You Choose The Story In IDW’s Fantasy Adventure Relic Of The Dragon HC

by Brendan M. Allen

The classic you-choose-the-story format jumps to comics with this dungeon-crawling fantasy adventure for young readers! Urik the dwarf will need help from his trusty spirit guide if he’s to find the mysterious Dragon Relic, a quest assigned to him by the gods. There’s just one little problem: that spirit guide is you. New dangers and new decisions loom on every page. Help Urik overcome deadly demons, lying fairies, and beautiful yet treacherous unicorns. Will he return home a glorious champion, or fall in a hole? Combining the setting and decision-making of classic sword-and-sorcery RPGs with the captivating storytelling and art of comics, Relic of the Dragon is the adventure of a lifetime

The last interactive book I read was Sword of the Samurai by Michael Reaves and Steve Perry back in 1988. I traveled back to the age of samurai. I was cornered by deadly spies and assassins. I was forced to the edge of a tiger pit. I met Miyamoto Musashi. I died. A lot. That book only had one ending, and I was a terrible samurai. That book took me days to figure out. I cheated. Good times.

I figured 29 years later, I’d make a better dwarf than a ninja. I was wrong. I died. A lot. Well, technically, Urik died, but it was my fault. As his spirit guide, I made horrible decision after horrible decision. He met grisly demise after grisly demise. And, it’s not like they don’t give you chances to pull it back. Make a bad choice, and you get a few opportunities to course correct. Not this guy. Death. So many times.

Adrian Benatar kept the script pretty simple. There isn’t a whole lot of dialogue, and we don’t really know much about Urich, other than he was sent on a quest by his village shaman to retrieve the titular Relic of the Dragon, hidden deep in savage lands. There is a ton of action, and some very creative pitfalls and traps. So many ways to die. There’s also a pretty cool little twist toward the end.

Miguel Angel Garcia’s linework reminds me of Sergio Aragones’ Mad Magazine marginals. There’s a lot of story being told between the pages with dialogue, and a lot of ground to cover. The action sequences are spectacular and a little goofy. Everything moves forward smoothly, regardless how many times the reader has to go back and reset for terrible decision making.

This was a nostalgic and fun read for me. After reading this comic, I really wanted to go back and read that Musashi book again. Found it on Amazon for eighty bucks. Relic of the Dragon is available for $9.99. Better. I sucked at that other book anyway.

Relic of the Dragon, published by IDW Publishing, released on 21 February 2018. Written by Adrian Benatar, art by Miguel Angel Garcia.

Brendan M. Allen

Brendan Allen has probably had more jobs than you would reasonably believe. Dog trainer? He’s done it. Flooring contractor? You bet! EMT? Army NBC specialist? Road dog for a Celtic rock band? Yes, yes, and och aye! Now he reads comics and writes about them. It's a rough gig. You can follow Brendan on Twitter @SaintAmish where he mostly tweets about comic books and cystic fibrosis awareness.