works, such as the Graphic Classics inclusion of a short, black-and-white Northanger Abbey in their "Gothic Classics" anthology. However, in 2009, Marvel Comics revamped the "Marvel Illustrated" line and started adapting the novels. So far, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Emma have been adapted, with Hugo Petrus, Sonny Liew, and Janet Lee on art, respectively, and Nancy Butler on scripting. Northanger Abbey is scheduled to start shipping November 2011, with art again by Lee.
  • The Dark Tower currently has an ongoing comic adaptation being published by Marvel, both adapting portions of the novels and introducing new material.
  • Deltora Quest has a manga adaptation to go along with its anime and Video Game counterparts, which mostly follow the original story but with a few changes (hair color changes, changes in story sequences, more battles...). Most of which have yet to come out of Japan.
  • Some of the Discworld novels — The Colour of Magic, The Light Fantastic, Mort, and Guards! Guards! — have been adapted into graphic novels.
  • A comic-book serial adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula ran in the pages of Marvel Comics' Dracula Lives!. After the book was cancelled, the remaining chapter was released in Legion of Monsters.
  • The first three issues of The Frankenstein Monster adapt Mary Shelley's Frankenstein in a form of flashbacks. It's also been adapted into a full graphic novel by the illustrator Gris Grimly as well as one by Jason Cobley.
  • Goosebumps first had Goosebumps Graphix which consisted of straight-forward adaptations of certain books by different artists. Then in 2017 IDW Publishing began publishing a series that are original stories featuring certain established villains.
  • The first three The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books were adapted by DC Comics.
  • The Hobbit was adapted by Chuck Dixon and illustrated by David Wenzel in 1989. A revised and expanded edition came out in 2006.
  • Richard Matheson's seminal vampire novel I Am Legend (responsible for inspiring both Charlton Heston's The Ωmega Man and George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead (1968)) was put in graphic novel form a few years ago. It is a great work, all black and white art, and contains virtually all of the original's text. Anyone reading it before reading the original novel could be forgiven for assuming it was a word for word transcription!
  • All three books in The Infernal Devices trilogy have received manga adaptations.
  • James Bond:
    • All fourteen original Bond books by Ian Fleming received adaptations in comic strip form. This also goes for Colonel Sun, the first non-Fleming novel.
    • SilverFin, the first book in the Young Bond spin-off series, was adapted into a graphic novel and released by Disney Publishing in 2008.
  • The Land of Oz books have had over a dozen comic adaptations, including Marvel's 2009 miniseries Oz.
  • De Leeuw Van Vlaanderen ("The Lion of Flanders") by Belgian author Hendrik Conscience was adapted in comic book format by Bob De Moor. The quality of this adaptation is outstanding!
  • The comic version of Left Behind. Unfortunately only the first book of the series and Tribulation Force were adapted.
  • Manga Classics is a series of comics that adapt works such as Great Expectations, The Scarlet Letter, and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer into an animesque form.
  • Maximum Ride:
  • The first book of Robert Asprin's Myth Adventures series was adapted into comic form by him and Phil Foglio; the adaptation was mostly faithful, but there were some noticeable differences, mostly to do with the motivations and ultimate fate of the Big Bad.
  • Rivers of London, in 2015, got its own comic book, co-written by Ben Aaronovitch, author of the novels, and Andrew Cartmel, published by Titan Comics. The comics tell stories not in the books, and although reading the comics is not necessary to understand the books, the stories are fully canon and have been referenced in the novels.
  • The Saga of Darren Shan has a very faithful manga adaptation.
  • Seeker Bears has two animesque manga side-stories.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: Subverted. Around the same time as the start of the TV series, Dynamite Comics launched their own adaptation of the novel A Game of Thrones, to the confusion of some fans. As of 2014, the comics are still adapting the first book while the TV series has reached parts of the fourth and fifth.
  • Sound! Euphonium has a manga adaptation that is separate from its anime adaptation.
  • Sci-fi author Harry Harrison saw two of The Stainless Steel Rat novels adapted into comic form for British serial comic 2000 AD. The two strips were later released in Graphic Novel format.
