Jul 25, 2008

Dragonlance Comics (Issue 8) - Raistlin's Pawn

City of Death

issue 8 coverThis last issue of the Raistlin's Pawn arc picks up a moment after the end of the last issue. Kalathan is lying on the ground in pain and while Myrella and Gnatch are trying to help him, Raistlin is walking away unconcerned for the dark elf.

Kalathan recovers and explains the dark mage's actions of hiding his thoughts of betraying the goddess Takhisis for a time within Kalathan, and compelling the elf to be in Neraka in time for Raistlin to "remember" and enact his plan.

Elsewhere, Raistlin, Caramon, and Berem are in a chamber under the temple. Raistlin keeps his brother at bay while Berem, in an attempt to free his imprisoned sister, impales himself on the foundation stone--the gateway Takhisis uses to enter the world. Berem's actions cause the temple structure to weaken and begin to collapse.

Everyone makes it out of the temple safely. Once outside, Kalathan confronts Raistlin and learns a dark secret. The dark mage reveals that Kalathan is actually Thanakan, the murderous elf that killed his family. Thanakan's last act was to transform the real Kalathan to look like his father, while the father altered his appearance to look like the surviving son. To further avoid magical detection, Thanakan also transferred Kalathan's memories and personality onto himself. The transfer was only supposed to be temporarily, but ended up being permanently.

Kalathan was shocked at the news, but vowed that while he still held a part of his murderous father's soul within him, that he was still had free will and renounced evil.

The last two pages consisted of a map of the Temple of Darkness, and D&D game stats for Kalathan's griffon and one of Gnatch's devices (seen in issue six).

Commentary

This was another weak issue in a story arc that I didn't like anyway.

Strangely, not much really happened in this issue. Many of the key events were taken from the last Chronicles novel, which I was already familiar with. If I hadn't read the book before, I would probably be confused, about Caramon and Berem, instead of bored. Myrella, Gnatch, and Kalathan didn't do anything but talk and run out of the collapsing temple.

On the plus side, guest penciller Michael Collins did a great job. The backgrounds inside the temple were beautifully detailed, the scenes with Berem were nicely laid out. Overall the art was much better than regular artist Ron Randall. Also, the revelation about Kalathan at the end was a great surprise, though I wished there had been hints of it worked into earlier issues (such as seeing the father's face in the true self mirror in issue six).

Since this is the last issue of the arc, I'm hoping the next story will be better.