Review – The Order of Dagonet #5

The Order of Dagonet, written by Jeremy Whitley with artwork by Jason Strutz and published by Firetower Studios, has to be one of the most strangely original and entertaining titles I’ve read this year. Does that last sentence make sense? I think it does. Think of all the Arthurian creatures of legend mixed in with many other mythological creatures and what would happen if they suddenly invaded England. Now consider that all the honorary knighthoods given out by the Queen of England in recent years were actually inductions into the order of the Knights of the Round Table.

That’s right; Sir Elton John could go into battle. Not the typical guy I’d think of to be a soldier but I guess a knight is a knight right?

What if an eclectic group of these knights were called together by Merlin himself to stop the Faerie Realm’s invasion of the British Isles!? Not quite an elite SWAT team but Faerie magic tends to make quick work of people like that anyways. If your interest isn’t piqued yet I don’t know what to tell you except to keep on reading after the break for a few other reasons why I really enjoyed the first five issues of this series, and why I can guarantee you that this comic will be remembered by me for a long time.

The basic story begins on another normal day in modern England. In one particular park, however, events are transpiring that will unleash magic back into the world. You see, once upon a time the Faerie Realm terrorized the countryside but they were defeated – presumably by Merlin and Arthur with his Knights at his side. They were sealed away under a tree of all things, forever able to watch the world but unable to interfere.

Well city officials have decided to clear a park away in order to put a statue up of none other than…David Beckham! A wise choice indeed. There is one problem; one of the trees that the workers tear down amidst the protests of environmentalists is the tree imprisoning the Faerie Realm. Needless to say, mayhem ensues. Given the often playful and humorous tone of the comic there are some genuinely violent parts as well. Not all the Faeries are playful in a nice way you see.

With this happening in the background, Merlin returns and enters the consciousness of a small group of knights to come together in order to battle the menace. Amongst those selected are a legend of metal, a famous author writing about boy wizards, an aging actor and a flamboyant rock star. The slight name changes for everything from the knights to the stores and airlines they are involved in are pretty amusing. I’m sure the characters' similarities to real life figures are purely coincidence and make for fun story telling. Now if only King Arthur had returned so the battle could begin in earnest.

That pretty much brings you up to speed. Merlin still believes in the social norms of Arthurian times and that makes for interesting interactions with regards to social changes. Let’s not forget about the artwork, as it's perfect for this setting. It gives the entire book a magical, fantasy-like feel to it without the super realistic and clean computerized art many comics have today. The entire concept is captured in an art style that I’d have to describe as a constant reminder of Starry Night by Van Gogh. Even the layout of the panels on the pages is unique, occurring in partial concentric circles and other non-boxy layouts.

The interactions of these medieval magical creatures with modern day topics such as the TV Show Frasier and Discovery’s Shark Week – amongst other things – made me chuckle throughout the book. If you are looking for a change of pace and have always wondered how mythical creatures and heroes would interact in modern times I have a feeling that this book will be right up your alley. You can pick up all five issues over at the Firetower Store. Happy reading.