  • Tantei Team KZ Jiken Note has its first novel, The Missing Bike Knows, adopted into manga and serialized in Nakayoshi.
  • Till Eulenspiegel was adapted into two comic book stories by Willy Vandersteen. The first one followed the original novel and stories closely. The second one was totally new.
  • The Uglies series has a graphic novel trilogy, showing the events of each book from Shay's point of view.
  • The Warrior Cats series has four manga trilogies and a standalone volume that tells some side stories, such as a villain's backstory and what happened to a character when he disappeared for several books. The Super Editions, after the first one, also started doing a short manga chapter at the end that shows a brief scene that takes place after the end of the book.
  • Wonder Woman: Warbringer is a 2017 young adult novel, with a 2020 comic-book adaptation.
  • For a while, DC Comics had a line of graphic novels called DC Science Fiction Graphic Novel that adapted well-known works of science fiction. A total of seven issues were published, and they were:

    Live-Action TV 
  • Smallville now has its "season 11" comics.
  • The Babylon 5 comic is fully "in continuity", covering early events only mentioned in passing in the TV show.
  • Batman (1966): In 2013 DC Comics launched an actual comic book version of the TV series, titled Batman '66, as well as releasing a trade paperback of the original issues that episodes were based on.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel both have sequel comics continuing on from where their shows ended currently being published.
    • Angel also has comic adaptations of some of the TV series' stories.
    • Both also had Type 2 comics while the shows were on the air.
  • The Prisoner (1967) was given a sequel in the four-issue comic miniseries "Shattered Visage" (books A through D), later collected, of course, in one volume. Patrick McGoohan read it and said he didn't hate it.
  • There's 50+ years' worth of Doctor Who comics across various publishers. The style of later (1990s to present) comics have strongly influenced the 2005 television revival; Russell T Davies is an avowed fan of the comics, even writing into Doctor Who Magazine to praise a particular character development.
  • There are two Firefly comic miniseries, Those Left Behind and Better Days, which fill in events between the series and the movie.
  • The first Star Trek comic started in 1967. Since then, the license has jumped between various publishers; currently, it's held by IDW, who publish stories based on the TV series and the movie reboot.
  • Pushing Daisies will have a 12-issue series from DC Comics to close out loose ends and unresolved plots from the series, written by Bryan Fuller. At least it has been announced.
  • Even Married... with Children had a few years' worth of original comics based on it.
  • Charmed has a season 9 in comic book form.
  • In addition to the above, it should be noted that the now-defunct publishers Dell Comics, Gold Key Comics, and Charlton Comics published dozens upon dozens of comic books based upon TV series of the day, from westerns and sci-fi, to straight dramas. Many ran for only one or two issues. One of the best examples of "keeping it alive" was a comic based upon a short-lived Boris Karloff series entitled Thriller. After the series was cancelled after one season, Gold Key, rather than cancelling the comic book version, renamed it Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery and kept it going for 20 years after the series ended and more than 10 years after Karloff himself died.
  • In Great Britain there have been numerous long-running publications featuring licensed comic strips based upon TV series. TV Comic ran for some 1,700 issues starting in 1952, and there was also TV Action, Countdown, TV Century 21 (aka TV 21) - based on Gerry Anderson's puppet series primarily, and Look-In, as well as a handful of series-specific publications such as Doctor Who Magazine (formerly Doctor Who Weekly/Doctor Who Monthly) which has featured an original comic strip based upon the TV series since 1979.
  • Apparently, there's a manga adaptation of Bones on the way. It's rumored to be a prequel of the show but there's not much info at the moment.
  • There have been a number of attempts to create comics based on Power Rangers. Gladstone did two mini-series based off of season 2. Marvel did an adaptation of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie along with two series based off of season 3, one of them with back-up stories featuring VR Troopers. Image attempted to do one for Power Rangers Zeo, but it ended up ceasing after its first issue. Acclaim Comics released a few comics based on Power Rangers Turbo, including a crossover with the Beetleborgs. Tokyopop did a series of Cine-Manga for Power Rangers Dino Thunder and Disney Adventures did a series of comics based off of Power Rangers S.P.D. With the exception of the movie and the SPD series, they were all Type 2s.
