Clarinette has dealt with conflicts and ambushes of all sorts on her way to Good River. Pushed to the limited to her physical capabilities, will Clari and her team be able to survive? Find out in Adventure Finder #4 by Action Lab Entertainment!

ADVENTURE FINDERS: THE EDGE OF EMPIRE #4ADVENTURE FINDERS EDGE OF EMPIRE #4

Writer: Rod Espinosa
Artist: Rod Espinosa
Colorist: Rod Espinosa
Letterer: Rod Espinosa
Editor: Nicole D’Andria
Publisher: Action Lab Entertainment
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: December 4th, 2019

Previously in Adventure Finders: Clarinette, Ariarra, Jolfe, and Asogog are still trying to take the orphans to Good River. After Sergeant Sikin abandoned them to save his own skin, our heroes are in bad shape and are tired. Attacked again by enemies, there is only one way to safety… across a canyon with a tree forming a perilous bridge.

CLARI’S FAULT

The issue picks up with Clari’s caravan trying to bridge the gap of a canyon with a knocked over tree. Clarinette treks over first to try and secure the makeshift bridge while the rest of the guard protects their flank. The battle is fierce, with many of our heroes being pushed to their physical limits and only survive by their reliance on each other. After they cross the gap, they knock down the tree bridge and are momentarily safe. Hungry and tired, the group makes camp and goes on a hunt. During the hunt, they come across dinosaurs and Clari risks herself to tend to a wound of an injured Stegosaurus. Returning back to camp with venison, Clari, Jolfe, and Asogog forgo their dinner to make sure everyone else is well fed. Hungry, tired, and injured; the three begin to watch the perimeter of the camp.

ALTRUISM THAT GOES TOO FAR

This series has been an interesting study of writing. As I work through my creative thesis, I have been trying to figure out this balance between not explaining things enough to my reader and explaining things too much. I think Rod Espinosa has done a tremendous job in telling us the important facts, showing us good characterization, while also keeping the story well paced. I applaud Rod for his work and his mastery of the craft.

In this issue, I have noticed the first real mental flaw of our protagonist this arc. This flaw is the concept of selflessness to the point of self-harm. Clari made an active decision not to eat because she considered other people more important to the cause. The nurses take care of the children, the healers are keeping people healthy, and the guards are actively trying to defend the people. This shows to me that Clari has a low sense of self-worth, as well as a kind heart to make sure people are needed first. Another interpretation could be an overconfidence in her ability to survive despite risk of malnourishment. Regardless of the intended flaw, this is the first major character deficiency in The Edge of Empire. This story features an antagonist that is about human limits rather than a specific villain. Now that the protagonists are pushed to the limit, we can see their shortcomings that they will need to overcome. I am looking forward to seeing how it all wraps up.

The art as always was beautiful and incredibly detailed. I think the standout image was the canyon. The protagonists are walking on this fallen tree and Rod Espinosa really gives a sense of height and danger of their objective. If you can make a reader feel that sense of danger through the imagery alone, then you know you have done an incredible job. There is a lot of care going into a project that I can attempt to emulate in my own craft. 

BOTTOM LINE: GREAT CHARACTERIZATION

I think seeing a character flaw has been a long time coming in this particular arc. I’m anxious to see what kind of mental and physical state the characters will be in upon arriving and Good River. Often, I fall off a series by the fourth issue but this book grabbed my attention and continues to keep it. 4.5 out of 5 stars for Adventure Finder #4 by Action Lab Entertainment.


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Adventure Finders: The Edge of Empire #4

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I think Rod Espinosa has done a tremendous job in telling us the important facts, showing us good characterization, while also keeping the story well paced. I applaud Rod for his work and his mastery of the craft.

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About Author

Christopher Rondeau is a storyteller based in southern California. Finding himself with little work, he ended up creating a job as a Game Master full time on the internet. Chris spends most of his days reading everything he can, writing bad fiction, and watching old Digimon cartoons with his daughter. Sometimes you can find him Dungeon Mastering a podcast or streaming on twitch. Most likely though, he is panicking about his creative thesis for his master's degree. Find out more at https://rondeaucreator.com

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