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Review: Archon: Battle of the Dragon #1

Archon1_MAINCOVERLas Vegas, 1981. Gareth Thompson, a Vietnam veteran and single father, has just accepted a security job at the new fantasy-themed “Archon Hotel and Casino.” However, he’ll soon discover all the Orcs, Elves and Dragons at the Resort are not people in costumes, but actual creatures of myth and legend.

For those who’ve been to Las Vegas, you know the city is about as much fantasy as Lord of the Rings, Conan, or any of the other classics. The city immerses you into man created worlds, usually with themes, and some of them are indeed full of knights and maidens. That’s what Archon: Battle of the Dragon #1 introduces us to, a Las Vegas hotel that’s more than just people in costumes.

Written by John J. Perez, the first issue doesn’t just throw us into this entertaining world, instead he focuses on Gareth Thompson, fleshing him out as to why he’s taking this job, his daughter, and most importantly why we should care about him. It’d be easy to just focus on Gareth and let us be entertained by this new world he inhabits, that could work as a comic. Instead Perez wants to give us a reason to care about Gareth, any I’m guessing cheer for him as the series progresses. It’s some fun fantasy with a heart. He’s also integrated enough familiar things from fantasy that you immediately can pick up on why things matter, or an idea about the characters, without having to explain a lot. It’s all familiar, with a nice twist.

Perez is helped by Marco Maccagni, Bobby Hernandez, and Salvatore R. Villirillo on art who give the series a somewhat cartoon look that makes it more than some gritty fantasy series. Doing that sort of style wouldn’t work with the tone Perez has created. Instead they have given us a style that fits perfectly with comedy, action, and more down to earth tender moments.

With added material in the back perfect for any dungeon master and dice slinger, Archon: Battle of the Dragon #1 is a fun new read for those who like a little sword and sorcery.

Story: John J. Perez Art:  Marco Maccagni, Bobby Hernandez, Salvatore R. Villirillo
Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Read

Action Lab Entertainment provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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