Before George RR Martin made it big with the success of the possibly never-to-be-finished Song of Ice and Fire novels, he was part of a unique project called Wild Cards. Wild Cards was, initially, a series of “mosaic novels,” which were linked short stories that painted a picture of a very different version of our world. In 1946, aliens from the planet Takis drop a virus on Earth that is violently unpredictable. 90% of the people exposed die in horrible ways. 9% become monsters with deformities, often physically disabled. And 1% gain amazing powers, becoming something like comic book superheroes. Now, Marvel is adapting the novels to a series titled Wild Cards: Drawing of Cards.
The first issue retells part of book one of the series. We meet several characters who will echo through decades of later storytelling, including Dr. Tachyon, the Takasian who tries to help Earth after it’s stricken by the Wild Card Virus; Jetboy, the hero of World War II who is having trouble readjusting to civilian life; and Dr. Tod, criminal mastermind who gives in to temptation despite his own resolve. There are a few other characters on the cover of the first issue who readers of the novels will recognize, but they’ll be showing up later, I expect.
This is a great adaptation of the beginning of a world that’s been built up over decades, through 30 novels and additional short stories. For fans of the books, which I definitely am, it’s a welcome new look at a great story. For those that haven’t read them, it’s a possible way in to a fantastic world. I’m not sure how long the comic series is going to last, but they have a lot of source material to work from and I’m hoping for a long run.
What I Liked: I’ve been a fan of the Wild Cards books since the series started in back in the 80’s. This was a great version of it. It was a good look at how this universe got started, and the characterizations were about perfect.
What I Didn’t: It was too short! My guess is that this is an initial limited series that, over four or five issues, will cover the first novel. I really hope there will be more coming.
I enjoyed this a lot, and am looking forward to more.
I’ll give this a 4 out of 5. Marvel doesn’t exactly need another Intellectual Property, but they have the potential to do great things with this one.