Friday, March 18, 2011

IDW's Dungeons & Dragons #1

Dungeons & Dragons #1 (John Rogers, Andrea Di Vito)

I had skipped this book when it first came out because a lot of sword and sorcery fantasy is, to be frank, pretty terrible. Too many writers craft stories about dungeons and dragons and leave out what makes tabletop RPGs so great in the first place: character interaction. The best thing about tabletop games is the zany back-and-forth between players. The fact that this book is an officially licenced tie-in to Hasbro’s Dungeons & Dragons game system made me leery, but as I was browsing at my comic book store I decided to give this book a chance. I’m glad I did. Very few comics have that particular combination of action, wit, and insanity that immediately hooks me on page 1. IDW’s D&D #1 managed to hook me instantly with this splash page:

Oh, D&D. You had me at zombie orphans.

Dungeons & Dragons #1 follows the exploits of an adventuring party consisting of an elf, a dwarf, a human, a halfling, and a tiefling (a humanoid with demonic ancestry). When townspeople begin to be possessed by the Shadowplague, the party gets caught up in a conspiracy that’s disrupting dimensional barriers. The witty banter is actually witty, and the humor is intentional, and humorous. This is another rarity in fantasy fiction.

IDWs Dungeons & Dragons looks and feels authentic. The writers and artists know and love the source material, and the book even has a character sheet in the back if you want to directly import 7th Level Knight Adric Fell into your campaign, either as a player or DM. As a D&D fan, I was immediately drawn in. I even found myself shouting “you fools! Don’t split the party” when the team splits up to investigate the Shadowplague.

In short, it’s a fun read and I look forward to picking up the collected edition when it comes out.

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