If you’ve ever read a Stephen King novel, you probably will not be surprised to hear that Marvel Comics has begun to adapt some of his most well known works into graphic novels. The twisted and unique stories King is known for are a perfect fit for the comic book world.
The first major collaboration, The Dark Tower, based on the series by King, was a runaway hit. Now, Marvel has launched their second adaptation, The Stand, and if the first issue is any indication, it is going to be a huge success.
The Stand is a book of biblical size and scope. In its uncut form, the novel runs over a thousand pages. Instead of releasing one massive graphic novel, Marvel has decided to break the book into three limited series, the first of which is The Stand: Captain Trips.
King’s novel is the story of the end of the world. When a virus kills 99 percent of the world’s population, a few survivors are left to engage in an epic battle of good vs. evil. Considered by many to be King’s greatest work, The Stand: Captain Trips would’ve flown out of comic book stores even if it was drawn by a third grader.
Fortunately, the art so far is incredible. Mike Perkins, known to comic fans for his work on Captain America, has delivered one hell of a first issue. His artwork is vivid and realistic, yet still carries a distinctive comic book feel. A page that features the death of two characters in the first issue is by far one of the most horrific and haunting images seen in comics today.
Writing duties are handled by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa — whose past works include The Sensational Spiderman and Dead of Night — and he manages to do a great job in the face of what must be an impossibly daunting task. He adapts King’s style very well, but manages to avoid a simple cut and paste of dialogue from the novel. The pacing is great; you get just enough to leave you drooling for the next issue.
With the second issue due Oct. 8, this is a great time to jump into what is sure to be an awesome series. If you have never read King’s books before, The Stand comic book is a great way to introduce yourself to one of his best books. If you have read it, then you should be on your way to the comic book store right now.