Review - Pathfinder: Hollow Mountain #1 (@DynamiteComics)

"There it is, Seoni! Hollow Mountain!"

Part of the appeal in Pathfinder is doing just what the name implies: finding paths. Those paths don't always lead to good thing though, as sometimes there are obstacles in your way that lend themselves to wanting nothing more than to claim more victims. Pathfinder: Hollow Mountain #1 from Dynamite Entertainment is a book that focuses on exploration of a previously abandoned mountain looking to stop those exploring it. The issue is written by James L. Sutter, illustrated by Tom Garcia, colored by Mohan and lettered by Bill Tortolini.

When an expedition into an ancient runelord stronghold meets with disaster, the Pathfinder heroes find themselves working together with some of the setting's most notorious villains in order to survive and locate a priceless magical item. But even with their own lives on the line, can an agent of the sinister Aspis Consortium ever really be trusted?

Pathfinder fans come to expect certain things from an entry in that series and Pathfinder: Hollow Mountain #1 doesn't disappoint in that regard. Sutter's script effectively establishes the key players, as well as presents the parameters of their involvement with one another. The interplay among the characters relies largely on Sutter's dialogue chock full of banter, but it's believable in convincing the reader that the team is comfortable with one another. There's a great nod to the history of the setting as well in the first issue that makes it stand out more as a character itself. There's a reasonable amount of drama in the issue as well that gives the reader incentive to come back for the second issue as well, although Sutter doesn't stray too far from the expected in terms of a fantasy tale.

The artwork in Pathfinder: Hollow Mountain #1 is a very slick style. Garcia presents characters rife with detail, effectively placing them in a truly fantastical setting with a lot of mythology behind it. There's a lot of combat with an array of opponents throughout the issue and Garcia captures that frenetic energy pretty well. Garcia's panel layout is pretty standard, but there's a really interesting use of a dungeon map for a two-page spread with smaller panels with action worked in at various points. Mohan's colors are rich and varied, even further fleshing out the expedition into the vaunted mountain.

Pathfinder: Hollow Mountain #1 is a solid fantasy book that will appeal to fans of the series. Hollow Mountain comes across as a character itself that challenges the explorers in their quest. Sutter infuses the book with the requisite amount of fantasy and lore, making it a perfect fit within the larger Pathfinder universe. Garcia's illustrations are clean and offer a creative look at the characters, ensuring their appearances fit within the Pathfinder universe. Pathfinder: Hollow Mountain #1 is a solid entry into the series for fans of Pathfinder, but general fantasy fans will likely find something they enjoy there as well.

Pathfinder: Hollow Mountain #1 is in stores now.