It’s been a while since I did a graphic novel review. This time I’m taking a look at the D&D comic put out by IDW back during the release of 4th Edition.
Title: Dungeons & Dragons – Fell’s Five
Written by John Rogers
Art by Andrea Di Vito
Additional Art by Denis Medri, Horacio Domingues, JUANAN, Guido Guidi, Vincente Alcazar, Nacho Arranz, and Andres Ponce
Colors by Aburto V & Graphic Slava
Lettering by Chris Mowry, Shawn Lee, Neil Uyetake
Covers by Wayne Reynolds, Adria Di Vito
Available from Amazon.com.
Adric Fell is a warrior, and part of a band of adventurers that includes the halfling rogue Bree Three-hands, the Dwarven paladin Khal Khalundurrin, the Elvin ranger Varis, and the Tiefling sorceress Tisha Swornheart. Their adventures will take them from the Underdark to the Shadowfell, Feywild, and the Dwarven Homeland.
Rogers writes characters and character relationships really well, giving each member of Fell’s Five great chemistry.
There isn’t a lot of worldbuilding in these 16 issues, which covers the comic’s entire run. We get some development of Dwarven and Eladrin society, but that’s about it. Nothing about the local Human kingdoms. Additionally, there are some big loose ends left untied with Tisha that will likely remain untied.
Originality: This is a pretty generic fantasy setting, aside from the bits that are unique to D&D 4th edition (the Feywild and Shadowfell, for example). 3/6
Artwork: Andres DiVito’s art is fantastic, with some great old school D&D shout-outs (like on page 7 of issue 1). 5/6
Story: There are about 2 complete arcs here, and each is told very well, though I’m disappointed by the lack of clousre on Tisha’s character arc. 4/6
Emotional Response: The humor generally works well, usually is of the quips, witticisms and one-liners variety, with occasional moments of absurdity and dark comedy. 4/6
Characterization: Adric, Khal, and Tisha are fairly well fleshed out in terms of motivations. Unfortunately, Bree and Varis are just stock archetypes – “greedy halfling thief” and “arrogant elf” respectively. I suspect they would have been fleshed out more had we gotten more of the comic, but I can’t evaluate a work on what we didn’t get. 4/6
Overall: I wish there was more to this comic than the 16 issues we got. That is in part because the 16 issues we got were so very good, but also because the story feels unfinished (for reasons that can probably be laid at the feet of IDW or Hasbro more than Rogers) 4/6
In total, Dungeons & Dragons: Fell’s Five gets 30/42.