  • Marvel Comics published an adaptation of the original Battlestar Galactica TV movie, and then (unusually for most comics based on TV series) went on to adapt some of the early episodes as well before branching into original stories (the comic ran for nearly two years, outliving the TV series). Maximum Press published a short-lived Galactica series drawn by Rob Liefeld in the mid-90's. Dynamite Comics later published comics based on the classic series alongside its adaptations of the remake.
  • Due to what can charitably be called a case of "getting totally shafted in favor of Battlestar Galactica", Farscape got a comic spin-off a few years after the miniseries finale, which was a truncated version of the show's promised fifth season. The comic series gave the show's executive producer a chance to further some languishing plot threads like Rygel's quest for his throne, which is the very first story arc.
  • There was a newspaper comic strip based on Dallas that ran from 1981 to 1984.
  • In a recursive example Arrow (itself based on the comic book Green Arrow) has a comic book adaptation published by DC Comics (the same company that publishes Green Arrow). The comic fills in parts of the backstory, and deals with what happens between episodes of the TV series. The Flash adaptation comic starts before the series, as "Season Zero" (the Arrow comics are "Season x.5").
  • The Ultra Series has numerous. A large number of Type 1 and Type 2 manga adaptations exist, but there's also a Type 3 manga series based on the original Ultraman notable for being much Darker and Edgier than the original material and following its own continuity that ignores all other shows. And uniquely for a largely Japan-based franchise, the little-known Australia-produced Ultraman: Towards the Future had comics produced for western audiences during its brief time on air.
  • Grimm has a comic book adaptation from Dynamite Comics telling new stories. It is supposedly set in the same continuity as the TV series, although it has yet to be seen how well the two mesh.
  • Samson En Gert was adapted as a successful children's comic book series by Wim Swerts and Jean-Pol.
  • FC De Kampioenen has also been made into a successful children's comic book series whose success has in fact surpassed many other comic strips in Flanders and even the length of the original TV sitcom it was based on.
  • '60s British TV series The Avengers has received a few adaptations, typically under the title Steed and Mrs Peel, to avoid confusion with the other Avengers.
  • Another recursive example comes from Marvel in the form of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2014), which is adapted from the MCU series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The comic is a loose adaptation of the first season's format (but not plot) and introduces most of the show's main original characters into the comics universe.
  • Masked Rider had a comic adaptation by Marvel Comics that only lasted one issue and crossed over with Marvel's comic adaptation of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959):
  • The Twilight Zone (1985): "Crazy as a Soup Sandwich" was adapted for the first issue of NOW Comics' short-lived Twilight Zone series in 1991.
  • There were plans at Dark Horse Comics for a Millennium tie-in comic while the show was running. While they never came to fruition, IDW would eventually publish a sequel comic set well after 2000.


    Pro Wrestling 
  • CMLL and the other Mexican promotions they worked for helped put out comic books for Fray Tormenta, Místico and Dark Angel. And of course the most famous of Luchador to become a comic book character was El Santo.
  • There was a comic book of The Undertaker during his 90s run in the WWF.
  • The Ultimate Warrior adapted himself into a comic book. It's at least as insane as you'd expect.
  • World Championship Wrestling had a 12 issue ongoing published by Marvel Comics that served as an exaggerated adaptation of numerous storylines occurring at the time on television. Interestingly, the sudden cancellation caused it to end in a rather awkward place, with Vader utterly destroying Sting in a one-sided squash match as it began building up Ron Simmons to challenge him.

    Puppet Shows 
  • The Muppet Show has been turned into a comic book, The Muppet Show Comic Book. While it doesn't have guest stars (for obvious reasons), it does well on focusing on characters and manages to get a lot of the show's regular sketches in.
    • The Muppets Take Manhattan received a 68-page comic book adaptation in the 32nd issue of Marvel Super Special, which was subsequently reprinted as a three-issue miniseries by the defunct Marvel Comics subsidiary Star Comics.
