Based on the novel by: George R. R. Martin
Adapted by: Landry Quinn Walker
Art by: Mel Rubi
Colors by: Omi Remalante Jr.
Letters by: Simon Bowland
Published by: Dynamite Entertainment
Gods Make Uncertain Allies
This first chapter of Clash of Kings opens with Ser Davos Seaworth returning to Dragonstone after his mission to the stormlords to gather support for Stannis’ claim to the throne of Westeros. The lords that would even speak to The Onion Knight have already declared for Stannis’ brother, Renly. Maester Cressen suggests to Stannis that the King of the Painted Table should ally with Robb Stark, who has been declared King of the North, but Stannis’ pride won’t allow him to settle for half a kingdom.
This comic series is an adaptation of the novel Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin, not HBO’s GoT television series by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. Although, including “Game of Thrones” right in the series title is a little misleading. There are characters and events explored in this book that aren’t shown on the series at all.
One of the things I really enjoy about the current adaptations of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods novel into both comics and a television show is that P. Craig Russell refuses to watch the show until he’s finished writing the comic series. He has willfully kept himself from enjoying one of the television events of the decade in order to keep his product uncontaminated by another adaptation.
Landry Quinn Walker has apparently taken a similar approach here. He isn’t trying to bank on the popularity of the show or any of the actors on the show in order to get a cheap pop. Dialogue and narration are taken verbatim or condensed straight from the pages of the source novel. If you read it in this comic book, you can bet it actually occurred in the source novel in almost exactly the same manner. That will save some of the retcon issues GoT show writers have had when they’ve altered timelines, characters, and events.
Mel Rubi’s artwork is meticulously faithful to George R.R. Martin’s vision of Westeros. The only resemblance between Rubi’s character design and the actors on GoT is where the actors were actually cast to fit Martin’s literary descriptions. Color choices by Omi Remalante Jr. compliment Rubi’s artwork beautifully to create a tone worthy of Martin’s epic. A couple particularly impressive details are Remalante’s consistency with light sources and the textures he adds to Rubi’s linework.
Clash of Kings is off to a solid start. Fans of the novel series will appreciate the care that has been taken with George R.R. Martin’s masterwork. If you’re a fan of fantasy, you may want to either start with the first Song of Ice and Fire novel, A Game of Thrones, or the previous series by Dynamite. There is some narrative exposition, but not enough to necessarily bring a brand new reader fully up to speed.