7 Comic Characters That Need Their Own Games: #1

Published 3 years ago by , Updated January 13th, 2012 at 1:53 pm,

7 Comic Book Characters

New York Comic Con is coming to a close, and so is our list of the comic book characters we would love to see get a chance at their own videogame. While our list has been under way, we’ve gotten news of not just a Just Cause film in production, but Uncharted getting the movie treatment as well. And with the growing number of comic book to movie adaptations that are currently under way, it’s become apparent to most in the entertainment industry that both comic books and videogames are fertile grounds to explore when it comes to building franchises.

With both fields taking great leaps and bounds in terms of quality and storytelling, now is a good time to be a fan of either. So to combine the two is a no-brainer, but which to choose is the problem. With literally thousands of comic book titles to draw upon for gaming conversions, it’s near impossible to predict which ones will be selected next. We remain optimistic, and hope that at least some of our top choices will be playable at one point or another. Or even better, that game developers could find titles that we haven’t thought of. So let’s keep our fingers crossed.

Now it’s time for our #1 choice, but before we get to it let’s look back on our previous selections. Click on the hero for the full article:

#7. Judge Dredd: The gritty, grimy environments of the expansive Mega-City One would be cool enough to drive any game adaptation. Though it’s Dredd’s moral drama and his embodiment of law itself that could take this game into unexplored territory.

#6. Marvel MMO: There’s no shortage of MMO’s on the way, but the choices and consequences inherent to the Marvel Universe could give players the ability to shape the world on a scale that others could only dream of.

#5. Carnage: As well as finally giving the insane Spider-Man villain his due, a game built around the symbiote-suited psychopath would take the franchise in a darker direction and produce a game as unique and uncaged as the villain himself.

#4. Captain Comet & The Weird: The only thing we love more than large-scale worlds brought to life is a compelling, immersive story. Mystery in Space has them both, and this kind of mystery is the exact kind of narrative that we need more of in gaming.

#3. John Constantine: The star of Hellblazer needs no justification. As one of the all-time greats of comic characters, we flat out demand a game set in the dark and supernatural world he inhabits, and know that it would be an experience that no amount of sorcery could compare to.

#2. Deadpool: You cried for it, as did we. The “Merc with a Mouth” is a writer’s dream come true, and a game that breaks down the fourth wall would be a welcome change. A game that embraces the comic’s mature content, mixed with its trademark humor could offer a game that is both as refreshing and trailblazing as the masked assassin.

And now, without further ado, we arrive at the top spot on our list. Behold, the game that we must have before any other, and hope that the end product will be as much of a masterpiece as the comic on which its based:

#1. The Locke Family – Locke & Key

Locke & Key

If you haven’t already read Joe Hill’s Locke & Key, do yourself a favor and pick it up. Believe us when we tell you that the storytelling is most likely different from anything you’ve seen before. Published by IDW,  the story follows the Locke family as they try to put the shocking murder of their father behind them. The family honors their father’s wishes by returning to his childhood home, “Keyhouse”, a place he’d said they would always be safe. Their uncle Duncan welcomes the family, and it isn’t long before the kids soon discover that the house is full of magical secrets: some wonderful, others dark.

The first story arc follows the youngest son, Bode, as he discovers a hidden key which when placed in a certain door, turns anyone who walks through it into a ghost. The potential for levels of gameplay are limitless, with Bode using his newfound gift in order to protect his family from their father’s escaped killer. More keys are soon discovered, granting the holder the ability to change gender, travel anywhere in the world, and even gain the ability to look into (and alter) another person’s mind, all revealing ever larger pieces of the greater mystery surrounding their father’s secret past.

Locke & Key Head Games

A constant source of tension is the mysterious woman who seems to be living in the family’s well, communicating only with Bode. As time passes, we discover that she is not what she seems, and is using her dark powers to shape events far beyond the small family. Although kind at first, it soon becomes clear that she knows far more about Bode’s keys and his father than she claims to, and may have had a hand in the family’s misfortune.

Why We Need a Locke & Key Video Game

The drama that unfolds around this family is heart-wrenching and truly terrifying; a story that could only be written by Joe Hill, the son of horror-master Stephen King. I won’t go into spoilers, but the idea of having to explore the house, uncovering its secrets one by one in a race against the clock is a gaming experience that is sorely needed. Add to it Gabriel Rodriguez’s fantastic visual style, which reflects Hill’s combination of childhood fantasy and dark horror, and you have the makings of a fan favorite video game franchise.

