It’s not unusual for a successful film to be adapted into comic book form. But these adaptations usually happen while the movie is still in the theaters, not decades after.
But that is what is happening this week as thirty years to the month it first hit theaters, The Warriors are getting a comic book adaptation. The first issue of the five-issue miniseries adapting the cult 1979 film arrives in comic book stores today.
The film centers on members of a Coney Island gang by the name of the Warriors. They join representatives of of New York City gangs in the Bronx to listen to a plan for unity from a rival gang warlord named Cyrus. During this meeting, Cyrus is killed and the Warriors are framed for the murder. The majority of the film focuses on the Warriors trying to return to their Brroklyn home base through all of Manhattan, all the while trying to avoid other gangs looking to collect on the bounty placed on their heads.
This film almost screams to be adapted for comics. Each gang has its own costume and trademark modus operandi (One of the most memorable are the Baseball Furies, wear baseball uniforms, wield baseball bats, and employ face paint.). This lends to the whole “larger than life” aspect that makes a good comic book.
The comic book feel is not a coincidence. In a 2005 interview with Fader magazine to correspond with the release of the “Ultimate Director’s Cut” DVD of the film, director Walter Hill explains that the comic book look was deliberate:
I don’t think you can understand the movie without understanding my infatuation with the American comic book. It was the height of my creative interest in that art form. I wanted to divide the movie into chapters and then have each chapter come to life starting with a splash panel. It was a low budget movie and there was very little time for post-production because we had a fixed release date that we agreed upon.
The film opened on February 9, 1979 and was a modest box office success. But it legend grew over the years, as its airings on cable and on home video made it a cult classic.
The Warriors Official Movie Adaptation is brought to us by Dabel Brothers Publishing. The series is written by David Atchinson and features art by Chris DiBari. Each issue cost $3.99 and the first issue has at least two variant covers, which are shown above.