Don’t miss the thrilling Pathfinder: Wake the Dead #1 by Dynamite Entertainment, as a new crew of Iconics bites off more than they can chew during a risky rendezvous with a Geb defector on Golarion!
PATHFINDER: WAKE THE DEAD #1
Writer: Fred Van Lente
Artist: Eman Casallos
Colorist: Jorge Sutil
Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Editor: Joe Rybandnt
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: May 31st, 2023
Previously in Pathfinder: Delve into the new comic series based on the acclaimed Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. This comic features the Iconics, characters that Paizo created as visual representations of various classes in their books and stories. Each Iconic embodies a specific class and possesses a unique backstory. In this installment, they venture to Geb, an undead nation locked in perpetual conflict with its neighbor, Nex.
Pathfinder: Wake the Dead #1 opens with a striking visual of a corpse and introduces Sajan, a human monk of Irori, and Lem, a halfling bard. They are soon joined by Quinn, an investigator, Seelah, a champion of Iomedae, and Harsk, a dwarven ranger. While each character has their own motives, they all converge on a common goal: locating Gabsalia Venris, an advisor to Geb’s spymaster. As the group discusses their mission, they are ambushed by Nexian Deathsealers. Forced to join forces, they fight off the attackers. However, their struggle is far from over when Gabsalia’s deceased family, turned into undead creatures due to her betrayal, emerges to confront them.
The undead shed their mortal guise and launched an assault, dispatching the Deathsealers. The Iconics defeat the undead but find themselves surrounded by Nexian soldiers who mistakenly believe they have vanquished the Deathsealers.
I have mixed feelings about this book. Tabletop gaming is inherently collaborative, and Pathfinder heavily relies on combat. However, capturing the essence of battle in a comic book can be challenging. The first ten pages serve as a “gather the party” segment, gradually introducing each character and offering glimpses into their personalities. While this is necessary for a Pathfinder-based comic, it delays the inciting incident.
Consequently, the subsequent action-packed sequences, although filled with exciting ideas, lack sufficient room to delve into the plot. As a reader, I found the opening too slow-paced and the action too fast-paced, making it difficult to fully immerse myself. Nevertheless, I understand this is a common challenge new team-based comic books face. They need to acquaint readers with the characters and the rich history of the setting within a limited 22-page format.
The artwork is exceptional, with meticulous attention to detail. The visuals strike a perfect balance, offering complexity without overwhelming the reader, while the vibrant colors leap off the page. Each character possesses a distinct design derived from years of Pathfinder content, effectively translating to the comic medium.
Pathfinder: Wake the Dead #1 shows immense potential now that it has overcome the hurdle of character introduction. Given the scarcity of fantasy comics in the current market, this title has a significant opportunity to carve out its niche. With that in mind, I rate it 4 out of 5 stars and eagerly anticipate the next issue.
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Pathfinder: Wake the Dead #1
Pathfinder: Wake the Dead #1 faces initial challenges in transitioning from its original tabletop game format to the comic medium. However, now that this initial obstacle has been surmounted, I have high hopes for the future of the series.