Wild Cards: Marvel to Adapt George R.R. Martin's Superhero Series

Marvel has announced plans to adapt Wild Cards, the superhero universe created by Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin. Interestingly, the property is also in development as a television show for Peacock after leaving Hulu, in which Marvel's parent company Disney controls a controlling interest. Martin is the overseer of the Wild Cards series. He's a contributor and the series' editor, along with Melinda M. Snodgrass, overseeing a group of more than 40 writers called the "Wild Cards Trust," who contribute novels and short stories to the shared universe. It's like the Marvel Comics universe, but for prose fiction writing. 

Marvel's adaptation will start at the beginning of the Wild Cards mythology. The first Wild Cards novel, written by Martin, will become a comic book miniseries titled The Drawing of Cards. Writer Paul Cornell and artist Mike Hawthorne are collaborating on the series. Marvel plans to adapt Wild Cards stories by beloved authors, including Harold Waldrop, Roger Zelazny, and Martin himself as the projects continue to roll out.

(Photo: Steve Morris, Marvel Comics)

The Wild Cards universe was completely normal until an alien virus spread and transformed ordinary people into super-powered beings. Here's Marvel's description:

"Spanning more than 25 novels, 20 short stories, and written by more than 40 authors over three decades, the Wild Cards series tells the story of an alternate history where Earth is home to super-powered individuals. When a human is infected with the alien "Wild Card" virus, the odds are that they will be killed… which is referred to as 'drawing the black queen'. Of those that survive, the bulk of them become 'jokers', left with some strange mutated form. A lucky few are called "aces", those gifted with super powers they can put to use towards heroic goals… or villainous ones."

In the press release, Cornell says, "Wild Cards is still a unique take on super heroes, a creation story that's influenced everything since, but still maintains its power. 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 super hero myth new again. Plus: just look at that art!"

Martin adds, "As my fans may already know, the Wild Cards World holds a special place in my heart, so 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."

Wild Cards: The Drawing of Cards #1 goes on sale on June 1st.

(CORRECTION: A previous version of this article erroneously stated that this would be the first comic book depicting the Wild Cards universe. There have been other Wild Cards comics. This series is the first comic book adaptation of the first Wild Cards story. We regret the error.)