The Metal Gear Solid comic series are comics that cover the storylines of Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. The comics were published by IDW Publications and are separated into volumes, with both the Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid: Sons of Liberty comics each containing 12 volumes.
The dialogue in the comics is largely taken straight from the respective games, though there are some minor changes. An art book was released in 2007, and in 2010, a combination was released as an omnibus. A deluxe version of both comic book series containing all 24 volumes was released in 2014.
Metal Gear Solid
The majority of the dialogue from Metal Gear Solid remains unchanged, but some conversations have been left out, such as Kenneth Baker telling Solid Snake to look on the back of the CD case to find out Meryl Silverburgh's Codec frequency, and some extra scenes have been added, such as the scene where Psycho Mantis tries to take over Gray Fox's mind. All of the characters from the game appear with the exception of Nastasha Romanenko.
Several copies of Metal Gear Solid #1 can be seen in the office of the Groznyj Grad prison in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. Similarly, they could also be found in Dr. Emmerich's lab in Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, a remake of Metal Gear Solid.
Metal Gear Solid: Sons of Liberty
IDW published the Sons of Liberty comic book adaptation from 2006 to 2007, illustrated by Ashley Wood and written by Alex Garner. This version deviates from the game, where many scenes involving Raiden are substituted with Snake.
The majority of the dialogue from Metal Gear Solid 2 remains unchanged with only a few conversations being left out, such as those regarding gameplay controls and other schemes. Some new conversations have also been added. Flashbacks were also added giving some insight into Raiden's past during the First Liberian Civil War, showing him using a sword in combat and also showing an incident where Solidus Snake had him kill several POWs via decapitation as the former's "birthday present" to the latter. All of the characters from the game appear with the exception of Richard Ames.
Story differences between the game and the comic book
- Rather than being shown in full at the beginning, the Tanker Incident of Metal Gear Solid 2 is portrayed through flashbacks at several points throughout the story. In addition, the Tanker Incident in the comic was stated to have occurred on March 22, while in the game, it was implied via the log on screen that the events of the Tanker Chapter occurred on August 8.
- Peter Stillman never fakes being unable to walk and never mentions the church bombing that haunted him in the game. He accompanies Raiden to the battle Fatman, and helps distract the mad bomber by throwing him a fake bomb and challenging him to defuse it, allowing Raiden to sneak up on him and knock him unconsious. While Stillman trying to defuse the bomb hidden on Fatman's body, Fatman wakes up and takes Stillman hostage, but Raiden saves him by shooting Fatman in the head, killing him. Stillman later attempts to defuse the C4 found in Strut H, but in doing so activates a second bomb hidden within it with not enough time for him to get away. A video pops up on a nearby monitor of Fatman, who calls out Stillman by name and gloats about how he had the last laugh.
- Several scenes are inserted in which the spirit or persona of Liquid Snake enters Revolver Ocelot's mind and talks with him about how he is able to possess him and why he chooses to. The Sorrow also appears in one of these scenes, and chastises his son for being so easily controlled.
- During Raiden's torture under Solidus Snake, he experiences a flashback to his past as a child soldier in Liberia that wasn't in the game. Raiden (then known as Jack the Ripper) is shown on his tenth birthday in 1990, cutting off the heads of ten captured Liberian terrorists on Solidus's orders, as the latter's "birthday present" to the former. Raiden also experienced a monologue about how, by that point due to the bleak nature of his situation, he became nihilistic by that age. Colonel Campbell and Rosemary (implied to be manifestations from Raiden's nanomachine base) attempt to tell Raiden that Solidus was lying, while Solidus informs him that this is indeed what happened. It then cuts back to onboard Arsenal Gear, where Solidus noted that Arsenal has a foreign agent onboard, and tells Ocelot to investigate.
- Much more focus is put on Solid Snake, compared to the game where Raiden is at the center of most of the events on Big Shell. Snake is the one to fight Vamp in the purification chamber and escort Emma Emmerich to the computer room, though it is still Raiden who sniped Vamp while he has Emma hostage on the oil fence. Later during the fight atop Federal Hall, Solidus knocks Raiden out. Snake then appears, having failed to follow Liquid Ocelot in the stolen Metal Gear RAY, and challenges Solidus to a sword duel. Snake is victorious, stabbing Solidus and causing him to fall off the roof.
Behind the scenes
Volume #1 of the Metal Gear Solid series is the only volume in the set that has variant covers. It also the only volume in both series to have the most variant covers, with a total of 5.
Variant cover #1-C and #1-D of the Sons of Liberty series were never released in stores. Instead, they were only obtainable via IDW's official website for a limited time.
Volumes #0, #5, #10, #11 and #12 are the only volumes in the Sons of Liberty series to not have variant covers.