First off, a bit of a confession. I love the Dungeons & Dragons comics that IDW Publishing has put out and because of that, I jumped at the opportunity to check out the debut ot the latest mini-series, Dungeons & Dragons: At The Spine Of The World #1. I was a bit down on the fact that it wasn’t going to be another series starring Minsc and it was not going to be written by Jim Zub. For the last few years, he’s written the adventures of one of D & D’s best characters. But, I still love D&D and I thought the non-Zub story A Darkened Wish was exciting.
At The Spine Of The World, so far, is a tale thick in chardalyn, a magical rock of high power, and the mining expedition at the Spine Of The World go berserk on their travel to Ten Towns and more-or-less wipe each other out. A member of the Uthgardt clan sworn to protect the mountain comes across the wagon dogs. As they come back to the wreckage of the wagons, a Remorhaz breaks through everything, looking to finish what’s left of the expedition. From there, it’s a trip to Ten Towns and more trouble, courtesy of the chardalyn.
Part of the fun of these books is seeing what locals or beasts are being used in the story. Getting a town set in Icewind Dale is awesome enough. I’m sure with the Icewind Dale: Rime Of The Frostmaiden campaign being fairly new, it may have been a no-brainer for series writers Aimee Garcia and AJ Mendez to put something together that placed a party within Icewind Dale. They’ve put together a very exciting story with the first issue that feels like a random encounter in a campaign.
My favorite moments with the art was due to the battle. Martin Coccolo’s art was eye-catching in this issue. I loved how the fight between the main characters and the Remorhaz went down. I feel like Coccolo’s detail in his art reminds me a bit of both Andy and Adam Kubert and I mean that as a compliment. He implements a good amount of character detail but nothing too heavy. I wasn’t as impressed with the art when it was a variety of characters just standing around talking. The colors by Katrina Mae Hao were very vibrant. I especially thought the snowy mountain scenes had great color. The 1:25 cover was really superb and well worth checking out.
I love the world that Dungeons & Dragons encompasses and IDW Publishing continues to do right by the properties with their comics. Dungeons & Dragons: At The Spine Of The World #1 has me excited for more issues. There’s something for everyone with these kind of stories and they put a spotlight on folks from all sorts of fantasy walks of life. At The Spine Of The World explodes with a rush of adventure from the get-go and is just the sort of tale any hardened fan of fantasy can enjoy.
Story: Aimee Garcia and AJ Mendez Art: Martin Coccolo
Color: Katrina Mae Hao Letterer: Neil Uyetake Edits: Megan Brown and David Hedgecock
Story: 7.5 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.5
IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Purchase: comiXology – Amazon – Kindle – Zeus Comics