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George R.R. Martin Teams With Marvel on ‘Wild Cards’ Comic Series

The prolific ‘Game of Thrones’ author says his partnership with the comics giant ‘brings me no end of joy.’

With the backing of Marvel Comics, George R.R. Martin is returning to the world of “Wild Cards.” The 1987 anthology series, co-written by the “Game of Thrones” author with Howard Waldrop and Roger Zelazny, is now being revamped by Marvel as a comic series.

Marvel’s adaptation will start with Martin’s first of four books in the series, and will be released under the title “Marvel’s Wild Cards: The Drawing of the Cards #1” on June 1, 2022.

Spanning more than 25 novels, 20 short stories, and written by more than 40 authors over three decades, the “Wild Cards” is set on an alternate timeline of post-World War II history, in which people with superpowers exist in everyday life. When a human is infected with the alien Wild Card virus, it’s more likely than not that it will kill them -- a fate referred to as “drawing the black queen.” Survivors of the virus are known as “jokers,” and mutated by their exposure to it. Then, there are those select few of the contaminated, the “aces” -- whose sickness gifts them superpowers to aid their heroic or villainous ambitions.

“As my fans may already know, the ‘Wild Cards’ world holds a special place in my heart,” Martin said in a statement. “To have the privilege of announcing that an industry titan like Marvel is going to produce the narrative from the beginning as a comic book brings me no end of joy.”

Writer Paul Cornell and artist Mike Hawthorne are set to create the comics for Marvel.

“'Wild Cards’ is still a unique take on superheroes -- a creation story that’s influenced everything since, but still maintains its power,” Cornell said. “It’s an honor and a pleasure to bring all these wonderful stories to their natural home at Marvel, and I hope to give George, Melinda, and the rest of the ‘Wild Cards’ collective the credit they deserve for making the superhero myth new again. Plus: Just look at that art!”

NBCUniversal’s streaming service Peacock is currently developing Wild Cards as a TV series.

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Max Weinstein is a writer and editor based in Los Angeles. He is the Editor-at-Large of 'Dread Central' and former Editorial Director of 'MovieMaker.' His work has been featured in 'Cineaste,' 'Fangoria,' 'Playboy,' 'Vice,' and 'The Week.'