Beyond the Cube | Revolution Software's Comics

By Drew Hurley 11.06.2016

Beyond the Cube | Revolution Software's Comics

Continuing Cubed3's look back at Revolution Software's work as part of the 25th Anniversary celebrations, it is time to look at some bonus comics released for certain titles. Welcome to the new-look Beyond the Cube, analysing game-related goodness that takes place outside of the confines of traditional platforms.

The adaptation of games to comics, along with spin-off stories in established worlds, has always been very hit and miss; some new stories have expanded the universe and lore, while others have been so bad that fans pretend they never existed.

Image for Beyond the Cube | Revolution Software

There have been plenty of versions of gaming comics over the years, from the early days of Sonic the Comic, which gave fortnightly stories to not only the titular Hedgehog speedster, to numerous other popular Mega Drive titles, giving a whole new world to releases like Ecco the Dolphin, Streets of Rage (penned by Mark Millar!), Golden Axe and more, right through to more recent adaptations like Archie Comics' Sonic/Mega Man crossover.

Alongside the regular comics published by the industry, there are also regularly comics produced independently by the game's producers to accompany the special edition version of their releases. Broken Sword joined this trend with the remakes of the first and second titles in 2009 and 2010 adding a short comic that expands slightly upon the moments before the very start of the adventure.

Image for Beyond the Cube | Revolution Software

Both were produced by one of the most prominent British comic book producers, Dave Gibbons, who has produced some iconic works in the world of comics over the years, including the phenomenal Watchmen. He had a history with Revolution after producing the background art for the company's title, Beneath a Steel Sky.

The comics are quite short. Gibbons produced one for Beneath a Steel Sky, along with the two Broken Sword remakes. The Shadow of the Templars comic is just six pages and looks at the history of series favourite, Nico Collard - falling in love with photography on her 12th birthday, her relationship and tragedy of her father, and so on. It then sets up the events immediately preceding the PC adventure, with Nico getting her interview with Pierre Carchon, while George Stobbart heads to a certain café and bumps into some familiar faces. The Smoking Mirror comic again takes a look at Nico, this time seeing her get neck deep in action and trouble as she infiltrates Zarzak's drug operation. It's another great setup for the beginning of the game. Gibbons signature style is all over them, with the characters and colours looking like they have been pulled straight from Watchmen.

Image for Beyond the Cube | Revolution Software

The Beneath a Steel Sky comic also directly precedes the events of that age-old classic. This 10-page tale depicts how Robert Foster came to live in the gap and how he is taken back to Union City. Thanks to his work on the actual title, Gibbons manages to capture the feel of the game, with the comic looking more akin to his earlier 2000 AD work.

Each of these comics are great examples of the right way of making accompanying pieces to game releases, taking a legitimate and established comic artist to produce them, using the established story and expanding upon it, as well as giving the fans a glimpse into the lives of their favourite characters. It's just a shame that the comics are so short, as a full 30 or so page comic would have been fantastic.

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