If anyone watched last week’s Game of Thrones then they now know that the show has actually been a giant product placement for Starbucks all along. Now that the mandatory Game of Thrones/Starbucks joke is out of the way, it’s time to talk about comic books. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that Game of Thrones has a lot in common with comic books. Both are full of fantastical stories that take place over a long period of time. There’s a lot of people out there wondering what they should do with their lives after Game of Thrones ends. Fear not! We’ve got everyone covered. Grab a cup of Starbucks coffee and check out the list to see which comic books people need to read if they love Game of Thrones!
Northlanders introduced audiences to a cast of hunky bearded warriors before Vikings even aired. It’s actually pretty surprising that there hasn’t been any major studios showing interest in adapting Northlanders after the massive success of Vikings.
Sure, Northlanders focuses on ancient vikings while Game of Thrones focuses on medieval knights. Yet, the comic book similarly focuses on family drama, political intrigue, and barbaric violence….oh so much barbaric violence. Northlanders also isn’t afraid to pull any punches. Crucial characters die in ways both tragic and compelling. New readers are encouraged to read the series from the beginning. However, Northlanders is an anthology series so people can really jump in at any time. The fourth volume of the series is a particular highlight.
9 Secret Wars
Marvel's Secret Wars (2015) crossover has the guts to do what Avengers: Endgame was afraid of doing. Ant-Man jumps up Thanos’ butt and mercs The Mad Titan from the inside. It’s crazy. There’s like a whole splash page devoted to this scene.
Yeah, literally none of that happens in Secret Wars. What does in fact happen is a lot of Game of Thrones-y stuff. The story centers around Dr. Doom turning the entire Marvel Universe into a Westeros like land scape called Battle World. Dr. Doom sits on the comic book’s version of the Iron Throne. Doctor Strange acts as Dr. Doom’s advisor just like how Tyrion is The Hand of The King. One particular aspect of the comic book that’s crazy cool is that there is an army of Thors (yes, plural) that serve as Dr. Doom’s kings guard. Thor is a lot like Jaime…except that he doesn’t hook up with any family members or giant women. Secret Wars is brilliant in that it’s able to balance the soap opera double crossing of its characters while also containing some really profound themes about redemption. Does it sound enough like Game of Thrones yet?
8 The Magic Order
The Magic Order is being recommended simply because it has the word magic in the title. Game of Thrones has magic, right? Or something?
Joking aside, The Magic Order has a lot in common with Game of Thrones. Specifically, the comic book is a very adult take on the fantasy genre. What Game of Thrones is to Lord of the Rings is what The Magic Order is to Harry Potter. The Magic Order is about a family of wizards that have protected the entire world from evil since the beginning of time. The entire series takes place in the present day. It’s awesome to see absurdly violent wizard battles take place in city streets. It’s also like Game of Thrones due to the fact that the drama centers around a dysfunctional family. Fun fact: The Magic Order is the first comic book to be produced by Netflix. It’s safe to assume a Netflix show might on the horizon.
7 Thor: God of Thunder
No one draws a frowny face quite like Esad Ribic. His luscious art brings to life writer Jason Aaron’s story of Thor searching for a creature that has been murdering gods. The comic book’s plot structure closely resembles the first season of Game of Thrones.
Ned Stark wanted to solve the mystery surround Jon Arryn’s death. Similarly, Thor desires to find out who exactly is taking down the gods. What’s really interesting is that Thor: God of Thunder spans over the course of centuries. Readers see Thor go from a young man to an elderly king. The story also features plenty of medieval action and creatures that one would find in Game of Thrones.
6 Planet Hulk
If audiences think it’s strange to watch Professor Hulk speak in Avengers: Endgame, they should’ve been around when Planet Hulk was first released. There was a nation wide fervor surrounding around how ridiculous it all seemed to have The Hulk talk like a normal person. Petitions were even made to pull the comic books from the shelf.
Literally none of that ever happened. The point still stands that the Hulk talks like a normal guy in Planet Hulk. This comic book series is for the people who love the trial by combat scenes in Game of Thrones. If anyone has seen Thor: Ragnarok then they’ll kind of know what to expect. The Hulk is sent to a planet where he is forced to battle various creatures in a gladiator pit. There’s also a ton of fun political sub-plots. If anything it’s worth reading just to see The Hulk battle The Silver Surfer.
