Jun 20, 2008

Dragonlance Comics (Issue 3) - Caught in a Dream's Clutches!

Continuing my review of DC's Dragonlance comics series.

Nightwatch

DC/Dragonlance comic, third issueThe issue starts at night in Riva's bedroom at Castle Silvercrown. As Riva and Vandar kiss, Vandar is revealed to be a draconian. Riva quickly kills the creature before setting off to find the real Vandar in the castle.

She encounters her father and brother (who was revealed last issue to have been killed several months earlier by a Sivak draconian) tethered to strings like puppets trying to stop her. After Riva cuts the strings that control them, the two crumple to the floor.

Elsewhere in the castle, she finds Vandar chained and tortured by a hobgoblin. She quickly kills the creature and frees the monk. As they talk, it appears Vandar is trapped in the same dream as Riva. While taking a break to rest, Riva hears Vandar talking, but then sees that he's talking to his brother Angriff (Sturm's father). As the scene plays out, Riva sees the two argue about how to deal with the angry mob outside the castle and finally how an arrow breaks through a window killing Angriff.

Vandar, broken out of the "flashback", reveals that this lead to him abandoning the knighthood. As they talk, Lord Soth appears taunting Riva and Vandar. Riva moves to attack but is restrained by Soth's magics. Vandar is then offered a blade and a chance to reclaim his honor in combat (Soth has the best line of the issue when he offers the blade: "Are you man--or monk?"). Vandar tries to attack as Soth's image fades into that of a beautiful dark haired woman asking about "the one", someone Riva and Vandar have meet, but didn't realize just who it was.

Just then the woman turns into a five headed dragon as Vandar realizes the "woman" was the goddess Takhisis. Riva seizes the nearby dragonlance and stabs Takhisis, which breaks the illusion of the dream.

Riva, stumbles out of her bed and finds Vandar in the hall. The two sidestep the issue of their dream kiss, instead concentrating on who "the one" is. At that moment, Fizban reveals that would be him...

Commentary

This was my favorite issue so far, even though most of it was a dream. I liked the Riva/Vandar romance, Vandar's flashback showing the death of Sturm's father (never before or since detailed), the artwork for Riva, Soth, and Takhisis, and the growing conflict in Vandar between the knight he was and the monk he is.

Once again, the issue also had a few missteps including the scene with Riva's father and brother, which just seemed like filler. Also many of the events in the book seem recycled from the Chronicles books, including the shared dream (from Dragons of Winter Night), the search for "the one" (similar to the search for the "green gemstone man" throughout the series), and a single person slaying Takhisis with a dragonlance (a reference to the Legend of Huma).

I think at this point I started realizing that the Dragonlance comic would never be a really great book (and this was later confirmed when I started reading Jeff Grubb's Forgotten Realms comic, the gold standard of the TSR/DC comics, IMO)