Writer Kurt Busiek has revealed new information on an unpublished comic series that would have been based on the Final Fantasy games. The comic would have been written by Busiek, with interior art by Dell Barras, letters by John Costanza, covers by Mike Mignola, and Hollywood Comics on publishing duties. While the series never saw release, it was apparently close before things fell apart. Busiek had written multiple scripts and outlined four in total, while Barras had drawn about an issue and a half. According to Busiek, these issues were written after the first Final Fantasy was released in North America, but prior to the release of the second game (which would have been Final Fantasy IV in Japan).
The series was far enough along that an in-house ad was created for the series. Busiek shared the older image on Twitter, alongside a cover for the series drawn by Mignola. Both can be found in the Tweet embedded below.
Here’s an ad drawn by Dell and one of Mike’s covers. The dragons in the story did not look like what Mike drew (much more conventional), but Mike’s covers were all stunning. pic.twitter.com/boFFiuWH1Z— Kurt Busiek Resists (@KurtBusiek) October 27, 2020
The characters from the series would have been loosely based on the North American version of Final Fantasy II, though Busiek was not given a specific story to adapt. The writer was not fond of a lot of the names that SquareSoft was planning to use, including Cecil and Cain. The publisher allowed Busiek to make some changes, and one character (possibly Cid) would have been re-named "Lord Blast." Busiek apparently interviewed for a position with the publisher, and would have helped "Americanize" some of the character names, but he did not accept the position.
It's certainly a bit disappointing that the project never saw completion! While it would have been quite a bit different from fan expectations, that was not uncommon for comics based on video games during that era. Malibu's Street Fighter is particularly notorious; Capcom pulled the license from the publisher after just three issues were published. The Final Fantasy comic might not have met the expectations of players, but it would have made for a very interesting project, at the very least!
Are you disappointed this Final Fantasy comic never got published? What do you think of the art? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!