New Marvel Series Is Game of Thrones Creator’s Answer to Watchmen

Watchmen is one of the most critically acclaimed comics of all time and spawned a highly praised series and movie with devoted fans. What not everyone knows is that Marvel adapted a story by George RR Martin, creator of Game of Thrones, which has many similarities with the iconic comic.

Starting as a role-playing game held between Martin, who recently contracted COVID-19, and his science fiction and fantasy authors friends, Wild Cards is a long-running series of short story anthologies, set in a shared superhero universe. .

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With over forty authors contributing thirty books, the series has been in nearly continuous publication since 1987.

George RR Martin’s Wild Cards setting depicts a superhero world where an airborne alien virus hits Earth in 1946. Most people infected with the virus are killed and the survivors end up gaining superpowers.

Those survivors who are left with debilitating physical conditions are called Jokers, while those who retain their human appearance but gain superhuman powers are dubbed Aces.

An alternate Earth history stretching from the end of World War II to modern times, the world of Wild Cards considers what would actually happen if a random amount of people were suddenly gifted with superpowers; taking a bolder, more grown-up look at what superheroes would look like in the real world.

This, of course, ends up sounding a lot like DC’s Watchmen (originally published under the Vertigo imprint).

Works appeared at the same time

In an interview with Nerdist, Martin discussed the series’ origins and also how it took on a parallel Watchmen identity.

“Wild Cards came out at exactly the same time as Watchmen,” says Martin. “Both were reinventing the superhero genre with a great cast of characters.”

Martin went on to detail how each project approached the concept of superheroes in the real world:

“Alan Moore and our writers took very different approaches to it… Moore basically threw out the superpowers; Dr. Manhattan was the only one who had superpowers. We took the totally opposite approach. We kept the superpowers, but threw out the costumes… We decided that was the realistic approach.”

Watchmen and Wild Cards certainly share similar concepts, although Wild Cards has recently been adapted into comics by Marvel. Both stories are working on the assumption that if someone were suddenly gifted with superpowers, their first instinct wouldn’t necessarily involve going out and fighting crime.

About the author

Guilherme Coral

Guilherme Coral

A refugee from a galaxy far, far away, I landed on this planet in sector 2814 by mistake. Thanks to my passion for films and series, I was taken to the Film and Audiovisual course and I am currently venturing into the Faculty of Journalism.

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