Writers: R.A. Salavatore (story), Andrew Dabb (script)
Artists: Tim Seeley (p); John Lowe (i)
Publisher: Devil's Due Publishing
With this chapter of Drizzt's "biography," the writers have taken him out of his underground home, where he is an outcast and fugitive among his own kind, and sent him to the world above ground, where his kind are hated and feared by all. The change in the environment does wonders for the look of the comic, as endless dungeons and caves are replaced with more varied environments. Of course, if the art team had been more diligent in bringing the fantasy world to life, then they could have made even the underground labyrinths of earlier chapters visually interesting. That said, while it's true that this generic approach to the art is still present, but at least Tim Seeley now has more varied imagery to transfer to the page. To give Seeley his due, he has a good dramatic sense of storytelling, which itself is improving with every issue, but his unimaginative designs let him down.
It's difficult to judge the writing properly when the comic is an adaptation, as to varying extents the plot and characterisation are the work of another, but on the whole this seems to be a good effort. Narrative captions are used somewhat haphazardly, with scripter Andrew Dabb using them to good effect to impart information not conveyed by the art, or occasionally to offer a humourous aside to the action. It also fits the retrospective, biographical style of the tale much more than thought balloons would. Yet there are a number of occasions where they're overused and redundant, merely reporting what we can plainly see or at least easily infer, and that makes the comic seem a little amateurish at times.
This isn't a bad piece of work, but it is a disappointing one. There is talent and quality on show here, but they're stifled by silly, and easily fixable, flaws. Given the relative dearth of English-language fantasy comics, this isn't a bad read, but it could be a lot better.
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