Forgotten Realms #1 – 4

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Let’s consider the first four issues of the Forgotten Realms comics from 1989 written by Jeff Grubb and penciled by Rags Morales.  It’s a 4-part series named “Hand of Vaprak” and as Grubb explains in his blog, these characters are fully aware that are living in a “fantastic universe.”  So it’s more adventure than ordeal and the characters are allowed to have fun.

It’s a magical word.  Magic spells, magic potions, magic vehicles…  Magic gets the characters in and out of danger.  So, it shouldn’t surprise you that 3 of the 6 main heroes and the dominant adversary in this series are spell casters and that they are all battling over an incredibly powerful magical artifact.

It’s a light-hearted world.  If you were like me in 1989, you wanted your fantasy to feel as real as possible.  That meant no silly, tongue in cheek nonsense.  So, oddly, Forgotten Realms is a better match for me now that I’m cured of that confining perspective.  And I’ll even admit that I chuckled a bit at this exchange in issue #2:

Assistant: The company of dragonslayers is no more…

Mage: What happened to them?

Assistant: They encountered their first dragon, milord.

It’s a Dungeons & Dragons world.  If you are acquainted with the roleplaying game you will feel right at home.  The D&D character classes and races, the names of spells and monsters, and even the almost sizzle of an almost thrown fireb– (see issue #3) are all here.

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