Comic: "Forgotten Realms - Starless Night #1"
Published by: Dark Horse Comics
Written by: Andrew Dabb (script)
Artist: Juanfran Moyano
Reviewer: Dr. Boogie
Plot: Drizzt Do’Urden, the drow elf who turned his back on the murderous ways of his brethren, is mourning the loss of his friend, Wulfgar. In order to keep the rest of his friends from harm, he decides to secretly return to Menzoberranzan, the capital city of the drow. Meanwhile, the drow plan their assault on the dwarven stronghold of Mithril Hall.
Review: Back in high school, I was all about R.A. Salvatore and books about a certain brooding dark elf struggling to get out from under his dark heritage. And now, we have a new version of some of the stories for those who have neither the time, nor the attention span, to enjoy a full-length novel.
For fans of the Drizzt franchise, the comic will seem like a refresher course. You may not have remembered the names of all the different drow houses in Menzoberranzan, but you’ll still remember the key players involved. Obviously, events will unfold a bit faster than you remember due to this being a three-issue run, but you won’t have that much trouble keeping up.
The same can’t be said for the uninitiated. If you have no idea who it is that you see on the cover, then prepare to be buried under an avalanche of information. This first issue has the unenviable task of both presenting the storyline, and catching up all the new readers. For you average comic book fare, this is as simple as putting a quick blurb on the first page: Reed Richards and his three friends got irradiated in space, and now they have fantastic powers. But when each new page presents a reference to something from an earlier novel, things can get confusing in a hurry.
And it doesn’t help that the story jumps around a lot. Novels have the luxury of parsing out events in the form of chapters. In order to get that same amount of detail into the comics, you’ll see as few as two pages in a row devoted to one part of the story, followed by a sudden transition to another seemingly unrelated part of the story, followed just as suddenly by a return to the previous scene, only slightly further along.
Art-wise, there’s not too much to complain about. My only gripe is that a number of the character faces in the comic look flat and unremarkable. It seems odd considering Moyano put a decent amount of detail into some of the faces, but others, particularly younger women, may show only a single line or two when twisted up in anger.
The bottom line is that fans of the series will likely get a lot more out of this comic than newcomers. Then again, those same fans will probably still prefer the novels over the greatly-condensed comic versions. I guess, then, that the real purpose here is to draw in those readers who are looking for some R.A. Salvatore cliff notes before they dive into the original books. If that sounds like you, then enjoy!
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)
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