I love D&D. I've been playing since I was a kid, and, surprisingly, it was the game that introduced me to Tolkien, Weiss and Hickman, and Robert Jordan. It also began my ascent into the realms of fantasy. Every time I see a new fantasy world, my head fills with stats, histories, variants, and THAC0 figures for everything, which I suppose means that I simply love stories that build strongly on the myriad histories of races that never existed and manages to make a mark all its own upon the great tapestry that is fantasy. T.W. Conklin has taken this challenge of playing with the fantastic and knocked it out of the park for an all-ages book that brings the fantastic right to the page in front of you.
Nothing is more fun than watching a Rogue topple the rules of societal niceties and decorum while remaining cool, calm, and irascible. This issue is rich in setup, and though there is action to be had, this remains much of a look into the world more than anything. We're just setting foot into this place, beginning to understand the rules and learning why we will be caring about these characters. The balance to the Rogue is a young magic user (of indeterminate type) who seems to be the pure-hearted counterpart and likely counterpoint of the story. Living a pastoral life with her father, it seems that she'll be the one to gain the incredible opening of the world and will likely be the person we'll be rooting for before all is said and done.
The art style feels like a webcomic, where the colors are the biggest thing to stand out. I find that the backgrounds are a bit empty feeling, but the character designs and compositions are all handled very well. There's a very playful quality to the visual field, making this right for any age to understand quite easily. The action is definitely in the realm of a G rating, but still fluid and engaging to an adult eye.
This is a fun dip into the outer realms of the fantasy universe. An all-ages book that can spark the imagination and engage the reader, this is a tale that promises to be something special.
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Creative Team: T.W. Conklin (Writer/Creator), Jihad Akbar (Artist), M. Woods (Colors), Cristian Docolomansky (Letterer)
Publisher: Crow Hill Comics
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