Written by Aimee Garcia and AJ Mendez
Art by Martin Coccolo
Colors by Katrina Mae Hao
Letters by Neil Uyetake
Review by KrisK
Dungeons and Dragons carries some baggage. As a nerd, I drew it as the line I would not cross growing up. Comics and general awkwardness kept me enough of a social pariah. (I also chose percussion in band over taking orchestra, which I supremely regret) As an adult though, I grew more self confident, and I dipped my toes into the table top pool with a D&D 5E podcast. And then another. Then a third.
I put out some feelers to see if I had coworkers interested in participating in a campaign with me. I figured it was a shot in the dark. By end of day, I was turning people down. People who I barely knew approached me. It turns out a lot of people felt the way I did. The social acceptance of D&D and Table Top Role Playing Games accelerated the growth of the hobby to an unthinkable size.
This brings us to the comics. The D&D comics existed before the game exploded. The perpetual state of mini-series though is newer. And with it, the talent involved. For this writing team is already famous.
Aimee Garcia and AJ Mendez remain most famous for very different arts. Aimee Garcia plays Ella Lopez on Lucifer now, and she has acted on several TV shows as recurring characters. AJ Mendez wrestled for the WWE as one of the star female wrestlers of her time. The writing duo first paired off to write the Glow tie-in comics. It seems though, that IDW loved their work, because they return as a team for a whole different genre.An actress and an ex-wrestler write a comic sounds like a joke setup, but the result was anything but a joke.
Dungeons and Dragons: At the Spine of the World rises above any other D&D comic I have read. While most comics in the line serve as a welcome visits to the Forgotten Realms, they offer less to non D&D players. This comic, though, is a great comic, period. You need no fore knowledge or investment in the genre to have a hell of a time. The banter left me laughing again and again. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters tremendously. They managed to both entertain and endear immediately. The story, set in Icewind Dale, promises mystery and adventure. The comic proves timely as well, because the latest adventure released by D&D is set in the Icewind Dale.
The art by Martin Coccolo is pitch perfect for an IDW comic. The monsters look great. The characters sport detailed, different faces. And the characters avoid sexualization or absurd proportions. They look like realistic fantasy creatures. (You know what I mean) The colors by Katrina Mae Hao use the duality of warmth and cold wonderfully. The blues in the outdoors scenes can be expected, but the reds in the indoor scenes convey so much warmth while feeling completely organic.
Verdict: BUY! I honestly loved this comic. Its easily the best new fantasy series I have read this year. No contest.