Vol 1: Fantasy heartbreaker, illustrated by Stephanie Hans, letted by Clayton Cowles
For Ash's 16th birthday, his best friend Solomon (Sol) creates a new role-playing game that will knock everyone's socks off. Ash's kid sister, Angela, tags along, and the group is rounded out by Chuck, Isabelle, and Matt. The players build their characters, and Sol passes out special dice to each of them, reserving the D20 for himself as the master. They role, and they find themselves inside the game. Two years later, they come back to the real world, unable to speak about what has happened. Angela is missing an arm, and Sol is missing entirely. Twenty five years later, Sol's D20 finds its way back to Ash, who brings the gang back together again to decide what to do. Before anything can be decided, the five are sucked back into the game again. Sol is now the Grandmaster, and he insists they play again to defeat him this time. The group tries to work together to defeat Sol, but they discover their personal motives don't perfectly align this time.
This is one of those titles that might benefit from a repeat read. Ash is the narrator, and the beginning of the story starts out with lots of details that only become clear once the reader knows what the main conflict is. Aside from this contributing to a bit of a rocky start, the rest of this volume is rock solid. The fantasy personas of each of the main characters are well designed and not your typical D&D character type. The abilities they have and how they can work with each other is really ingenius. Gillen built a really complicated world with The Wicked + The Divine, and this seems like it's going to be another series where there is a lot to keep track of.
The illustrations in this story are gorgeous. There is an etherial nature to them with some really soft lines and blended colors, but Hans has really captured a dark and twisted fantasy world in her colors and atmosphere.
Image rates this as Mature. There is some cussing, and a bit of violence and bloodshed on the page. So far, there aren't any sexual situations, so this Mature rating could be from the violence.
Sara's Rating: 9/10
Suitability Level: Grades 11-12
Publisher: Image Comics
Publication Date: June 11, 2019
ISBN: 9781534312708 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 9/10, Suitability: High School, Comicbooks, Fantasy, Friendship, Magic, Survival
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