  • Sesame Street finally got a comic book adaptation in the second quarter of 2013.
  • Fraggle Rock had a comic adaptation from Marvel in the eighties, and a 2010 comic from Archaia Press in the same nonstandard 8x8" format as Mouse Guard.

    Tabletop Games 


  • Marvel Comics started adapting toy lines with no previous associated fiction into comic books in The '70s, and ended up working directly with Hasbro on some of their properties in The '80s.
    • Micronauts began the trend, thanks to Bill Mantlo, who had been inspired by the toys he'd purchased for his son, and convinced Jim Shooter to get the license to produce a comic. The series helped define the Microverse, an alternate dimension adjacent to the Marvel Universe that is typically accessed through mass displacement via shrinking. While the license has long expired, the concepts (and many of the characters) created for this series remain a part of the greater Marvel Universe.
    • ROM: Space Knight was another adaptation by Bill Mantlo, this time based on a single action figure rather than a full toy line. Like Micronauts, ROM was also a part of the Marvel Universe. While this license has also expired, the only thing they can't use is Rom himself - specifically, his name and Spaceknight body. But, since Rom retired at the end of his series and returned to human form, he's made a few unnamed cameos.
    • US-1 was an adaptation of a line of slot-racing eighteen-wheeler trucks. The comic was about a trucker who received cybernetic implants and a tricked-out truck after a horrible accident. Years after the series, the character was brought back as a Space Trucker under a slightly different name.
    • Hasbro approached Marvel to help create a backstory for their reimagining of the G.I. Joe franchise. Larry Hama had, at that time, made a pitch to Marvel for a series called Fury Force, which would've pit a counter-terrorist team led by the son of Nick Fury against Hydra, and he was able to rework that concept into G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero. Notably, it was the first comic book to receive a television commercial, which would later spawn a cartoon series.
    • Transformers:
    • Hasbro came back to Marvel to pull together the various transforming toys they'd licensed from Japan (mostly from Takara's Diaclone and Micro Change lines) into one coherent storyline. The comic and cartoon were developed simultaneously, with the latter changing a few details from the former and creating its own continuity (much as had happened with G.I. Joe). In spite of being a completely different continuity from the cartoon, one issue of the comic was an adaptation of the cartoon episode "The Big Broadcast of 2006", which was regarded as non-canon by both the US and UK versions of the comic.
      • The Transformers comic license has gone through several companies since, as well as various manga adaptations in Japan (though those are usually closely tied to their related anime series). Dreamwave revived the Generation 1 franchise and provided its own adaptation of the Unicron Trilogy, at least until the company went bankrupt. IDW Publishing has had the license since 2005, creating its own G1 universe, as well as tie-ins to the live-action film series and Aligned Universe. Fun Publications, meanwhile, produces comics based on the Collector's Club and BotCon exclusive toys, and have published Beast Wars and Beast Machines stories as well.
    • Some of Hasbro's other 80s properties were also given comics by Marvel under their younger-reader Star Comics imprint (and usually tied in more directly with an Animated Adaptation if there was one): Inhumanoids, Visionaries, and Air Raiders.
  • Throughout the full span of its run, BIONICLE was accompanied by a comic series published by DC Comics. It was initially virtually the sole storytelling source for the series, and arguably remained the primary one throughout its run. Its successor line, Hero Factory, also has one; however, its distribution is limited to LEGO's magazine and the internet, instead of being a standalone comic book. Other LEGO lines have received smaller, lower-key comic adaptations on occasion as well, such as LEGO Exo-Force.
  • The Madballs had their own comic book adaptation published from 1986 to 1988 and had them depicted as ordinary rubber balls mutated into grotesque but friendly beings who frequently thwarted the plans of Mad Scientist Dr. Frankenbeans and his assistant Snivelitch.
  • The Monster in My Pocket line of figurines had a comic book adaptation by Harvey Comics that lasted four issues and was written by Dwayne McDuffie. The comic's premise established that there was a team of good monsters led by Vampire and a team of evil monsters led by Warlock, with both factions ending up shrunk to pocket size by a magic spell gone awry, leading to the good monsters allying with a human teenager named Jack Miles to try and prevent Warlock and his band of evil monsters from causing any trouble.
