You Choose The Story In IDW’s Fantasy Adventure Relic Of The Dragon HC

by Brendan M. Allen

The classic you-choose-the-story format jumps to comics with this dungeon-crawling fantasy adventure for young readers! Urik the dwarf will need help from his trusty spirit guide if he’s to find the mysterious Dragon Relic, a quest assigned to him by the gods. There’s just one little problem: that spirit guide is you. New dangers and new decisions loom on every page. Help Urik overcome deadly demons, lying fairies, and beautiful yet treacherous unicorns. Will he return home a glorious champion, or fall in a hole? Combining the setting and decision-making of classic sword-and-sorcery RPGs with the captivating storytelling and art of comics, Relic of the Dragon is the adventure of a lifetime

The last interactive book I read was Sword of the Samurai by Michael Reaves and Steve Perry back in 1988. I traveled back to the age of samurai. I was cornered by deadly spies and assassins. I was forced to the edge of a tiger pit. I met Miyamoto Musashi. I died. A lot. That book only had one ending, and I was a terrible samurai. That book took me days to figure out. I cheated. Good times.
I figured 29 years later, I’d make a better dwarf than a ninja. I was wrong. I died. A lot. Well, technically, Urik died, but it was my fault. As his spirit guide, I made horrible decision after horrible decision. He met grisly demise after grisly demise. And, it’s not like they don’t give you chances to pull it back. Make a bad choice, and you get a few opportunities to course correct. Not this guy. Death. So many times.

Adrian Benatar kept the script pretty simple. There isn’t a whole lot of dialogue, and we don’t really know much about Urich, other than he was sent on a quest by his village shaman to retrieve the titular Relic of the Dragon, hidden deep in savage lands. There is a ton of action, and some very creative pitfalls and traps. So many ways to die. There’s also a pretty cool little twist toward the end.

Miguel Angel Garcia’s linework reminds me of Sergio Aragones’ Mad Magazine marginals. There’s a lot of story being told between the pages with dialogue, and a lot of ground to cover. The action sequences are spectacular and a little goofy. Everything moves forward smoothly, regardless how many times the reader has to go back and reset for terrible decision making.

This was a nostalgic and fun read for me. After reading this comic, I really wanted to go back and read that Musashi book again. Found it on Amazon for eighty bucks. Relic of the Dragon is available for $9.99. Better. I sucked at that other book anyway.
Relic of the Dragon, published by IDW Publishing, released on 21 February 2018. Written by Adrian Benatar, art by Miguel Angel Garcia.

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