Sunday, December 30, 2012

Book 72

Book 72. Ender's Game Ultimate Collection, by Christopher Yost and Pasqual Ferry, based on the novel by Orson Scott Card. Graphic novel collection.
This volume collects the 10 issues of Marvel's Ender's Game adaptation, which started publication in October 2008. The first five issues of the series were branded "Battle School" and the last five branded "Command School," but this is a single ten-issue series. Even with ten issues, there are parts of the novel that have to be left out, and some shortcuts that have to be made, mostly involving the political situation on Earth. But the stripped-down version of the novel presented here does move at a brisk pace, and is a very enjoyable read.
Each issue opens with transcript of a meeting between members of the school staff, which is similar to what happened in the novel. This was a nice touch, a way of getting exposition into the story without resorting to the traditional comic methods of TV news  or newspaper headlines. I came to this adaptation having recently read the novel, and was able to follow the plot of the comic easily, but I wonder if the fast pace would have lost someone coming to this without prior knowledge of the story.
There is a happier ending here than in Card's novel. The collection ends on the high note of defeating the enemy, without the lead into "Speaker for the Dead" that the novel has. This probably makes sense, as the comic series goes in a slightly different direction from the novel series. There are some very nice moments of art in the collection, as well.
I am unfamiliar with other novels having been adapted into comics, but movie and TV adaptations are notoriously inconsistent. Knowing the rang of quality that prior adaptations have had, but was pleasantly surprised by the quality of this.

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