Dungeons & Dragons: A Darkened Wish is published by IDW Publishing, written by B. Dave Walters, art by Tess Fowler, colors by Jay Fotos and letters by Neil Uyetake and Tom B. Long. A darkness threatens to engulf the land. Even as heroes rush to meet this threat all is in doubt. But how did we get here? How has such a evil come to threaten the world? And what part did our heroes played in their own undoing?
Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) has always been an avenue for adventures great and small. Limited by only the imagination of the players who participate, the worlds crafted are generally filled with epic adventures and grand feats of heroics. Just as in the table top game, so to here in Dungeons & Dragons: A Darkened Wish.
Along with the promise of adventure, one of the other hallmarks of D&D is how familiar the characters become to those who play them. While investing dozens of hours playing games, players get to watch their characters grow from fledgling adventurers to seasoned pros. Walters clearly understands this, as the reader is introduced to the main cast both during the brutal final battles of their campaign, as well as during their first steps. Allowing the narrative to bounce back and forth between their early days, and their final battles goes along way to help the reader appreciate how far these characters have come. While nothing could fully recreate the journey of a dozen or more play sessions, Walters does the best you could ask for to recreate that familiarity within a few scant issues.
While I appreciated the effort put into the character’s journey, I enjoyed the creativity brought to the setting even more. Rather than just write a classic swords and sorcery tale, Walters takes the characters on a high seas adventure. Brimming with pirates, volcanoes and even fantasy style submarines, the uniqueness the story’s surroundings does a great job separating it from more classically setup fantasy tales.
While the setting and narrative structure are both interesting, I did not find myself equally drawn to the cast themselves. While none of the characters are badly handled, they never really connected with me in a meaningful way. This hurt some of the endings bigger moments as my investment in the characters wasn’t there.
Just as the characters personalities left a bit to be desired I felt the same could be said for Dungeons & Dragons: A Darkened Wish’s art. While technically proficient, it failed to use the setting in such a way that left an impression on me. Even with these feelings, Fowler still provides an clear and easy to follow visual presentation to accompany the story being told.
I feel that this mixed visual result can also be partly contributed to the coloring of the book. While brighter moments are put into dazzling focus through strong bright colors, the darker moments feel held back and a bit washed out. As if Fotos didn’t want to commit to the truly dark tones the story goes for in its final confrontations.
Finally, a clear presentation for the story is provided through Uyetake and Long’s solid lettering performance. The dialogue bubbles are always well placed, and the text is clear and easy to follow.
All in all Dungeons & Dragons: A Darkened Wish provides a solid fantasy story that delivers an interestingly executed narrative with a fine cast of characters. If you are itching for some D&D and quarantine is keeping you from your group there are worse ways to get your fantasy fix.
Dungeons & Dragons: A Darkened Wish is available now wherever comics are sold.
Dungeons & Dragons: A Darkened Wish
All in all Dungeons & Dragons: A Darkened Wish provides a solid fantasy story that delivers a interestingly executed narrative with a fine cast of characters.