Here Be Dragons: Viz Media to Publish ‘Monster Hunter’ Manga in English
Video games and comics have enjoyed a pretty tight relationship over the past 30-some years. From wacky Super Mario comics from Valiant to WildStorm's popular World of Warcraft comic, to the fact that Sonic the Hedgehog is the longest-running American comic book, the two mediums seem to bring out the best in one another.
No other video game developer, it seems, has doubled down on comics more than Capcom. From the recently ended, astonishingly sophisticated Mega Man comic of the last few years to just about everything put out by Udon Entertaiment, the Japanese game developer has used comics for a number of its properties. Next month will see another one of those works come stateside with Viz Media's translation of Monster Hunter: Flash Hunter, launching digitally and in print on April 12.
Written by Keiichi Hikami and drawn by Shin Yamamoto, the series is based on Capcom's famed Monster Hunter RPG franchise, which puts the player in a fantasy world where they hunt and kill giant monsters for money and glory --- so, exactly what it says on the tin.
While the games follow a player-created character, Flash Hunter's press release reveals that the series will tell the story of experienced hunter Raiga and his companions, and how they got to be as good as they are. It seems like a smart way to bring these games to comics and it'll be interesting to see where they take it.
The book is the first in a ten-volume series, with subsequent volumes to be released every two months. Here's how Viz describes the series in its press release:
It is an age when monsters rule the world, soaring through the sky, treading the earth and filling the seas. Humanity survives on the fringes, relying on a special kind of hero to defend the people from danger – the Monster Hunters!
In the opening volume of the series, hunting giant man-eating beasts is no job for the weak-hearted, but along with courage, it takes skill and experience to be a good Hunter. It also takes good teamwork. Raiga and his comrades are experts now, but when they started down the path of the Monster Hunter, they lacked these qualities. When they head off to confront the dragon-like Queropeco, they quickly learn that this flaw could cost them dearly…