Dungeon & Dragons #1
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Release Date: 11/17/2010
Price: $3.99
Creator(s): Written by John Rogers.  Artwork by Andrea Di Vito
Format: 32-page; Full-color
Age Rating: Teen+
ICv2 Rating: 4 Stars out of 5

"On the bright side, they're orphan zombies... so nobody's gonna miss 'em."

This comic has avoided the major pitfall that afflicts a lot of sword-and-sorcery comics: it has a sense of fun.  The dialogue and banter between the characters is more reminiscent of that between players at a game session than like the sometimes forced attempts at high fantasy tone that sometimes plague comics.  No pseudo-Shakespeare or translated Elven poetry here, just characters speaking a way that seems natural for the scenes.

John Rogers and artist Andrea Di Vito have captured the feel of high-speed fantasy adventure, with a touch of humor, in a way that could appeal to both comics fans and gamers.  The cast of characters is nothing special, individually, but some of them have twists that keep them from being clichés.  The banter between the elf and dwarf will entertain anyone who liked the same kind of thing in The Lord of the Rings.  The leader is intelligent enough to survive, unlike a lot of fantasy warriors.

The comic includes a D&D character sheet for one of the main characters, to put him into the game context.  There is some gore, but it should be suitable for teens and up.

--Nick Smith: Librarian Technician, Community Services, for the Pasadena Public Library in California.