Normally, I don’t buy separate issues of comics but tend to go for a volume right away because it’s more coherent and you can go through the story with fewer cliffhanger breaks.
That being said, I got these in a Humble Comic Book Bundle awhile ago, so separate it is! These issues are telling the story of book 1 in the A Song of Ice and Fire-series. The credits for all of these 4 comics are the same:
Comic, 32 pages
Published September 2011 by Dynamite
“The premiere issue introduces readers to George’s world, adapting the prologue and first three chapters of the novel, and bringing onto the graphic stage such iconic characters as Eddard and Catelyn Stark, Jon Snow, young Bran Stark, and Daenerys Targaryen.”
I’m just going to assume that everyone here knows at least something about the Game of Thrones series, either by watching the series or reading the books. Or both. This is why I’m not going to introduce any of the characters (if the comic issues would follow the normal books completely, there would be way too many of those anyways).
This comic book was slightly disappointing. I think it’s partly due to having seen and read this particular part of the series so often, but also because the storytelling felt a bit rigid to me. If I wasn’t already acquainted with the story, it would’ve been impossible for me to grasp what the hell was going on and who was who exactly. This came as a surprise because I’ve read some of Daniel Abraham’s other work and loved it.
Then there’s the artwork. I was disappointed in that as well. Maybe it’s because the characters’ faces don’t resemble the actors from the series, but that’s something which shouldn’t be too much of a bother once you just focus on the story. I think it has more to do with the fact that all characters of the same sex look so much alike. And then there is the depiction of their ages; some of them look either a lot older or younger than they actually should be. Take Viserys Targaryen. He should be 22 years old, if I’m correct, yet looks like he’s in his 40’s or even older.
That being said, I still enjoyed reading it because, hey, it’s Game of Thrones and I love the books to bits. 3 brownies for this one.
Kindle Edition, 34 pages
Published January 18th, 2012 by Bantam
“For Eddard Stark, Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North, a new role now beckons: Hand of the King—a position of power second only to his majesty himself. But is a life at court, in luxurious King’s Landing, any life for a hardened man of action like Eddard? Is the king’s invitation an honor he can refuse—or a mandate he cannot ignore, when faced with shocking revelations of treachery on high?”
While this one was better storywise, I really didn’t like the graphics when it came to the faces of the characters.
It’s not that the graphics are bad in general. It’s just really the facial features I got annoyed with. I don’t remember having such a strong aversion to it in the first issue. They’ve been drawn by the same artist, so that can’t explain the subtle difference. Maybe it’s just my lady hormones right now…
Luckily, the storyline flows smooth here, staying true to the book and picking out the most important scenes to do so in an understandable way. It’s why this one is getting a slightly higher rating from me.
I don’t believe I have seen Arya or Sansa yet so far, but I definitely hope to see them in the next one!
Published February 1st, 2012 by Dynamite Entertainment
“King Robert has come to Winterfell, accompanied by his Lannister queen, Cersei; her son, Prince Joffrey; and her brothers, Jamie and the dwarf Tyrion, called the Imp. In their train come intrigue, treachery, and attempted murder that will shake House Stark to its very foundations. Meanwhile, across the Narrow Sea, the marriage between Daenerys Targaryen and the Dothraki horse lord Khal Drogo wins her brother Viserys a dangerous new ally in his quest to reclaim the Iron Throne.”
Whooo, there’s Arya and Sansa in the opening scene. I believe this is the best one so far. The graphics are less irritating and the story pace picked up a notch, making me finish this one in less than ten minutes.
The Hound looks exactly like I would’ve pictured him from reading the books. Khal Drogo looks amazing(ly hot).
There are quite a bit of boobies in this one, but so are there in the normal books and, well, hello HBO(OB). I’m giving this one 4 brownies.
“Death comes to Winterfell in the fourth installment of Daniel Abraham’s thrilling adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s fantasy masterwork A Game of Thrones. Bran Stark lies broken, in a coma from which he may never awaken. Yet his would-be killers dare not leave his death to chance. And now is the time to strike. Bran’s father, Eddard Stark, has left for King’s Landing to serve as the Hand of the King. Bran’s bastard brother, Jon Snow, rides north to join the brotherhood of the Night’s Watch. Robb, his trueborn brother, has all of Winterfell in his charge. And his mother, Catelyn, is worn out with grieving. Who can protect the young lord”
And back to more annoyance with the graphics in this one. That’s Jon Snow there on the cover. All he needs is an Indian headdress and this could be a cover of a Winnetou novel…
The story’s moving along nicely, though, which is why I’m giving it 3.5 brownies.
I think these comic books work best for hardcore fans of the book and/or TV series who just can’t get enough. At first, I thought it would be a nice way to get acquainted with the series for newbies or people who just don’t like to read 700+ paged books. However, I don’t think I would recommend these ones to those people. So much is being left out to fill in the gaps with your imagination and it really doesn’t do the general story any justice.
So, bonus material for fans it is!
Links to the books:
If you’re interested in this series, I recommend buying the volumes instead of the issues. It’s certainly cheaper compared to buying the issues separately! Volume 1 contains issues #1-6: