Dynamite Entertainment 2015
Written by Erik Mona
Illustrated by Leandro Oliveira’
Coloured by Mohan
This has been one of the most gorgeously illustrated series i’ve had the pleasure to read in quite some time. The attention to detail in the clothing, the vibrant colours, the facial expressions, tattoo’s and the backgrounds all of it is seriously some of the most intricate and beautiful work around these days. It really does help translate this from a typical Dungeons and Dragons style story to something more universal in it’s appeal. Well that along with Erik’s writing and using this limited-series to really give these characters the background information we need to get to know and like them. It also demonstrates beautifully that while it is rooted in a sword and sorcery setting the struggles they face all are too human in nature.
This issue though doesn’t just focus on Ezren as it concludes this run where the entire team learns if they will all be inducted into the Pathfinder Society and continue their adventures with the organizations backing. This rather eclectic group of individuals have found themselves drawn together in the most organic of ways and that they’ve managed to stay together and survive thanks to the bonds they’ve formed is remarkable. They’ve become so much more than a band of adventurers but have become a family unit one that is remarkably relatable to and reminiscent of teams such as the New Titans or X-Men.
I like the fact that Ezren didn’t discover magic till later in life and against all odds, namely his family, has reached a point where he’s respected and has found his own path in life outside of revenge or vengeance can be something of a father figure to these kids despite his own father’s influence is amazing to see. The catalyst that led him on his current path while not exactly unique is one of those things that define the man he’s become. The dreamer of the family who is considered to be the weakest and kept out of the loop of the family’s true allegiance was remarkably well done.
Also meeting Lem was delightful and hopefully he’ll be around again sometime in the future as a bard of his skill is always welcome to be seen again. Also that we see from each of these characters something of a villain or opposing force that will keep them all together and keep them active in thwarting their plans is a welcome thing especially if Erik can weave those stories so that they don’t really know that those people are behind some of the adventures and supposed downfall. Revenge goes both ways and since they’ve found each other they have become a larger target and more powerful and in need to be removed from the playing field and that is something I look forward to seeing Erik explore.
This really does go so much farther than just a D&D style book. Yes it has those species and their unique properties but it goes so much farther than that and fans of gaming and those that don’t should love the storytelling that is happening here.