My question of the moment: what was the first comic book based on a video game? What was an actual video game that was successful enough to prompt someone to publish a comic book based on the same character(s) and concept(s)?
Obviously, we don't have to go back more than a few decades since video games weren't really commercially available until the late 1970s. But nonetheless, I don't see a definitive answer online anywhere offhand. So this post is me doing some research.
Here is a list of comics from ComicBookDB when I do a search on "video games." The earliest one cited here is Atari Force from 1982. But while that was used to promote video games, there wasn't an actual Atari Force video game itself.
The next oldest one on the list after that is a Double Dragon comic from 1991. The original Double Dragon game debuted in 1987. But those dates seem awfully late to me. A full decade of popular video games before any were popular enough to warrant their own comic? That just doesn't sound right to me.
There was indeed a lone Centipede promotional comic produced in 1983. The plot, according to the GCDB, was fairly simple: "Oliver, the littlest elf, and his friends rescue the town from the evil Wizard's plan to turn all of the mushrooms (elves' main food supply) into poisonous toadstools." I believe it came packaged with the Atari 2600 version of the game and is thus a little smaller than your typical newsstand comic. I had a copy of the game back in the day, but I don't ever recall seeing the comic; I suspect it was not included in the original release of the game in 1982 and only added to later editions.
Granted, I'm going from memory in these searches, but it stands to reason that the game IPs most likely to cross over into other platforms would be the most popular (i.e. memorable) ones, so I think it makes sense to focus on those. Frogger? Nothing. Pong? Nothing. Asteroids? Nothing. Q*bert? Nothing.
So is that it? We got one issue of Centipede in 1983 and nothing else for almost a decade? Surely, I'm missing something. Help me out here, internet!
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