Tripping over Adaptations of the DC Universe

In the past few years, we’ve seen a huge surge in popularity towards the comic book universes, particularly where Marvel and DC are concerned (sometimes it’s easy to forget there are others, it’s just that those two are big, loud and rich). Of course, these comics have always held a strong cult following, and are celebrated regularly at conventions, trade shows– you name it. One of the biggest reasons for their more recent surge into the limelight would be due to the numerous adaptations of their more well known and popular stories that have been made. People love to love, and hate, those adaptations, and it’s brought those stories back into the light and connected those comics to an audience that perhaps previously didn’t think much of their existence. The Marvel Universe has been churning out movie after sequel after adaptation, and three spidermans later, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who hasn’t seen a Marvel movie in the last few years. DC has also been catching up, bringing back a small plethora of Supermans, plus the occasional Batman and of course, Wonder Woman as it’s most recent crown jewel.

Besides the movies, however, there is another form of adaptation that I believe to be frequently overlooked, which captures not just the big overarching comics that everyone is more than familiar with, but some of the smaller series that are more well hidden from public view. Video game adaptations are usually pretty interesting, and there are dozens of them in all different styles if you look. I’ve found one of the most successful companies in this venture is Telltale Games. They have done a number of games series in their episodic game style, both adapted from other video games and TV shows. What I’d like to talk about here, however, is their adaptations of comics into detailed games. They’ve used a number of well known comics in their work– Guardians of the Galaxy, Batman, and even The Walking Dead. The one I’d like to talk about, however, is a comic series I never would have discovered if it weren’t for Telltale– Fables, a rather extensive series by DC that was adapted into the game, “The Wolf Among Us.”

Telltale Games is known for their choose-your-own-path, every action has a consequence type style, and the visuals keep to a really beautiful kind of comic-style art. That was part of what drew me to the Wolf Among Us in the first place, along with it being one of three games on Steam that are actually available on Mac products. The game itself is pretty gorey, and it has a good bit of agency within the ability of the main character to move around, investigate and both to find and miss important factors. The game series takes a departure from the plot of the Fables series, although the characters remain the same, and there is a webcomic that was both announced and published in 2014, and that came to a close in 2015.


I, like many of the people I know, didn’t really know much about comics outside of the giant movie franchises, so for me this game became an important step into foreign territory. After playing the game, which ends on a cliffhanger, I was urged by someone who’d also played the game to check out the series it was based on. As a result, I blew all of my money on ripping through the series, and it opened up a whole new world of stories and styles I never knew existed. Those video game adaptations created a connection for me into lesser-known series that I never would have known existed, and I plan on continuing to scour Steam for more of those stylized adaptations in the future.





5 thoughts on “Tripping over Adaptations of the DC Universe

  1. The biggest problem I have with The Wolf Among Us was the fact that the entire plot hinges on a society that wouldn’t otherwise abuse the Glamour spell. At a certain point, I expected the storyline to shift into Invasion of the Pod People considering anyone Bigby ran into could potentially be another person using a Glamor spell. Think about it. you have access to magic that can make you look exactly like anyone else and only one or two people in the the game actually take advantage of that? Moreover, Bigby doesn’t even for a moment suspect that Snow, Jack, Toad, or anyone else he meets could potentially be someone else using a Glamor.

    1. The plot of the video game is not perfect by any means, but I enjoyed the animation style, and what I really meant to point at was the fact that it served as an excellent jumping-off point into the comic book series that the game was based on.

      1. I agree, the style is so different from the ultra-smoothness lots of animators try to strive for, and you could say the game is a gateway into comics! And while I like to pick apart stories, sometimes just playing for the enjoyment of the experience is much more satisfying (and doesn’t leave me angry).

      2. I’m too attracted to storytelling regardless of how well something is animated. It’s why I haven’t even touched Telltale’s Batman Series or The Walking Dead series. The choices you make are so arbitrary sometimes, and what’s frustrating to me is that what I believe would be the most obvious choices, if I were the person in the story, are not available.

        I also don’t appreciate the lack of variance–how you can either be extremely nice and easygoing in some situations or violent and mean in other situations, and virtually achieve the same outcome regardless.

  2. Big franchises by far have more media coverage and exposure than the smaller ones. I totally agree that Telltale helped shed light onto comics through The Wolf Among Us; Though they did have to get major popularity through games like The Walking Dead in order to have ‘lesser’ series draw more attention. I can’t necessarily say that using popular media/content/franchises is a BAD thing, though your wording “big, loud and rich” is all too true!

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