The Comics of Dynamite Entertainment

Dynamite Entertainment is one of the premier publishers of comics based on existing franchises. This means that their main focus is on producing comic book adaptations of stories already appearing on the big screen, on television, in novels and in games. Established in 2005, the company quickly rose to some level of notoriety with their first publications of Army of Darkness and Red Sonja; the latter is still one of their most popular titles to date.

The character of Red Sonja had previously appeared in Marvel comics and in the eponymously titled film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Brigitte Nielson. However, Dynamite took her on as their own character, eventually rewriting her storyline to fit their own imagining. This is the perfect example of how Dynamite reinvent existing characters and stories in order to bring fresh, exciting comics to their loyal audience. The publishing house has worked with eminent writers and artists like Kevin Smith, Garth Ennis, John Cassaday and Frank Miller to create a well-informed, well-referenced production line of modern meta pop culture content.

Taken from TV

Dynamite has published a wealth of TV favourites in comic form, ranging from the beloved Battlestar Galactica to the sassy and fun Charmed right through to the vintage Twilight Zone. Each title is reimagined for its new medium by experienced writers working together with eminent comic book artists to create a new story. Fans of the original TV shows are often happy to see the characters that they’ve followed on screen given new life on the pages of a Dynamite comic, sometimes years after the show has ended.

Comic books often tie in to other media

Charmed was one of the most popular supernatural TV dramas in the late 90s and early 00s. Featuring a rotating cast of three sisters endowed with varying magical powers, it captivated a wide audience and quickly build a legion of loyal fans. Dynamite’s reinterpretation of the show casts the trio of the later series – Piper, Phoebe and Paige – in all new adventures battling the denizens of the underworld. The comic has been instrumental in demonstrating the continued interest in the characters and may have directly contributed to the commissioning of a reboot series to be aired later on this year. There’s even a Japanese-style manga version of the story in the works, set to be released in late 2018.

Novel Namesakes

The world of literature offers rich pickings for Dynamite when it comes to choosing a suitable new adaptation to attempt. George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series has proved its versatility already on HBO’s phenomenally successful TV show Game of Thrones. However, it also translates well into comic book form, as shown by the Dynamite series of the same name written by Daniel Abraham and with Tommy Patterson as artist. This year, the translation of Martin’s novels into comics continues with the new series titled A Clash of Kings.

Another popular output by Dynamite is their interpretation of Ian Fleming’s notorious British spy, James Bond. The publisher’s team have created brand new story arcs for Bond, drawing inspiration both from Fleming’s original novels and short stories as well as the modern film adaptations. Bond is now firmly a 21st century character, his adventurous stories available in comics, his favourite pastime of blackjack available online and his favourite cocktail rarer than ever. However, readers still crave the suave, sophisticated Bond of the original novels and so Dynamite also publish a period-piece series called James Bond Origin. It is set during the late 1930s, when Bond was still a young student in Scotland. Initial indications show that it’s set to be a great success.

The original Alice comic by John Tenniel

Film Favourites and Beyond…

Dynamite have continued to go from strength to strength as a publishing house over the past 10 years or so. Though they are still a young company, their domination of the franchise adaptation market ensures that they will have a wealth of new material to work with for years to come. Some of their most successful work comes straight from Hollywood, including comics of The Expendables movies, the cult classic Re-Animator and the stylish John Wick. With the recent boom in superhero movies driven by Marvel Studios, the potential for crossovers within the genre and for the attraction of new, bigger audiences seems limitless.

By working with some of the most talented artists and writers in the comic book business, Dynamite guarantee the success of their publications through a combination of well-established characters and knowledgeable creators. Through showing respect for the original medium and writers, they win over existing fans immediately and attract new ones by creating a worthwhile, polished final product. It will be interesting to see where this dynamic publishing company head next; perhaps a closer look at the games market may hold the key to their next development.