By Ashley Gibbs
Game of Thrones: A Clash of Kings #1 is a comic book adaptation of the second book in George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire, A Clash of Kings. Though there is also a television adaptation, this comic isn’t an adaptation of the HBO television series. While I have yet to read the books by Martin, I have seen the show so I was interested in reading this comic. I was hoping for a simplified version of the large books that focused on the important parts and used artwork to express Martin’s loquacious writing style. I enjoyed reading this issue, while some things came up from the book, there are many moments that I do recall from watching the television show.
The events in this issue focus on Maester Cressen at Dragonstone worrying about Stannis Baratheon and his growing desire for war. Stannis, the eldest of three brothers, is jealous that his brother Robert was king, and now his youngest brother Renly has loyal followers who want to help him reclaim the throne. There is a lot of rich history behind this family and all of the characters that show up in this issue though the main plot point is that Cressen wants what’s best for the Baratheon family and the entire kingdom but other voices whisper in Stannis’ ear. As Stannis is a proud man, the red priestess Melisandre uses this to her advantage urging him towards war to take what his “rightfully his” by force. The writing is handled well and there are also some flashbacks to certain moments mentioned by these don’t take up too many panels as not to distract from the story.
I enjoyed the artwork here, it was dark and serious to match the tone of the writing but not overly so. There is a good use of colors when need be, despite the story taking place in a horribly dreary castle. Melisandre is dressed from head to toe in red, cementing her place in the story has an important character. Flashback scenes are handled with a sepia tone helping them stand out from the rest of the story, their panels also have a different border. As this is based on the books directly, the characters looked like how they are described in the book by Martin and not their actors on the show.
If you’re a fan of the book series by Martin or even just a fan of the television show and maybe not in the mood to read all of the books at the moment then this comic series is a great idea for you. Game of Thrones: A Clash of Kings #1 is a good first issue and has a solid beginning, middle and end. It doesn’t leave readers feeling as if the story stopped on a random page in the novel. This fact was something that I certainly appreciated because while I know more exciting things are coming in the next issue, this story did not leave us on a painful cliffhanger in anticipation for issue #2.
Game of Thrones: A Clash of Kings #1
Writer: Landry Q. Walker
Artist: Mel Rubi
Colorist: Omi Remalante Jr.
Lettering: Simon Bowland
Publisher: Dynamite Comics