  • Mr. Potato Head was adapted into a short-lived daily comic strip in the early 2000's by Jim Davis of Garfield and U.S. Acres fame.
  • My Little Pony has had numerous comics over the years, including a UK comic based on G1 and another comic based on G3.
  • The Tamagotchi digital pets got a manga in the 90's called Manga de Hakken! Tamagotchi. The comic is a 4-panel yonkoma manga showing the lives of the Tamagotchis on Earth.
  • Teddy Scares had a series of graphic novels published by Ape Entertainment.

    Video Games 
  • The Hitman series has Agent 47: Birth of the Hitman; which shows us what Diana, 47 and Subject 6 were up to before they met. While it's a prequel to the whole game series, it's more specifically tied into the semi-reboot "World of Assassination" trilogy, starting with Hitman (2016) making some minor references to this series (which released the following year), and events were later referenced in full in Hitman 2.
  • A manga adaptation for AkaSeka was released in April 2018.
  • Assassin's Creed has adaptations ranging from the Roman Empire to the Russian Revolution.
  • Kingdom Hearts had a manga adaptation.
  • Devil's Due is publishing a killer7 comic, presumably to explain what the game is about.
  • Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis was adapted into a four part comic book series by Dark Horse Comics.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
  • Metroid has a manga series that depicts the events before the games. Reveals, among other things, how Samus and Ridley first met, Samus' time with the Chozo, and the history of Mother Brain and the Metroids.
  • Wild ARMs: Flower Thieves is set in Filgaia, but with different characters and a different continuity. There are also manga adaptations of the games themselves.
  • Resident Evil has had a number of comic book adaptations:
    • 2002 saw a Korean manhwa adaptation of Code Veronica which is slavishly accurate to the game.
    • WildStorm, which also published the aforementioned manhwa in the US, released a couple of short-lived Resident Evil series in the late '90s, the latter of which managed to make STARS into an angst-laden version of G. I. Joe, even including a half-zombie member with Zombie Sense and a disgruntled convict who was given the choice of joining STARS or life in prison. They blow up a Mexican Day of the Dead celebration and circus. The first series uses the RE 1 and RE 2 characters, but in situations that featured things such a walking Fish Tyrant.
    • The 2009 series begins with zombies in space and a main character named... Holiday Sugarman.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • Writer/artist Benimaru Itoh made an official comic based on the original Star Fox game than ran in Nintendo Power for several issues. It was released before the game was available anywhere in the world, making it the first introduction to the Lylat System, ever. It follows the game's plot exactly, even going so far as using the hidden elements in the game as plot devices, and introduced many elements that were later altered and used in the franchise reboot, Star Fox 64.
  • Back in the NES days, Nintendo authorized Valiant Comics to write Nintendo Comics System, comics based on a number of their most popular video game titles, including Super Mario Bros. and Metroid. The Zelda comics based on The Legend of Zelda are set in the world of the original NES Zelda games (the first two in the series), although rather than retelling the stories of those games as the manga do, they focus on the continuing adventures of Link and Zelda.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
  • Metal Gear Solid and its sequel were turned into comic book form by IDW, with art by Ashley Wood. The first series was adapted into a PlayStation Portable game titled Digital Graphic Novel; essentially it was a digital version of the comic with limited interactive functions.
  • Mercenaries was turned into a three-issue comic book miniseries by Dynamite Entertainment in anticipation of the second game (Brian Reed wrote both the comic and Game Script). It features the mercenaries fighting in war between China and Taiwan, and gives Jennifer Mui two brothers on opposite sides of the conflict, Chris Jacobs trying (and failing) a fake defection, and Mattias Nilsson getting intel by drinking half the People's Liberation Army under the table.
  • Mega Man (Classic) was supposed to be adapted into a comic by Dreamwave — but it came out at around the time Dreamwave was in the toilet, so to speak, and thus only three issues were released, with the fourth delayed for months and leaving a few plot threads hanging. If nothing else, the artwork was great, and the plot for the first three issues was all right.
