by netflix The witcher Season 2 was a huge success for the streamer, with countless fans binging both seasons of the show at impressive rates. Season three has already been lit, but fans will likely want to check out other franchises on different mediums to satisfy the itchiness until they arrive. Dark-fantasy and the fantasy genre in general have become much more mainstream in recent years, in part thanks to groups like Game of thrones on HBO, but there are also some great comics that have similar premises.
Big comic book publishers like DC Comics have series that could give a fantastic and refreshing twist to their typical superhero genre, but there are some great small business comics out there that are worth checking out. Not to mention Dark Horse’s adaptation of Andrzej Sapkowski’s books and CD Projekt Red’s game trilogy.
The Witcher (Dark Horse Comics)
CD Projekt Red’s video game adaptations of original work by author Andrej Sapkowski helped make the franchise the worldwide success it is today. The Witcher 3: Savage Hunt, in particular, has established itself as one of the best modern fantasy RPGs. With the franchise having been such a success, it’s no surprise that a comic book adaptation has been picked up to develop the rich and complex dark fantasy world of the Polish author of The Continent.
The series was written and illustrated by several creatives, with Dark Horse’s The witcher having recently completed publication at the end of last year. These stories take place specifically in the respective canon of CD Projekt Red, showing different adventures that Geralt of Rivia went through between the events of the developer’s game trilogy. Fans can even buy an omnibus collected from the first three volumes.
Dark Knights of Steel (DC Comics)
While he presumably uses some of DC Comics’ best superhero characters, fan favorite writer Tom Taylor Dark Knights of Steel is a new and exciting change of pace for the universe. Fans will recognize Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow and more, but Taylor manages to create a fantastical and fascinating medieval world to place these familiar and iconic faces in a refreshing new context.
Readers will even be able to see an exciting new version of the Dark Knight himself reminiscent of Geralt of Rivia, as Batman was written to be Superman’s protector against magical threats. In addition to Batman as DC’s “The Witcher,” many beloved characters are given some interesting reinventions. Dark Knights of Steel is still fresh in its tracks, with only three of the 12 issues planned for the limited series released. However, it is already critically acclaimed and is undoubtedly a part of the publisher’s comics to watch in 2022.
Once and the Future (BOOM! Studios)
Rising star artist Dan Mora is currently lending his talents to Batman at DC Comics, however, he is also working alongside writer Kieron Gillen for the famous Once and future series with BOUM! Workshops. While it’s certainly not the same level of fancy that franchises like The witcher, Once and future takes an inventive turn of the dark-fantasy genre by mixing it with the decor of modern times.
It combines Arthurian legend with gripping elements of horror, with the premise centered around a group of British nationalists using the dark arts to resurrect King Arthur in the name of power. The ongoing series has monster-hunting aspects as well, with Bridgette McGuire coming out of retirement with her grandson to hunt down the threats ahead that this disastrous turn of events incites. It’s a creative way to take a modern frame and wrap it in a magical, supernatural world. BOOM! Studios have released 23 issues of the series so far, and its quality shows no signs of declining.
Coda (BOOM! Studios)
Also from BOOM! Studios, writer Simon Spurrier and artist Matias Bergara’s Coda the comic book series have in common some of the major world-building aspects of the world of The witcher. Coda takes place in a vast and rich world of dark fantasy which has been decimated by an apocalyptic event which has simply made the magic disappear.
In it, the story follows an ancient bard named Hum and a mutant unicorn as they roam the land trying to save the elder’s wife. Meanwhile, Hum is doing all he can to stay away from the wider political conflicts that emerge over who will now rule the once thriving magical world of Weird Wasteland. These main characters bear a slight resemblance to some of the tragic characters in The witcher like Geralt of Rivia himself in this case, as the titular witcher is a wandering warrior trying to make his way through a punitive world.
Birthright (Image Comics)
Fan-favorite (and current Batman writer) Joshua Williamson teamed up with artist Andrei Bressan to Birthright, a long-running comic book series that was released by Image Comics last June. This is a fantasy series that makes extensive use of fate themes (as the title suggests) as the main story arc of the main character.
Since this is another narrative pillar of The witcher with its lead trio of Geralt, Ciri and Yennefer, fans should find themselves at home with the world and the main character of Birthright. It focuses on a young boy named Mikey Rhodes living in a contemporary setting who is inexplicably transported to the dark fantasy world of Terrenos. Although he returns, he comes back older, seasoned and psychologically darker. Readers will see a sprawling fantasy saga unfold while watching Mikey develop as a character in the process.
Berserk (Young Animal / Dark Horse Comics)
Although this is specifically a manga, Young Animal Magazine and Dark Horse (in the west) Berserk Still technically qualifies as a more than worthy series for fans of dense and captivating dark-fantasy worlds. Writer and artist Kentaro Miura sadly passed early last year, but his exceptional story and masterfully detailed illustrations will stand the test of time to ensure that Berserk is one of the best manga ever written. However, potential readers should be warned that the series is intense and extremely graphic.
But for those who remain interested, Berserk is a great story that takes on deep themes, with a compelling cast of characters that will keep fans emotionally invested. He has no problem showing the flaws in his character and becoming more compassionate and human in spite of them. The manga handles arcs and character development well, which makes their eventual growth all the more satisfying. In addition, Berserk skillfully flips the fantastic tropes on their heads, all the things that The witcher and A song of ice and fire/Game of thrones are also known for.
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