Home Entertainment Books Vertigo to adapt Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy for GNs

Vertigo to adapt Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy for GNs


People looking for a surefire way to print money, comics division, have often suggested a Harry Potter comic book. Since that ain’t happening (JK Rowling just isn’t interested), Vertigo has just landed the next best thing: a graphic novel adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s best-selling Millennium Trilogy, with the comics version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo set to appear in 2012. Subsequent volumes will appear in 2013 and 2014.

Larsson’s trilogy, originally written in Swedish and published posthumously, have been criticized for featuring two extended Mary Sues. However, they are also eerie, compelling mysteries with unforgettable characters, including heroine Lisbeth Salander, a tattoed bi-sexual computer hacker. DC’s Dan DiDio promises to being her to life “in entirely new, visually compelling ways”–which, given some of DC’s recent movies, sounds very frightening indeed.

No creative team was announced. A film of DRAGON TATTOO directed by David Fincher opens this fall,

Best-selling comic book and graphic novel publisher DC Entertainment has secured the worldwide rights to adapt the international phenomenon and best-selling Millennium Trilogy novels into graphic novels. DC Entertainment’s Vertigo imprint will work with the estate of Stieg Larsson and Hedlund Literary Agency to adapt the books.  The announcement brings together two publishing powerhouses just in time for the Frankfurt Book Fair and New York Comic-Con.
Each book by Larsson will be presented in two graphic novel volumes that will be available in both print and digital formats.  THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO volumes will be released in 2012, with volumes for THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE following in 2013, and THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNETS’ NEST wrapping up the graphic novel series in 2014.
“The intricate characters and stories Larsson created in the Millennium Trilogy are a perfect match for the graphic novel format, where we can bring Lisbeth Salander to life in entirely new, visually compelling ways,” stated Dan DiDio, co-publishers of DC Entertainment. “It’s a distinct honor to work on a story that is already so popular with millions of readers around the world.”
“Stieg always liked comics and it will be exciting to see the unforgettable characters he created come to life on the comics page,” says Joakim Larsson, younger brother of the journalist and novelist whose untimely death in 2004 meant he didn’t see even the first book in the Millennium sequence published.
DC Entertainment is the worldwide leader in producing best-selling graphic novels and comic books, including best-selling Vertigo titles SANDMAN, FABLES, 100 BULLETS and ROAD TO PERDITION.
Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy is an international publishing juggernaut, with more than 60 million books sold worldwide and reaching the top of numerous best seller lists. Sales for all three books exceed 17 million copies in the U.S. alone, including digital sales of 3.5 million copies. Since September 2008, when THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO was published in hardcover, Larsson’s books have been a constant presence on bestseller lists across America.
The various storylines in the Millennium Trilogy revolve around truculent computer hacker Lisbeth Salander and investigative reporter Mikael Blomkvist.


  1. They’d never go for that (Ted McKeever) but it’s a brilliant idea. I’d love to see something stylized and moody to fit the twisted nature of the tale. Bill Sienkiewicz would be my choice.

  2. Do not understand.

    These three books exist as novels. They will all be movies with wide distribution. (With some multiple versions, right? Sweden and Hollywood, yes?)

    So who is the audience for this? People who want illustrated stories will see/buy the movies and that will be that.

  3. A Mary Sue is a character who apparently represents the author within the story. A Mary Sue is too idealized and suggests that the author is concerned largely with writing a fantasy about how he would handle the situation. Lisbeth and Mikael are both Mary Sues.


  4. As much as I liked Larrson’s books, doing a book/movie tie-in like this seems almost……beneath Vertigo. Hope this isn’t an indicater of where DC wants to take Vertigo in the future.

  5. Sienkiewicz would be awesome. I also think Kristian (Supermarket) Donaldson’s art would be a really solid fit — and if they weren’t both attached to Marvel, Sean Phillips and Michael Lark would also be excellent options.

    IMHO, the Millennium Trilogy really lends itself to adaptations that are superior to the source material. Larsson is reasonably strong when it comes to character and plot, but his pacing is often plodding, and his protagonist’s internal narrative tends to be tedious.

    The Swedish movie adaptations were considerably leaner and meaner (in a good way), and I’m guardedly optimistic about the Fincher remakes — but you always lose a lot of nuance and detail in the transition from page to screen. With an a-list creative team, Vertigo could produce the best version of these stories yet.

  6. Ah! Thanks, Synsidar! I would have googled it, but being at work, I was afraid it was something relating to the naughtier bits of the story. I appreciate the info!

  7. Mikael is a very clear “Mary Sue” character (a hard working, crusading reporter that all women want to sleep with at the drop of a hat; a bit of fantasy role-playing, that) but I don’t really see Lisbeth as being Larsson. Lisbeth was his interpretation of Pippi Longstoking trying to fit into the modern world.

  8. Others don’t see Lisbeth as a Mary Sue either:

    Critics of The Girl who Played with Fire deride the novel’s opening for turning Salander into a Mary Sue character, a perfect hacker and mathematician. But they often overlook the flawed character, a high functioning autistic who is almost incapable of being close to others. This is highlighted by Lisbeth’s internal monologue near the end of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo:

  9. Here’s the bigger story:

    DC is now the pre-eminent publisher of graphic novel e-books. These six (?) books, plus the “Fire 100” place them well ahead of everyone else publishing graphic novels as e-books. Andrews McMeel is the only other publisher with a large number of comics e-books.

  10. The “Fire 100” aren’t available yet, are they? I didn’t think the Fire shipped until mid-November.

    I love the idea of Michael Lark illustrating this. His artwork might be appealing to the license holders, and he has enough mood to make this work.

  11. Jeremy,
    That is true. But the titles can be ordered NOW, so they are available.

    The Moment of Truth is unBoxing Day, December 25, when people unwrap their new e-readers and start downloading files. That’s when Amazon and DC see how well these titles sell.

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