It must be tough turning a first-peron shoot ’em up into a comic book. After all, you need to be loyal to the game as well as interest the readers enough to have them want to come back for more. You can’t simply fill 22 odd pages with shooting at random alien bad guys. And, thankfully, Ram V hasn’t had to work too slavishly with the ‘shoot ’em up’ aspect of this much loved game franchise, Quake: Champions.
We are given enough of a glimpse at The Ranger’s backstory–leaving his family behind two decades earlier with only a fading photo as a reminder–but it’s enough to break up the shooting action which did at first seem relentless before this break in the violence. There is a creeping undertone of horror to this flashback, and I liked it. Doe she even remember that long back? And, will he ever see them again given the length of time he’s been gone form the family? Maybe this series will provide the answers.
Having said that, in the hands of artist Alan Quah, this comic becomes a thing of brutal beauty. Quah admittedly delivers page after page of showdowns and shoot outs, but his artwork–and especially the color work by Komikai Studios (featuring Sean Lee) seems painted and the Hellverse’s levels and inhabitants seem to be straight out of Dante’s Inferno as a result. Yes, this is pure sci-fi, but the world of Quake, with its ancient looking architectur, its cavernous hallways and corridors all adorned with delicate detail, look like the science-fiction equivalent of Hell.
With the quippy dialogue provided by Ram V this goes a long way to creating a glimpse of a story that will keep fans of the game interested, and also saving it from being a mindless shoot out page after page after page. A hard one to pull off, but pull it off they have.
Quake: Champions #1 is out now from Titan Comics.