REVIEW: Pathfinder #2

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While many of you may have been introduced to the 4th Edition of D&D through Critical Hit, there are many variations on that RPG theme, and Pathfinder is one of them. Published by Paizo, Pathfinder is an open tabletop system based on D&D 3.5 with a lot of creativity and flavor, but how will a comic book based on the RPG system fare? Major Spoilers finds out for you!

PATHFINDER #2
Writer: Jim Zub
Illustrator: Andrew Huerta
Colors: Ross Campbell
Letters: Marshall Dillon
Covers: Matteo Scalera; Lucio Parrillo; Tyler Walpole; Erik Jones
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously, in Pathfinder: This is (essentially while not nominally) Dungeons and Dragons. A group of adventurers with various goals and origins have come together to form an adventuring party. They will go on missions and try to save the day. This series draws its world from the “Pathfinder” variation on D&D

PURE ROLEPLAYING ADVENTURE

This is based on the Pathfinder setting, and as my roleplaying group recently moved from D&D 3.5 to a Pathfinder campaign I decided to give this series a shot in order to help familiarize myself with the world. I didn’t really have any expectations going into the series other than a semi-expectation of seeing some of the basic RPG character tropes. This issue opens with a medium-length battle scene, which got me wondering if, like happens sometimes with the Critical Hit Podcast, we were going to get an issue consisting exclusively of combat. Thankfully that didn’t happen, as the party (which doesn’t seem to be a very cooperative group) is given a quest to take care of the rest of the goblins they’d fought at the beginning.

The goblins themselves were my favorite part of this issue; they spoke with a classic Etrigan-like rhyme, which I found intriguing given my frame of reference for this comic was partially based on what I’ve been reading in Demon Knights. These particular goblins are being influenced by a big-bad, who is shown in a big final-page reveal in this issue. I don’t know how long this series is planned to go, but it is moving along at a nice pace with the main villain shown in the second issue.

I wasn’t overly fond of the dialogue; it was fairly standard fare for a fantasy roleplaying setting, but other than the goblins none of it was all that compelling. There’s plenty of bickering between party members, and some creative jabs based on typical fantasy roles, but the story never really grabbed me.

FAIRLY STANDARD ART

As with the story, the art is your fairly standard fantasy fare. There are some intriguing anime influences in a few scenes, but while I would have been interested in seeing more of that for the sake of pushing artistic boundaries, I readily admit it would probably have turned off a sizable portion of the target audience for this issue.

THE BOTTOM LINE: FOR FANS OF THE GENRE

Other than the aforementioned Demon Knights, I haven’t really read many comics in the Fantasy / RPG genre. Having read Pathfinder, I don’t think the genre as a whole is really my schtick; it is enjoyable when tasted sparingly, but I just wasn’t all that interested in this issue. Still, looking at the comic from a technical standpoint it certainly was at least average, earning Pathfinder #2 from Dynamite Entertainment 3 out of 5 stars.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

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