I don’t play Dungeons & Dragons. It’s frankly something that’s interested me but I’ve never known anyone who plays in order to get a group together. However, I’m familiar with the general feel and lore thanks to various tie-in media, and Dungeons & Dragons: A Darkened Wish is good starter for anyone just like me.
B. Dave Walters, Tess Fowler, Jay Fotos, and Tom B. Long join the party this issue, and give us the intro to what the dungeon master has in store.
After a flash forward to the party’s darkest hour in the distant future, we jump back to the beginning. Helene is the talented mage, Xander the fighter, Aiden the thief, and none of them have ever set foot off their island. Once they do, they discover how dangerous their world actually is…
Walters builds the story slowly and naturally. After the flash forward, it actually feels like the beginning of an adventure, as each member of the party gets a distinct moment to shine as they’re introduced. By the end of the issue, we get a solid feel for what they do, but also care about their goals and desires. Even better for a D&D novice, it’s a fantastic introduction to the lore.
Fowler and Fotos work in the issue immerses the reader in the world. Fowler’s line art is full of detail, bringing the characters to life. Helene, our POV character, jumps off the page thanks to smart design choices, from the charms in her hair, to her staff. I’ve loved her design work for so long, and this issue is a great example of that. Fotos color work is bright and eye catching, but still is grounded enough to draw you in.
This is a great first issue for a D&D beginner, but also has a lot to offer for any fantasy fan.
Dungeons & Dragons: A Darkened Wish #1 is available now from IDW Publishing.