George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones has become a cultural phenomenon. The series has been a critical and commercial success as the fantasy realm that Martin created nearly 20 years ago has become part of mainstream pop culture. How does Dynamite Entertainment’s attempt at capturing the violent and twisted series in comic book form fare? Read on… Here’s the official description from Dynamite Entertainment:
After the death of Viserys, Khal Drogo seems content to forget his promise to conquer Westeros for his wife, Daenerys-until an assassination attempt stirs him to vows of vengeance. Vengeance is also in the air at King’s Landing, where Joffrey, newly enthroned, names Tywin Lannister as the King’s Hand while Sansa Stark pleads for the life of her father, now named a traitor to the crown.
Daniel Abraham (2012 Hugo Award Runner-up, Best Novel, for Leviathan Wakes) has taken on the challenge of adapting Martin’s work and, in this issue, gives his best effort to the difficult task of handling so many different characters. Lady Catelyn Stark is his best work, coming across as the powerful matriarch she is. That being said, in this issue it’s hard to get a read of any of the other characters with the possible exception of Ned Stark. For a story driven by its characters, the lack of attention to their personalities comes off as a bit of a disappointment, but it could easily be a problem within this one issue.
The artwork, provided by Tommy Patterson (Farscape), is eye catching at times. I particularly enjoyed his work in the court of King Joffery and the Iron Throne. Patterson certainly relates a feel of uncertainty while Joffrey and his mother make decisions about the fate of various aspects of his newly gained Kingdom. Patterson also does an excellent job of using his artwork to detail the pain and despair of Ned Stark’s stay in the dungeons while he awaits his fate.
A solid attempt at capturing a popular novel series and TV show in comic form, A Game of Thrones #18 is worth a look.