The Bright Queen has lived many lives trying to assemble the Luxon and bring her people to a new Golden Era. Find out what happens in Tales of Exandria: The Bright Queen #1 by Dark Horse Comics!
THE TALES OF EXANDRIA: THE BRIGHT QUEEN #1 (OF 4)
Writer: Darcy Van Poelgeest and Matthew Mercer
Colorist: Cris Peter
Letterer: Ariana Maher
Editor: Rachel Roberts
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 20th, 2021
Previously in The Tales of Exandria: Welcome to another comic book based on the web show Critical Role. Critical Role is a longstanding D&D campaign about to enter its third campaign. Through this game, the creators of Critical Role have started their own business, several successful comic series, a non-profit, a publishing company, and an upcoming cartoon television series. Now, we enter a new series where we explore the Kryn Dynasty!
THE LIGHT AND THE NETHER
The Tales of Exandria: The Bright Queen #1 starts with an explanation. It explains the creation story as perceived by the Luxon. We see the rise of humanoids, their fight with the titans, and ultimately why the gods left. The people of the Kryn Dynasty worship the Luxon and have entered a cycle of reincarnation. We are then introduced to a person who is trying to regain their memories from a past life. And as they see glimpses of it, we are taken to the life of Captain Quana who has confirmed a sixth beacon. When she relays that information to her partner, Bright Queen Leylas, Leylas reveals that the Luxon has conceived them a new soul.
Quana heads off to find the beacon but walks into an ambush. His soldiers are killed and Quana is abducted. Leylas using powerful dunamancy to try and save Quana. She grabs her partners hand, but she cannot hold on to her before she is taken away.
The beginning of The Tales of Exandria: The Bright Queen #1 is not new reader friendly. Critical Role has some great ideas and concepts in their Dungeons and Dragons web show. For people who are familiar with the show, you would be able to take this comic in its full context. But without it, you don’t really get a lot to latch onto. The main characters don’t get a lot of time to be explored. Instead, we spend many pages explaining what the Luxon is and worldbuilding. Even when Quana was taken, I was more interested in what she saw rather than the abduction of a major character.
This leads to a question of target audience. Critical Role is big right now and these characters are major characters in the show. This book is clearly targeted to viewers rather than new readers. But I think the comic world wants more fantasy comics and it seems like a missed opportunity to try and expand the market. If they introduced the inciting incident closer to the beginning of the book and spent more time on character development, I think we could have seen a much stronger comic that has a further reach.
BOTTOM LINE: FOR CRITICAL ROLE FANS
This book is targeted to people who are familiar with the Critical Role title. If you are not, this is probably a skip from me. There are a lot of great ideas here, but the book doesn’t naturally give us the personal connection a reader needs to become invested in the plot. Maybe as a trade paperback, we could have gotten more momentum. 3.5 out of 5 for Critical Roles’s The Tales of Exandria: The Bright Queen #1.
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The Tales of Exandria: The Bright Queen #1 (of 4)
The Tales of Exandria: The Bright Queen #1 is a fantasy comic that caters itself to fans familiar with the title.