Review - Dungeons and Dragons: A Darkened Wish #1 (@IDWPublishing)

"My day of ascension means I'm an adult now, yes? Well then I choose to leave!"

Dungeons and Dragons has plenty of history behind it and it's still going strong. And it's showing no signs of abating in popularity. The latest example of it's unstoppable nature is Dungeons and Dragons: A Darkened Wish #1 from IDW Publishing. The issue is written by B. Dave Walters, illustrated by Tess Fowler, colored by Jay Fotos and lettered by Tom B. Long.

When war threatens the Moonshae Isles, legendary heroes return to defeat the forces of an unthinkable foe. The Forgotten Realms are changed forever as young wizard Helene and her friends grow from raw recruits on the streets of Mintarn into powerful warriors.

Walters made the decision to drop the reader into the middle of a battle in Alaron of the Moonshae Isles which also introduces the reader to Helene as a central character. From there, Walters goes back in time to Helene traveling and pulling together her crew serving as a further introduction of all the major players. Walters does a great job of giving each character their own unique personalities that are very much in the spirit of Dungeons and Dragons. Still, the pacing of the issue feels a little rushed, as if Walters is throwing a lot at the reader for the sake of setting the table for future events. Walters still captures the essence of Dungeons and Dragons with the script and dialogue, although the issue can feel a bit overwhelming at times.

Like their disparate personalities make it easy to discern which character is which, Fowler imbues each character with a particular look unique to each. This is a great touch as it helps the reader further envision a merry band of misfits making their way through the world and really underscores the diversity of a property like Dungeons and Dragons. Each of the character sports a level of detail that would accompany one's imagination as to how their character would look like in real life. Fowler also manages to impress upon the reader the scope of the world the characters inhabit, although it would've been nice if some of the backgrounds were a bit more detailed. Fotos does a solid job on colors, further embellishing the the unique appearance of each of the characters.

Dungeons and Dragons: A Darkened Wish #1 is a fun jaunt into one of the OGs of fantasy. Helene is a strong leading character who has a desire to strike out on her own and will gladly accept the help of those willing to offer it. Walters' script is a little dense and jam-packed with story. Fowler's artwork renders each character in a unique way that lends itself well to the property. Dungeons and Dragons: A Darkened Wish #1 is a fun read that will definitely be worth your while if you're looking for a high-fantasy or Dungeons and Dragons fill.

Dungeons and Dragons: A Darkened Wish #1 is available now.