Review: IDW’s D&D Forgotten Realms #1

IDW and Wizards of the Coast have been working together lately to churn out a growing number of Dungeons and Dragons related comic books and the latest of these is a new Forgotten Realms series.  Avid readers will remember that I did a review of the trade paper-back version of the re-release of the original Forgotten Realms comics a while back.  Not long after that the announcement of this new series was made and I have been waiting ever since to get my hands on the first issue.   Thankfully the wait is now over, the comic read and the reviewing has begun.

First off, this book is actually written by Ed Greenwood.  If you don’t know who Ed is then I’m giving you a blank stare as you read this sentence.  Okay I’ll be nice, Ed is basically the real life Elminster and possibly an actual denizen of the Realms banished to our plane by some powerful magical spell.  In other words he’s kind of a big deal as far as the Forgotten Realms are concerned.

While I tend to read more Paul S. Kemp (more Erevis Cale books please!) and Bruce Cordell these days I have read a great deal of Mr. Greenwood’s work over the years and was pleasantly surprised when I found out he would be penning this comic.  That being said, I found this first issue of D&D FR to be okay.  Not great, not mind-blowingly spectacular but also not terrible.

The story itself is good and I was sad when the issue was over as I wanted to find out what happened next to the main two characters.  The art is also well done and I felt that the city of Waterdeep was well represented in the scenery.

Where this book falls down though is in the dialog.  In several places it is obvious that the dialog is attempting to do the job of introducing the everyone as the characters start every conversation by calling each other by their full names.  This is okay but I think a small boxed blurb about the characters when they are first introduced might have served better, especially since so many characters are introduced in this issue.  Add to that the fact that the characters sometimes refer to each other with funny fake last names or by nicknames and it is really confusing.  The story bounced around too much for me but this is a result of needing to introduce all of the characters to set the stage for the unfolding adventure, which is understandable.

I’m going to reserve judgement on D&D FR until I read the next two or three issues.  I would say that if you are a fan of Forgotten Realms and/or Ed Greenwood then you should certainly check out this comic.

Rating: ★★½☆☆ 

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