Review - Pathfinder: City of Secrets #1

"We're staying for a while, Meri. Let's get settled in first."

We're long past the days of docking at a massive city full with all manner of rogue, thieves and various other less than righteous individuals. Settings like that are pretty fantastic and offer a path into imagination and fantasy. Dynamite Entertainment is a publisher who's a big fan of fantasy and are publishing Pathfinder: City of Secrets #1 in that category. The issue is written by Jim Zub, illustrated by Leandro Oliveira, colored by Ross Campbell and lettered by Marshall Dillon.

The Pathfinder heroes head to the city of Magnimar and danger isn't far behind. As the wizard Ezren seeks an audience with the Pathfinder Society, his adventuring allies explore the city's ancient magic, well-hidden secrets, and deep political divides. The dangers and opportunities of the big city could bring the adventurers closer together--or tear them apart. All the more reason for Seoni the Sorcerer, Valeros the Mercenary, Harsk the Dwarf Ranger, Ezren the Wizard, Merisiel the Elf Rogue and Kyra the Cleric of Sarenrae to spring into action.

Tales of fantasy in comics are relatively few and far between, but many of them are crafted very well by Zub. His ability to offer up a tale that's full of fantasy but feels somewhat grounded in the tedium of daily life is on full display in Pathfinder: City of Secrets #1. That's not to say the book is boring by any means as the story moves along at a relatively easy to follow pace that clearly lays out the action. Zub crafts pretty intelligent dialogue among the characters to help move the story forward, although there is a lot to take in, mostly because there's so many characters. Zub does his best with all the action, but there is the possibility that new readers may feel a little overwhelmed.

There are some photorealistic tendencies to the art that makes the characters feel pretty lifelike. Oliveira infuses each character with their own unique characteristics to ensure that they stand out among the other key players and some general population inhabitants as well. Pathfinder: City of Secrets #1 feels like a fantasy world, courtesy of Oliveira's ability to give each character relevant fantasy appearances keeping in line with their defined roles. Campbell's colors are pretty solid as well, again giving each character their own distinct flair. There are a ton of panels in the book as well, some stacked atop one another that do make some of the pages feel a little cluttered.

Pathfinder: City of Secrets #1 is something that fans of Pathfinder will definitely want to check out. Other readers with an eye for fantasy stories will also find something of interest in the issue, as it has all the makings of a good fantasy read. Zub is one of the best writers in comics these days and his talents are on full display here, fleshing out a world rife with characters and intrigue. Oliveira's art is a strong complement to the script, helping present appearances of a variety of characters and a densely populated city setting. Pathfinder: City of Secrets #1 is a book that is packed with plot and may be a little overwhelming to some, but there's the potential for the series to get pretty interesting.

Pathfinder: City of Secrets #1 is in stores now with interiors below.