10 Must-Listen Audio Adaptations Of Comic Books

Comic books are a visual medium that tells a story in a single or multiple issues; however, the heroes of the Marvel and DC Comics universes have also been adapted to the audio format. These epic stories have included adaptations of well-known story arcs or new, original content.

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These audio dramatizations of comic characters have been performed by a single narrator or a full cast of voice actors, making the overall experience more vivid for the listener. While many good comic-themed audio programs are available, some stand out from the rest because of their significance and production value.

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Doctor Strange And The Fantastic Four Headlined The First Audio Dramas In The 60s & 70s.

Doctor Strange (1967) and Adventures of The Fantastic Four (1975) were the earliest audio dramas featuring those heroes in the Marvel Universe. Doctor Strange was a 17-part audio drama produced by WBAI (NYC), adapting Doctor Strange’s early adventures from the pages of Strange Tales.

The Adventures of the Fantastic Four was a 13-part radio drama adapting the early adventures of Marvel’s First Family. The Fantastic Four episodes initially released daily as a five-minute episode that ran for the entire week and featured a 25-year-old Bill Murray before he became a member of Saturday night Live.

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Hear How Worlds Lived And Worlds Died In The Audio Adaption For Crisis On Infinite Earths

Graphic Audio and Marv Wolfman, who wrote the original Crisis On Infinite Earths in the mid-80s, brought the Multiverse-spanning epic from DC Comics to life in audiobook form. The Flash became the story’s chief narrator, which offered a different perspective on the event than originally presented.

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The entire production clocks in under seven hours, hitting its stride at the halfway point when the full cast of characters becomes involved in the story. Crisis isn’t Graphic Audio’s only foray into the storytelling in the DCU. They’ve also created adaptations of Infinite Crisis and 52.

8
Wolverine Searches For Answers In His Own Original Scripted Podcasts

Wolverine: The Long Night and Wolverine: The Lost Trail are two of the first scripted podcasts collaborations between Marvel and Stitcher featuring Richard Armitage as Logan / Wolverine. The Long Night, written by Benjamin Percy, follows two federal agents working a serial murder case in Alaska. Logan, the main suspect for the crimes, works to uncover the truth about the murders and some of his past from him.

The second installation, The Lost Trailfollows the events of The Long Night and finds Wolverine in New Orleans, Louisiana in search of an ex-lover when humans and mutants begin disappearing. Both seasons of this podcast drama are a captivating hybrid of the mystery and intrigue surrounding Wolverine in the Marvel Universe outside his X-Men adventures.

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Batman: The Audio Adventures Pays Homage To The Many Incarnations Of The Caped Crusader

Released in 2021, Batman: The Audio Adventures is the first scripted podcast produced by DC Entertainment and HBO Max and harkens back to the format used by old radio shows. The series pays homage to the original 1966 Batman TV series and Batman: The Animated Series from the 1990s, and its portrayed Batman as a deputized member of the Gotham City Police Department.

Some of Batman’s cases include dealing with Two-Face losing control over his two sides, The Riddler escaping Arkham Asylum, and The Joker setting up a diabolical plan for Valentine’s Day. The series, directed and written by Saturday Night Live’s Dennis McNicholas features an all-star cast including Chris Parnell as the narrator, Rosario Dawson as Catwoman, and Jeffrey Wright as Batman.

6
Judgment Day Comes To The DCU In The Audio Version Of Kingdom Come

The audio drama adapting Mark Waid and Alex Ross’s epic saga kingdom come was one of the earliest DC Comics adaptations to be released. The story set in the DCU’s future finds the world spinning out of control as the new generation of heroes challenges the traditions of the old guard heroes, such as Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman.

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The audio drama, adapted by John Whitman, is based on the kingdom come novelization by Elliot S. Maggin, and expands on the original work. Overall, this is an excellent adaptation of the story when considering how the creators brilliantly work with the limitations the audio format presents for a story of this magnitude.

5
The Dark Knight Must Rise In Spotify’s Batman Unburied

Batman Unburied is the first in the new series of Spotify-produced audio drama podcasts starring characters in the DC Universe. The story finds Bruce Wayne working as a forensic pathologist in Gotham Hospital on the trail of a cannibalistic serial killer dubbed The Harvester. Bruce becomes obsessed with the Harvester case consuming him, forcing him to overcome his personal demons to save himself and the citizens of Gotham.

Batman Unburied features Winston Duke, best known as M’Baku in the Marvel Cinematic Universe Black Panther franchise, as the voice of Batman. Featuring Batman working alongside both Barbara Gordon and The Riddler to solve the mystery, the series was successful and has already been renewed for a second season.

4
Squirrel Girl The Unbeatable Radio Show Is A Feel Good Laugh Riot

In April 2022, Marvel Entertainment released the six-episode podcast Marvel’s Squirrel Girl The Unbeatable Radio Show, starring the uber-positive, fun-loving character Doreen Green, better known as The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. Spinning out of her de ella latest series, which saw her outed as a superhero, Squirrel Girl starts a new student radio show on ESU’s college station, attempting to unify her hero and civilian identity in the public eye.

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The series, starring Milana Vayntrub (This Is Us), is written by long-time series scribe Ryan North and includes Doreen’s closest friends Nancy Whitehead, Tippy T. Squirrel, Koi Boi, Chipmunk Hunk, and a variety of special guests. Overall, this series is a fun romp and must-listen production highlighting the lighter, more humorous side of the Marvel Universe.

3
Journey Into The Wastelands And Learn The Fates Of The Marvel Heroes

In 2020, Marvel Entertainment and SiriusXM joined forces to bring established Marvel podcasts and original material to the satellite radio before releasing it to other streaming services. Marvel’s Wastelandersset in a post-apocalyptic world some 30 years after The Day the Villains Won (aka V-Day), tells the stories of Star-Lord (and Rocket), Clint Barton aka Hawkeye, Black Widow, the Old Man Logan version of Wolverine, and Doctor Doom.

Each podcast series comprises ten half-hour episodes featuring an all-star cast, such as Susan Sarandon, Chris Elliott, Robert Patrick, and more. Each podcast received a comic book one-shot in 2021, continuing the story in the barren Wasteland.

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Kurt Busiek & Alex Ross’ Seminal MARVELS Is A Stellar Audio Drama

MARVELS, the 12-episode audio drama, follows aspiring journalist Marcia Hardesty, legendary photojournalist Phil Sheldon, and Ben Urich as they comb through the aftermath of Galactus’ arrival in Manhattan and his fight with The Fantastic Four. This retelling of the third issue of Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross’s 1994 miniseries finds the trio embarking on an investigation to confirm or debunk one of the biggest conspiracy theories of all time.

The audio drama stars rapper Method Man as Ben Urich and other actors such as AnnaSophia Robb, Seth Barrish, and Ryan Andes. MARVELS deftly weaves elements from the rest of the series into its story while also serving as a continuation of the original story.

1
Audible’s The Sandman Is A Masterpiece

Audible’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s classic DC/Vertigo comic book, The Sandman, is a masterpiece and a perfect example of a comic book transformed into the audiobook format. The two-part series adapts the first three volumes of the graphic novel Preludes & Nocturnes, The Doll’s Houseand Dream Country.

Narrated by Gaiman, the series features an all-star cast of actors such as James McAvoy as Dream (Morpheus), Kat Dennings as Death, and Michael Sheen as Lucifer. Clocking in at just over 24 hours for both acts, The Sandman is an epic adventure that must be heard to be appreciated.

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