Alan Smithee

Dungeons & Dragons #1 – Review

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When I was growing up in the early 1980s (yes, I’m of THAT generation) in the deep south and in a family who attended Southern Baptist church services on a regular schedule, there were always things that I wasn’t allowed to do. Whether it be watching certain shows, listening to certain types of music, or playing games that my parents feared to be “of the devil” or “satanic”, it was just not allowed in the slightest under their roof.

Little did they know, my friends helped me rebel with a passion.

Dungeons & Dragons is one of those types of things that people in a similar situation as myself were banned from getting into due to the rampant stories of mass suicide and devil worship. It’s a good thing that I didn’t believe any of the hype and tried it out for myself, because I can say without a doubt that D&D saved my childhood from stagnation.

It’s always a hit or miss game when it comes to making products that are based in the universe of a role-playing game;I doubt that not many people outside of my generation can even remember the cartoon that was loosely based in the D&D universe, but believe me, it was there and it was crap.

Thankfully, IDW seems to have hit the nail right on the head when it comes to doing it right.

The latest comic featuring the title Dungeons & Dragons is the first ongoing comic series in almost 2 decades and is being penned by John Rogers who was one of the screenwriters for Transformers, and features art by Andrea Di Vito, who you might remember from various Thor books (Marvel comics you dingus). However, the best part about the issues will be the covers that are painted by Wayne Reynolds (you’d know him if you’re a true RPG and comic fan).

This first issue opens with the characters in media res inside of a burning orphanage filled with zombie orphans, when the thief character, Bree the Halfling utters the best line of dialogue I’ve heard in a long time. I’ll save it for those of you that actually pick the comic book up, but we’re essentially given a crash course into the realm that all of our characters currently reside in, Fallcrest.

The art in this book really does remind me of the kinds of images I would get in my own mind as I was playing the game, and that’s saying a lot considering I have always had a very vivid imagination, and the dialogue remains fresh and humorous throughout the entire book.

Perhaps the coolest thing about the copy of the comic that I received is that in the back of the comic there is an actual usable character sheet based upon the stats that the hero of the book, Adric Fell. This is valuable for guys like me who DM every once in a great while to add more NPCs to my stack of pre-rolled townsfolk.

It’s clear that this is only the beginning of what I hope to be a long running series from the fine folks at IDW. I’ve got a serious hankering for the next issue as well as the other series that will be coming out under the D&D moniker, Dark Sun (my favorite campaign in the D&D universe). I’m sold on both already.

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