Review – Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves – The Feast of the Moon (IDW Publishing)
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer(s): Jeremy Lambert, Ellen Bonner
Artwork: Eduardo Ferigato, Paulo Santos, Gullermo Sanna
Colours: Patricio Delpeche, Mattia Iacono
Release Date: 8th March 2023
Ahead of the release of the upcoming Paramount Pictures movie, IDW Publishing have dropped an official prequel comic for Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, giving readers the opportunity to get to know the movie’s cast a little better before their big screen debut. The main story of this one-shot release sees our eclectic group of adventurers lurching from a failed heist into a brand new quest as they find themselves drawn into the troubles of a small town.
Story wise, this feels like your classic D&D beginner quest, with a desperate family enlisting the help of the colourful band of misfits to rid the town of its bandit problem and avenge their lost father. However, what sets it apart from its fairly generic roots is the misfits themselves, who have a really enjoyable synergy and banter as they find themselves railing against the instincts of their de facto leader, Edgin the Bard (played on the big screen by Chris Pine) who wants to con everyone they come in contact with, instead actually deciding to help these poor people.
Truth be told, there’s nothing particularly groundbreaking at play here, and the story unfolds in fairly predictable fashion for the most part as Edgin and his party find themselves pitted against bandits, undead, and giant skeletal dragons throughout the course of this 60-page romp. Interestingly, one of the key characters here is Kira, Edgin’s daughter, who doesn’t seem to feature prominently (if at all) in the promotional material for the movie. The slightly uncomfortable dynamic between the pair is entertaining while it lasts, although is rapidly overshadowed by the plot-based narrative and the actions of nervous Simon the Sorceror (Justice Smith in the movie) and headstrong Barbarian Holga (Michelle Rodriguez).
I do like the fact that artist Eduardo Ferigato hasn’t bogged himself down too heavily with trying to make the cast of characters look exactly like their live-action counterparts. Sure, there’s an overall similarity that keeps everyone recognisable enough, but Ferigato does well to avoid the common trend of awful photo referencing that frequently plagues movie tie-in comics. Visually, this is a solid package, with Ferigato working well alongside inker Paulo Santos and colourist Patricio Delpeche to deliver a dynamic, suitably cartoony aesthetic. Considering its relatively slim page count, the creators manage to pack in a wide variety of locations, characters and monstrosities here, which keeps things interesting throughout.
The story wraps itself up in a satisfying enough manner, but it’s difficult to see how (if at all) the events here are going to play into the upcoming movie, given how self-contained they appear to be.
The second story, which runs for 20 pages and is penned by Ellen Boener, introduces us to Paladin Xenk (played on the big screen by Regé-Jean Page) as he tries to find a safe home for the incredibly powerful Helmet of Disjunction, which is capable of breaking any enchantment. He finds himself assisting a settlement of deep gnomes in their battle against the demonic, Lovecraftian Illithids, and there’s a real energy to both the dialogue and the artwork alongside the humorous dialogue. Guillermo Sanna takes over art duties here, and delivers a far more intense, detailed look than the first story. Again, the story itself is nothing too extraordinary, but it does serve its purpose in terms of introducing us to Xenk.
It’s certainly far from essential reading, but The Feast of the Moon delivers an enjoyable slice of swords and sorcery, and provides a fun introduction to the characters of Honour Among Thieves before the movie hits cinemas at the end of the month. Worth a look for the curious, the impatient, and those who just love some good honest fantasy action.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]
The writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
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