Comic Book IPs That Have Become Video Games

Video Games and Zebra Comics on the Zebra Comics Blog

Let us state this from right from the start: the video gaming industry is a juggernaut! Whether you like it or not, it is almost impossible to talk about entertainment today without talking about video games. The sector has grown so much that it has become the highest grossing entertainment business in the world. According to Gameranx, “today, gaming is the largest category in the entertainment industry, with revenues that far exceed those of both the film and music industries. In 2023, the gaming industry is expected to be worth more than $200 billion in global revenues, five times greater than global movie box office revenues.” This is extraordinary!


Many reasons point to the success of this domain. Firstly, and most prominently, video games are immersive entertainment. This means that video gamers, during a gaming session, usually take control of characters or objects and control them through missions or obstacles until they reach a final goal. This experience makes gamers feel like an extension of them is found in these characters or objects that they control, thereby immersing them fully in the experience. The consequence of this level of immersion is that video games can become addictive. Also, video games are great mediums for storytelling. Usually, in video game genres like action adventures and role playing games, gamers are called upon to follow fictional characters through immersive and highly enjoyable stories. Combine all of these and you have a medium that can hook practically anybody.


Undoubtedly, the video games sector deserves all the popularity it attracts. The question, however, is: what inspires the creation of these games? Frankly, inspiration for the creation of video games can come from anywhere. Novels, movies, books, day to day life, historical events and even comics have been the object of inspiration for the creation of video games. 

Superman_Atari_2600_on the Zebra comics blog


As far as comics and video games are concerned, the two have had history which dates as far back as the existence of earliest video game consoles. In 1979, the video game “Superman” was released for the Atari 2600 system. This is the earliest known video game based on comics. Several decades down the line, comic books have been such an inspiration for the creation of video games that choosing what to play from the existing catalogue of comic book based video games can be a nightmare. After Superman in 1979, hundreds of other video games have been released on consoles, PC and even mobile devices. To give you a good idea of how much comic books have influenced video game creation, take a look at the list of comic book franchises that inspired the creation of video games below.

1. Spiderman Series

One of the most popular superheroes out there, Spiderman is one of those characters which people love because of his heroic abilities, his human story and his relationship with other characters. His adventures are also quite epic, making him a solid candidate for video game adaptation. The most popular games based on this character include: Marvel’s Spider-Man (2018), Spider-Man: Miles Morales (2020), Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions (2010) and Spider-Man And Venom: Maximum Carnage (1994)

2. Superman Series

One of the most popular superheroes from DC Comics, Superman has been a titular character that has appeared in video games severally. The character’s backstory, supporting characters, villains and his sheer power present great opportunities to design great games. Great games that feature Superman include Superman: Shadow Of Apokolips (2002), Injustice 2 (2017), LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes (2012) and The Death And Return Of Superman (1994).

3. Batman

There is hardly any comic fan who does not know Batman. From comics to cinema, Batman has thrilled fans with its dark themes, gripping story and emblematic characters. Batman himself is such an amazing character that video game developers could not resist the idea of creating video games based on him. Consequently, several top quality games have been developed based on the Batman series. Some of these games are Batman: The Telltale Series, Batman: Arkham Knight, Batman: Arkham City and Batman: Arkham Asylum.

Batman Arkham Knight on the Zebra Comics Blog

4. Marvel’s The Avengers

The Avengers on the Zebra comics blog

Fans of Marvel Comics will certainly tell you that some of their best reads were experienced when reading the adventures of the Avengers. The assembling of multiple leading characters like Captain America, T’Chala, Iron Man, The Hulk, Thor, Black widow, The Winter Soldier and Ant Man, amongst many others, attracted so many fans to this series. The success of the blockbuster movies based on these characters also helped build the franchise’ popularity. But before the blockbuster movies, there were video games based on these characters. Some of these games include, Marvel Ultimate Alliance (2006), Guardians of the Galaxy: A Telltale Series (2017), and Marvel’s Avengers (2020).

5. X-Men

Like many other superheroes on the Marvel Comics catalogue, the X-Men boast of very very memorable and epic characters. On the list, we find characters like Cyclops, Magneto, Professor Xavier, Iceman and Wolverine. Like other Marvel franchises, the X-Men have enjoyed success in cinema. Also, video games based on this franchise have seen immense success. Some of these games are X-MEN Legends II: Rise Of Apocalypse (2005), Marvel vs Capcom 2 (2000) and X-MEN Origins: Wolverine (2009).

Xmen game on the zebra comics blog

6. The Punisher

A very dark character who leans more on the antihero side of things, the punisher has been a very controversial character in the Marvel Comics Universe. This controversy, however, has not stopped the IP from being adapted into movies, tv shows and video games. Arcade video game fans of the nineties know this character too well as they surely had memorable experiences button bashing hordes of enemies out of the murderous character’s way. Great games based on The Punisher IP include The Punisher (2004), The Punisher (1993) and The Punisher: No Mercy (2009).

The punisher game on the zebra comics blog

7. Deadpool

Deadpool game on the zebra comics blog

If humour was a person then he should be Deadpool. Another controversial superhero who is highly loved by fans, Deadpool has seen success not only in comics but also in cinema. The Deadpool movies performed very well at the box office but that does not end there, there are also video game adaptations based on this hilarious comic book character. Some great games where you will find Deadpool are Marvel vs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds (2011), Marvel Heroes (2013) and Deadpool (2013).

8. Scott Pilgrim Vs The World

Based on a graphic novel by Bryan Lee O’Malley, this video game garnered critical acclaim more than the movie adaptation. Like most games, this adaptation stayed true to the source material and delivered a final product that thrilled video game lovers around the world.

Scott Pilgrim Vs The World Game on the Zebra Comics Blog

9. The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead comics are some of the best comics on the market today. Combining masterful storytelling and eye popping art, this IP has seen its content adapted into tv shows and video games. The tv show is a masterpiece as far as sheer storytelling and entertainment are concerned and the video games are some of the best in the market today. Some of the best games based on The Walking Dead series include The Walking Dead: Season 2, The Walking Dead: The Final Season and The Walking Dead: Season 1.

In this game, Fairytale characters are being murdered in a hard-boiled, violent and mature way. It is a thriller based on the award-winning Fables comic book series (DC Comics/Vertigo) by Bill Willingham. As Bigby Wolf, you will discover that a brutal, bloody murder is just a taste of things to come in a game series where your every decision can have enormous consequences.

The wolf among us video game on the zebra comics blog

Without doubt, video games and comics have a solid history together. This history, as seen above, has produced so many great video games which have entertained millions across the globe. This movement has even taken root in less developed video gaming markets like Africa. A notable example is a company like Kiro’o Games which produced the game Aurion: Legacy of the Kori Odan. This game started out solely as a video game project but later on, it inspired the creation of a graphic novel. In this case, the video game may have come before the comics, but this is a shout out to video game production giants, calling upon them to turn their gaze to Africa when they want to invest in transmedia. This is because the continent boasts of highly interesting and innovative comics that are based on African cultures and traditions and which can be great inspiration for the creation of groundbreaking video games.

Aurion legacy of the kori-odan game on the zebra comics blog
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