Tell us about the comic.
"The Prototype 2 comics take place between the events of Prototype and Prototype 2, filling in important pieces of story for returning fans and providing an introduction to the characters and settings for new fans. The comics are broken into three stories, two parts each.
"The first is 'The Anchor' which follows Alex Mercer, the protagonist of Prototype and antagonist of Prototype 2, on a quest to find his humanity; the second is 'The Survivors', which follows three people who try to escape New York City, now known as NYZ, after the outbreak of the Blacklight Virus; and the third is 'The Labyrinth', which follows James Heller, the protagonist of Prototype 2, through a life-changing event that happened to him in the marines."
How did the project come about?
"Dark Horse and Radical met at Comic-Con International. Once Radical showed us a demo of Prototype 2, we immediately jumped into talking about comics. We were blown away by what we saw - the monsters, the over-the-top-action, the richly detailed environments - which any toy or comics creator would love to get their hands on."
Were the game and comic storylines conceived side-by-side?
"Dan Jolley, writer of Prototype 2, also wrote the comics. Before Dan was a game writer he was a comics writer, so it was a perfect match. Dan had finished writing Prototype 2 when he started working on the comics, which enabled him to integrate the comic directly into the story of the game. He knew what the juiciest pieces of story left to tell were, and he put those into the comics."
Do the storylines feed back into each other, or does the comic take the game's lead?
"You don't have to play the games to understand the comics. It was one of our main goals to make these exciting, compelling stories that could stand on their own. Conversely, it's not required to read the comics if you play the games. However, the two do feed into each other, and hopefully enrich the experience of each other. You'll have a deeper understanding of certain important characters and events in the games if you read the comics. Likewise, the games add additional context and texture to the stories in the comics."
How much crossover was there between the two creative teams?
"Having Dan write the comics ensured that the comics were tightly woven into the continuity of the games. Beyond that, we worked very closely with Radical at every stage of the process. While the artists on the comics didn't work on the games, they were given tons of reference from the games, and Radical was a constant source for feedback to make sure we captured the world of Prototype 2 authentically."
How will reading the comic enhance gamers' experience of the game?
"The comics provide an intimate look inside the protagonist and antagonist of Prototype 2, and a street-level view of the city where it takes place. It's our hope that the comics engage readers with these characters and this place in a meaningful and emotional way. You'll know Alex Mercer, James Heller and the NYZ better, more deeply, when you read the comics."
Are there any plans for print editions of the comics?
"Yes, we'll be releasing a hardcover collection of the Prototype 2 comics in July."
Do you think that gaming and digital comics are natural partners? Where can the collaboration go in the future?
"Absolutely. Video games and comics excel at many of the same genres - sci-fi, horror, action/adventure, etc. The best games have fully realised visual worlds, sophisticated mythologies, engaging characters, moving narratives - all things that work great in comics.
"Dark Horse always makes it our top priority to work as closely with the developers as possible to create comics that provide fans with an essential contribution to the world the games are building, not just a tangential add-on. It's our hope to continue to grow the relationship between Dark Horse and developers so that in the future fans can find great comics for their favourite games and great games for their favourite comics."
The Prototype 2 comic is available from Dark Horse Digital.
Win a Prototype 2 comic download code here.