  • Final Fantasy XII has a manga adaptation, and the story started a few times later in the game.
  • The Breath of Fire series has a whole series, including a separate set of Shoujo and Shonen comics for I, a side-story/continuation for II, and a complete "graphic novelisation" for IV. The one for IV is especially notable as it fell under the Fleeting Demographic Rule and the final volume is to be released just in time for the 10th anniversary of IV's release (lending to fan speculation that the manga was meant as Capcom's way of doing an acknowledgement of the anniversary). It is also the sole Breath Of Fire-related Comic Book Adaptation that isn't Japan-only, having officially licensed Chinese and French versions.
  • The Persona series has a comic for each game, with the exception of Persona 2, which has at least three. They also provide the near-universally accepted names for the protagonists in each. Persona 2 is again exempt because the protagonists for those games already have Canon Names.
  • Pokémon has several adaptations, the most prominent of which are Pokémon Adventures (Pokémon Special in Japan) and Pocket Monsters. These are usually a combination of types 1 and 2, loosely retelling the games (challenging the gyms, fighting an evil Team) but adding subplots and character interactions that have no game basis.
  • There are several Street Fighter comic and manga adaptations, the most recent being the one by Udon.
  • Gotham City Impostors has one in the form of Batman Impostors. Due to the rather plot-less nature of the original videogame it's closest to being a Type 2.
  • Mortal Kombat: Komiks.
  • Ultima had four manga adaptations when it was translated into Japanese in order to build interest. The plots range from quite divergent to completely original.
  • Pocket God is an adaptation of the video game of the same name. It started out as a four-issue miniseries, but was so well-received that it became an ongoing series.
  • The Idolmaster has spawned a number of manga adaptations, some original, some not.
  • KanColle received six different manga adaptations in its first year, all telling different stories. Then again, it has Loads and Loads of Characters, and only the vaguest semblance of a plot in the game itself.
  • KanColle's brother series Touken Ranbu is no slouch either; multiple manga adaptations, some of which are outright Alternate Universe stories, have been released since its launch in 2015. Due to the game's lack of plot, however, they tend to be Type 2.
  • Beginning in 2003, CrossGen Publishing produced a comic-book miniseries adapting the Dragon's Lair game, with elements from the animated series included.
  • Story of Seasons has short 4-koma manga for some of the games.
  • Neverending Nightmares got one in the form of a Type 1 manga.
  • The Nintendo third-person shooter Splatoon and its sequel have several, the most popular being a gag manga of the same name.
  • Yume Nikki got an official manga adaptation in February 2013, created by Hitoshi Tomizawa of Alien Nine fame, which expanded on and explained somewhat the utter Mind Screw of a game.
  • The Ratchet & Clank (2010) fills the gap between A Crack in Time and All 4 One. Penned by series writer TJ Fixman, it tells of an adventure where Ratchet comes to terms with his loss from A Crack in Time as well as how Captain Qwark managed to become President of Polaris. The latter is presented in All 4 One without explanation, while the former is introduced and concluded in the same game.
  • Sakura Wars has had two manga adaptations so far. The first one, which was illustrated by Ikku Masa, adapts the original game. The second was based on Sakura Wars (2019) and has been published in Shueisha's Weekly Young Jump since 2019.
  • Yo-Kai Watch has several manga, including Yo-Kai Watch and Yokai Watch Waku Waku Nyanderful Days. It also had a short American comic by IDW.
  • Dragon Quest V: Dragon Quest: Tenkuu Monogatari is a 12 Volume manga, released in 1997, centered on Bianca and The Hero's children, named Sora (Sky) and Ten (Heaven) in this adaptation, adding a Theme Naming for the Heavenly Bride title of the original game. It serves more as an Adaptation Expansion for the children, since they venture through many original adventures not present in none of the games while their parents are Demoted to Extra. Unfortunately, Tenkuu Monogatari (Sky Tales) was not released outside Japan, and has no Fan Translation to boot.

    Visual Novels 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 


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