Rating if the Book Were a Movie: PG-13/R
Plot: Denton J. Tipton
Script: Mark McCann
Artist: Axel Medellin
Colors: Luis Antonio Delgado
Letters: Jacob Bascle
Cover: Milivoj Ceran
Editor: Denton J. Tipton, R.G. Llarena, and Holly Interlandi
Story: 3.4 Stars
Artwork: 3.8 Stars
Cover Artwork: 4.1 Stars
Dialogue: 3.4 Stars
Mechanics: 3.3 Stars
Editing: 3.4 Stars
About the Book:
Death Dealer #13 takes us on a magical adventure in a fantasy world. Kur, a Barbarian who wears a magical helmet that simultaneously brings out the best and worst in the man, is on a quest. He must protect a small child that is believed to be the key to waking the dreaming god. Every lord of Hell believes that they are this god and will stop at nothing to obtain the child.
It’s funny how preferences for certain genres can stay with you. Dad introduced me to the Rankin and Bass animated adaptation of The Hobbit when I was about four. The halfling, Gandalf, dwarves, trolls, goblins, elves, spiders, and Smaug opened the door to a new world of possibilities.
Over the years other interests have come along. Star Wars, G.I. Joe, Transformers, and many others. Whenever I needed a break from them fantasy was there, waiting with open arms. From Piers Anthony’s Xanth series to R.A. Salvatore’s sagas with Drizzt Do’Urden to the man that started it all, Tolkien. Fantasy has been with me every step of the way.
A lifetime of being steeped in fantasy allowed me to instantly fall into the world of Death Eater. It has everything I’ve come to expect in a fantasy story. There’s plenty of action, many subplots, and a quest that the world’s fate is tied to the success or failure of.
Coming into a series at this stage of the game did present some challenges. As mentioned, there are a great deal of subplots in this story. When you are not completely up to speed on who’s who regarding characters, it can be difficult to see how everything ties together. It’s akin to watching Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers beginning at the battle of Helm’s Deep and having no knowledge of the ring, Sauron, or Saruman. You know there’s context that you are missing; but it’s hard to decipher what it is.
The missing context does make the story harder to understand. It doesn’t take away the ability to enjoy it, though. After another issue or two, I have no doubt that the smaller details will come into focus. At that point a good book will become great.
This cover is incredible. It goes to show that sometimes less truly is more. A silhouette of Death Desler with minor details allows the imagination to go to work. We get to fill in the blanks, and I love it.
In a fantasy story, the artwork is vital to helping the story to life. It needs to live up to the expectations we have in our mind. Medellin’s work on the interior pages is up to meeting those lofty expectations. Lines are crisp. We get fantastic detail. I loved seeing the creatures in the river and mountain as they surrounded the Tragharti.
Frank Franzetta was regarded by many as the godfather of fantasy art. His work is what gave us some of our first images of Conan. Death Dealer is a series inspired by one of Mr. Feanzetta’s paintings. I think he’d be proud to see what it has blossomed into.
As a geek on a budget, I believe Death Dealer is well worth the price of admission for any fantasy fan. It’s a thrilling story that gives one the feeling of Conan’s adventures with a large backstory like that of The Lord of the Rings while also giving us some terrific artwork.