Dungeons & Dragons: A Darkened Wish #1

Publisher: IDW
Writer: B. Dave Walters
Artist: Tess Fowler
Colorist: Jay Fotos
Letterer: Tom B. Long
Editorial Assists: Megan Brown
Edits: David Hedgecock

Review by Michael Farris, Jr.

Dungeons & Dragons: A Darkened Wish follows a group of friends as they fight to protect the Moonshae Isles from an overwhelming invading force. Through a series of flashbacks, we meet Helene, Aiden, and Xander as they journey off to join the White Sails Company. Along the way, they meet the magically gifted twins Karrin and Kerrin, the dragonborn Rayonde, and the aarakocra Solivigant and create a party all set on joining the Company. Their bonds are strengthened as they fight off a group of slavers, but years later, we see tension between the party set on saving the Isles. Where did the split occur, and can their friendship be saved?

Anyone who is even a casual Dungeons & Dragons player will find a lot to love about this book. Watching how the party builds up perfectly plays out just like the beginning of a campaign. A varied group of characters from different backgrounds all find a common goal that is tested right away. We get hints of classic D&D strategy (never split the party!). Even more intriguing is the split between past and present that gives hints that the party will fracture and be at odds with each other. This first issue creates an immediate tension that demands further reading.

However, if you’re not into playing D&D, you will still find plenty to like about A Darkened Wish. Walters creates a lot of great characters, and despite being one issue in, they all have distinct personalities. Good stories that use a large cast find a way to make it not overwhelming to the reader, but rather, they allow the reader to discover characters with whom they identify or feel drawn to. I was particularly interested by the twins and found Solivigant’s parroted speech entertaining and full of surprisingly deep moments.

Fowler’s artwork plays perfectly with the story. It’s hard to take your eyes away from Helene’s impressive red mane, and the costume and world design is skillfully detailed but not cumbersome.

Verdict: Buy it.

A Darkened Wish holds a lot of appeal for D&D fanatics and non-players alike. The alternating timelines create immediate tension between the characters that will have you clamoring for the next issue to see just what happens to this diverse party. The first entry in this series rolls a nat-20.

Michael Farris Jr.
Michael is a Virginia-born Idaho convert (stuck in Georgia) and a huge fan of sci-fi. He took time off from comics and sci-fi during the dark years of being a teenager and trying to impress girls, but has since married an amazing woman with whom he regularly can geek out and be himself. He's also a drummer, loves metal music, and can always be found in a melancholy state while watching all things DC sports.

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