First Marvel’s Avengers, now G.I. Joe: Operation Blackout. Over the past couple of months two video games, one a major release and one G.I. Joe: Operation Blackout, have rewarded my exploration and gameplay efforts with the front covers of classic comics. If you’re going to give me a comic book, give me the whole damn comic book.
Back in the day, when games came on cartridges with extremely limited space, comic book covers were fine collectibles. Oh look, a nifty bit of art. A piece of comic book history. We didn’t need the interiors. Hell, imagine trying to read a full comic on a small CRT television connected to a Sega Genesis (shut up, Comix Zone). That would have been silly.
Today’s games come on high-capacity optical discs and tiny cartridges, but that doesn’t matter, as most of the data is downloaded anyway. We have high-definition screens that are easily capable of displaying gorgeous comic book art. Apps like Comixology have given us new ways to enjoy comics in landscape screen orientation, dramatically zooming and panning across the pages. We can read comic books on our consoles and computers now.
So give us comic books. Not just covers. Especially not covers that look like they are thick with readable pages but aren’t, Avengers. Certainly not lower resolution covers that look like shit when zoomed in, G.I. Joe: Operation Blackout.
I know there are licensing issues and such. Maybe team up with a digital comic book service, using it as an interface for reading? Not only could we read the damn comics, but it would also get new readers in front of virtual comic book shelves, potentially creating more fans. I am certainly down for marketing partnerships if they result in more people reading comics.
Either that or stick to unlockable concept art like Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, and stop teasing us with those lovely, empty covers.