The story of Locke & Key can’t be understated. It’s the kind of comic book that can be handed to someone who has never read one, and they will instantly see what the medium of graphic novels can provide that nothing else can. When people who play videogames read it, it’s difficult to not immediately realize how powerful the story is, and how much that could be amplified if you were experiencing it firsthand. Experts will tell you that gameplay offers a physical and visceral connection to an experience that almost nothing can match, and the concept of living Locke & Key firsthand is both exciting and unnerving. What more could you ask from a game?

With the recent success of Limbo and the growing fervor over Portal 2, the time has never been better for more intelligent puzzlers. And a game built around the different properties of each hidden key, and abilities granted to those who use them could offer an incredibly layered problem-solving game. But a storyline is what can really pull gamers along, since hours will be spent pouring over a riddle only if the stakes are high enough to the player. It’s stories like that of Locke & Key that will set the bar higher industry-wide, and drive creative minds to think of more intelligent game designs.

Kurtzman and Orci, the writing team that gave us Star Trek, are committed to Fox’s upcoming television adaptation of the series, along with Steven Spielberg. That means that this story may get a chance to be told to a much larger group of people, although Fox has a track record of cancelling properties that focus more on story than ratings. But if the series garners positive attention, then the chances of a quality Locke & Key game get a lot better, which is good news for everyone.

If we want to get to a point where video games are considered a legitimate art form, then works of art like Joe Hill and Gabe Rodriguez’s Locke & Key can help us get there.

So there you have it, the 7 characters that we here at Game Rant are impatiently waiting to see receive the video game treatment. Not just out of love for the writers or artists, but because of the new life they would breathe into the gaming world. Make no mistake, we could go on for days about every single comic book that we would simply love to have more of, or characters we would wish to embody. But what about you, ranters? Which comic book or character would have you jumping for joy, or which of ours had you screaming in protest? Personally, I’m waiting for an Archie Comics MMORPG, but I think any of the titles on our list will probably be released before then.

And to you comic lovers out there who resist the urge to say “I told you so!” every time a property is translated to film or a game, and instead simply take pleasure in the fact that more people will be able to share in a great experience, we say:

Excelsior!

8 Comments

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  1. Locke and Key has been one of my favorite comic book series I have ever read. You might not think it would be appealing but it really is fantastic.

  2. Now, by “Comic Characters”, do you mean specifically American comic books? Because there’s a lot of Japanese manga that deserve a chance at having their own video game.

    Maybe a video game based on Blade of the Immortal? The character Manji is like Wolverine, in that he’s basically immortal and no wound, no matter how severe, can kill him. To end his curse of immortality, he’s destined to kill one thousand evil men. That premise basically guarantees a long game. I can see it as a cross between Onimusha and Way of the Samurai.

    Get to it, game developers.

    • Sounds like one of the coolest premises I’ve ever actually heard. I will definitely be looking into this one next time I’m at the comics store. Thanks!

  3. This Locke & Key comic sounds awesome. I’ve been out of comics for a while but I’m going to have to check this out.

  4. Judge Dread has already become a game. It is for the xBox. I have it. But great site none the less!

  5. poorly written!
    names from the list already have their own games!

    Judge Dredd has multiple games for SNES, PC and GC/PS2/Xbox
    Marvel MMO, not really an MMO but we have Ultimates and Imprefects

    John Constantine? as in Constantine? because there is a movie of it and a video game of the movie:/

    • ‘Dredd vs Death’ and the other Dredd shooters are not what we’re talking about. We want a real game that deals with the real issues of the comics, not just an on-rails shooter that is set in the environment.

      Marvel MMO means a fully-realized, persistent world RPG, both ‘Ultimate Alliance’ and ‘Nemesis’ are Marvel-skinned beat-em-ups. Great games, but not what we’re talking about here.

      As for ‘Constantine’, we want a game based on the comic book, the real story of Hellblazer. Not Keanu Reeves’ Los Angeles demon-fighting.

      Check out the columns for each, and let us know if you still think we don’t have it right, or if our ideas are still not quite what you’d like to see.

  6. You are right at although points that We need game which is base on comics. I am also curious to marvel game which is depend on the comics book. But I assume that It would be not happen,.

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