Heavy lies the crown. This phrase is an all to familiar theme in this brutal story of violence, magic, betrayal and dragons. Based on the popular free Bioware game (This just in, I just started playing this about a minute ago…addicted), Dragon Age written by David Gaider and illustrated by Chad Hardin follows Alistair a king struggling to put the pieces of his life together while trying to rebuild the kingdom his father started. In this volume he and two hired assassins Isabela (A pirate with knives) and Varric (A dwarf who carries a Gatling crossbow) are searching for Alistair’s father Meric. If you’re like me and don’t follow the Dragon Age storyline you won’t have a hard time following this storyline. It picks up at a good place, but lends itself to more research on your part if you wish to know more…listen to me sounding like a dungeon master. Right away the artwork drew me into this story of legend. Chad Hardin is no stranger to epic, he’s worked on several titles (Reign In Hell, Fist Of Justice, The Shadow) just to name of few. The colors are bold and there are a lot of interesting and natural poses for the characters. The action is drawn superbly and is believable. The story has you feeling for this poor guys plight and to top it all off he’s intrusted his life to hired guns who could turn on him at any given moment.
This story is a Canterbury Tale or Homer’s Odyssey of sorts where our hero must struggle to learn new facts, facts that will mold him into a good or bad person, all the while adding more foe or friends to his journey of a hero. With this particular story it appears that his allies have his back. Course they say they’re only doing it for the money (coin), but no one with a soul could stand by and watch what’s happening to the king and not empathize. I like being able to get behind a plot like that. One that will make you care and that’s what Dragon Age does. Good read for fans of fantasy, drama and magic. Preorder your copy of Dragon Age Volume One at Dark Horse or be a schlub and wait til there sold out at your store. Choose quickly or fail this test of magic (Gauntlet).