5 Savage Sword of Conan
Since we’re on the topic of Conan the Barbarian, does anyone remember the part in the 1982 movie where he punches a horse in the face?
Marvel’s recent Savage Sword of Conan comic book series is sword and sorcery storytelling at its purest. Conan is an interesting character due to the fact that he works well in both grounded or fantasy storytelling. However, if someone loves Game of Thrones chances are that they love straight up fantasy stories. Savage Sword of Conan offers up everything from pirates to undead armies. The comic book has only been out for a few a few months so Conan veterans and newcomers alike will enjoy the series.
4 Seven to Eternity
There’s a bad guy in Seven to Eternity named the Mud King. If one were to just hear the name "Mud King" they probably wouldn’t think the guy is too threatening. If he’s made of mud then just let the guy go out into the sun and turn into clay. Problem solved.
The reality is that the Mud King is merely the nickname for an evil tyrant that has the ability to control people’s thoughts. Everyone in the world has bent the knee to the Mud King except for a guy named Adam. This doesn’t make life easy for Adam. Seven to Eternity is stuffed with jaw dropping artwork by artist Jerome Opena. Neon butterflies, giant lizards, and elves fill up each panel. The story also discusses the powerful theme of doing what’s right in the face of chaos. Sort of like our boy Jon Snow.
If anyone’s ever wanted to see a woman with a T.V. head give birth to a T.V. head baby, Saga is the comic book for them. Saga is pretty much one of the biggest comics currently on the stands. Any self-respecting comic book reader is probably already caught up with Saga. However, if the uninitiated need another reason to read it then they should know that it’s a lot like Game of Thrones.
Saga is like Game of Thrones in terms of its sheer scope and long narrative pay-offs. This is is a comic book that is completely beholden to its serialized nature. It’s about a couple that fall in love and have a baby. Unfortunately, the man and women happen to come from two different planets that have been at war for years. The very existence of their child forces the couple to go on the run from those planets’ respective governments. It’s also like Game of Thrones in that it uses the fantasy genre to reflect our current social and political dilemmas. Also, people die. So that is another way it’s sort of like real life and Game of Thrones.
2 The Dark Tower
Stephen King and George R.R. Martin are very similar. Both of their work has a penchant for violence, fantasy, and compelling characters. The fundamental difference between the two authors is that King is able to publish fifty novels by the time Martin has written half of one book.
The Dark Tower and Game of Thrones are typically lumped together when people debate over which story stands as the best modern fantasy series. Stephen King’s magnum opus was originally published as a series of novels, but its also been adapted into a critically acclaimed comic books series. The Dark Tower focuses on a gunslinger named Roland Deschain as he travels across the fictional land of Mid-World in search of The Man in Black. The idea is that gunslingers take the place of knights in Mid-World. Imagine a bunch of cowboys squaring off in castles. Is it all kind of weird? Sure. Is it all amazing? Definitely. The comic book adaptation features an awesomely realized world full of tough characters, frightening creatures, and dope battle sequences. Artist Jai Lee brings everything to life in hauntingly gorgeous detail.
People should think of the worst nightmare they’ve ever had and multiply that by infinity. It’s the closest one gets to understanding Berserk, but even then no one will quite grasp it until they actually read the manga.
Yes, Berserk is a manga and that means people will have to read it from right to left. Get over it. Berserk is not only the best manga ever written, it’s one of the most powerful pieces of fiction of our time. This is one hundred percent the comic book equivalent to Game of Thrones. The story centers around lone swordsman, Guts, traveling through Midland — a fictionalized version of medieval Europe. He’s a tough as nails mercenary that wants to exact revenge on all of the demonic creatures in Mid-Land. The motivation behind Guts’ revenge plan is slowly teased out through a disturbing and beautiful story. If people think that Game of Thrones enjoys killing off it’s characters then they’ve seen nothing yet. Berserk is a brutal tale that at first glance seems hopeless, but reveals itself to actually be a story about how people will hold onto whatever light shines through the darkness, no matter how small that ray of light might be. What’re you waiting for? Go out and read Berserk.