Every Thursday is RPG night for me. No consoles, no screens. I do it old school. A bag of dice, a hardcover rule book, a character sheet and imagination. Currently, my character is a 4th level Sorcerer with +12 alchemy and wields an Obsidian wand that channels spells into fireballs. So I alchemicize things or burn them down. It’s how I roll. My fellow geeks think I’m rather great.
We play the Pathfinder system from Paizo Publishing. I have little experience with Role Play so I can’t really judge the system against others but I know I’m enjoying myself. However, I do know comics a little more and so I delve into Dynamite’s latest foray into licensed property, Pathfinder #1.
Making something is pretty much always more fun for me than observing it. And reading a comic pales in comparison to the collaborative story-making that is role play. Going into this book I was curious, but not expecting much. And I got what I expected.
Pathfinder is a fascinating world. Pirates can fight alongside elves. Monsters can be demons as well as dinosaurs. And along with all that, exists the average fantasy trappings. Wizards, spells, swords, and lairs and so on. It’s a rich place for the active mind. This comic on the other hand must zoom in narrowly by necessity. It introduces us to a few key characters. An impulsive brute, a glib sorceress, a no-nonsense rogue. A cleric and a few other ancillary characters are hinted at and passed over quickly. The connection to the game here is that these are the same character designs one encounters in the illustrations in the rule books. It’s a nice touch. +1 to base attack bonus.
Jim Zubkavich’s plot is simple. Goblins bearing mysterious markings are haranguing a village. An investigation is launched. An invasion is triggered. To be continued. It’s a slight story. Not terribly original or distinctive. Significant page count is dedicated to a bar fight which does get us acquainted with the characters and their interaction dynamics but considering the lightweight plot, one feels like this is a wasted story beat. Surely, we could have been thrown a morsel of mythology or two. Maybe a subtle beginning to a subplot? Sorry, that’s above this comic’s armor class.
Andrew Huerta provides pencils. His visuals are what is most appealing. Though overly baroque for my tastes, his layouts are legible and he makes the characters act serviceably well. I’m reminded of Yves Guichet and Joe Madureira. Ross Campbell’s colors are a little on the muddy side but get the job done. Nothing about this book’s visual presentation is exceptional or horrible.
Would I read a second issue? Roll a D20 against DC 15 and we’ll talk about it.
Parental concern: A modicum of violence and mature subject matter.