Monday, October 17, 2016

Review - Pathfinder: Worldscape #1 (@DynamiteComics)


"Time for answers. Where am I? What have you people done with my friends?"

There are plenty of fantasy worlds out there to explore. The important thing is to remember to explore them with people you can trust and know will help out you in a tough situation. If those people are taken away from you and you have seek them out (as in Pathfinder: Worldscape #1 from Dynamite Comics), then just make sure you're good with a sword. The issue is written by Erik Mona, illustrated by Jonathan Lau, colored by Omi Remalante and lettered by Simon Bowland.

Into the Worldscape - Dynamite’s fantasy adventure crossover event kicks off as the Pathfinders are drawn into the mysterious Worldscape, where the greatest warriors of Hyboria, Barsoom, Golarion and Earth clash in an ancient battle of life and death! Magic, monsters, and mystery co-starring Red Sonja!

Mona introduces readers to the sheer outlandishness that is Pathfinder well, opening with what seems like just another Monday for the crew as a set-up for things to come. Much of the first issue is told from the perspective of Valeros and Mona infuses him with plenty of strength and character. The plot in the issue is also a very clean way of laying the groundwork for the rest of the series by establishing to tone and atmosphere for the joined world. Each of the two major parts that Mona breaks the book into are very clear and effective in getting the reader up to speed and intrigued. And the inclusion of Red Sonja isn't forced at all as Mona works her in to the tale quite naturally and her reputation is a welcome addition to the book.

Lau's artwork is clearly fantasy-inspired. All of the characters are rendered with an emphasis on physique or looks that fits with the Pathfinder style. This affords Lau the opportunity to craft some pretty fantastic looking fights throughout the issue, convincing the reader that it's completely possible for a warrior to square off against a giant, four-armed monkey. Red Sonja is illustrated with her signature looks and style that allows her to fit right in with the other characters as well. Remalante's colors do a great job of accentuating the differences between the character while also making their world feel lush and realized.

Crossovers as a concept aren't new, but something about Pathfinder: Worldscape #1 just feels right. Valeros is a reluctant participant in a new world and he's eager to find his friends and a way out. Mona seems to have an understanding of what makes the fantasy genre work and is starting to to bring together the worlds well. Lau's artwork is entertaining and a great way to follow along with the action. Pathfinder: Worldscape #1 is a very entertaining first issue that will obviously appeal to fans of the properties involved, but might also be worth checking out for new readers too.

Pathfinder: Worldscape #1 is in stores now.

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