Villordsutch reviews Dungeons & Dragons: Down…
“Fell’s Five have returned to Fallcrest, only to find shattering news for Khal. He’s heading home, and nothing will stand in his way as he must lead Fell’s Five against a sinister new threat in the Underdark. But this “threat” is someone near and dear to another of the group! John Rogers and Andrea Di Vito bring the latest chapter in their thrilling adventure of swords and sorcery!”“
John Rogers (Blue Beetle, Cthulu Tales) and Andrea Di Vito (World War Hulk, Brath), with IDW, brought D&D – Down to the comic format back in 2012 and this review is based on the graphic novel, released tomorrow (April 3rd).
Now I can happily say my days of being a teenager were nerd filled of live action roleplaying and table top play, both Fantasy and Sci-Fi, and I can remember with a great fondness the cartoon of the same name. So the chance to read a D&D graphic novel was rather exciting to me, but I had a sense of foreboding with it too. Was this going to be extremely graphic, embracing the Game of Thrones genre or embarrassingly corny, hugging the sugar sweet moral of the week? For those unwilling to wait until the end of this review it was neither.
Starting mid-battle we are introduced straight away to the characters and the roles they play within the first few pages. The group begins by defending a wagon and its cargo against swarming giant bugs only for Khal the Dwarf to read his latest, coded, love letter. This letter starts the group off on their quest. From this point on you are happily taken through some great looking set pieces, some fantastic skirmishes and a Demi-God summoning. There are no quiet moments within the pages the story goes along at a good steady pace never boring you with filler pages. However, as a warning there is a Dwarven Song but it goes on for a mere eight panels or so.
Di Vitos’ art is clean and basic. It plays its part well in the story, which on the whole is basic too. No deep political undercurrents of power, no sister/brother forbidden passion fruit in these pages. If anything the writing feel lends a lot to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It is witty and quick throughout, and it keeps you smiling as comebacks are given mid battle or arrow to a heroes chest. The Summoning Circle was especially good.
I’m glad this has been my first D&D comic as it makes me want to read more of this line. However, as not to get sneers from people around me I may have to place my copy inside my newspaper (The I if you’re wondering). Heck, who am I kidding!? I’m 6ft 2” and look like a Viking or an extremely tall Dwarf. If anyone says anything I’ll smash’em in the mouth with my 20 side die and quaff a flagon of Mead (or not).
Villordsutch is married with kids and pets. He looks like a tubby Viking and enjoys science fiction. Follow him on Twitter.