Rating if the Book Were a Movie: PG
Writer: R.A. Salvatore
Script: Andrew Dabb
Pencils: Val Semeiks
Inks: John Lowe, Marc Deering, and Em Stone
Letters: Brian J. Crowley
Cover: Tim Seeley, John Lowe, and Blond
Publisher: Devil’s Due Publishing
Yesterday I was talking to my friend Brian about a D & D game his sister is DM for. That conversation shifted gears and transitioned to a discussion about R. A. Salvatore’s work. The memories of all things Drizzt over the years made me nostalgic for a trip back to Icewind Dale.
The novel form of “The Crystal Shard” was originally published in 1988. I didn’t discover it until a couple summers later. It was a D & D campaign in novel form. Epic battles against dubious odds along with some well placed humor. This book had everything a nerdy boy in middle school dreams of before they discovered girls. If I’m being honest even after that because until girls discovered my fellow nerds and I things didn’t go very well. But there was always Drizzt and his whirring scimitars. The comic book form of this tale came out in 2006. When I discovered how much of the series was available a couple years ago it became my personal crusade to get every book I could for nostalgia.
The Dark Crystal #2 primarily focuses on Wulfgar, the barbarian. Having completed his indenturement to Breunor, the dwarf, Wulfgar is a free man. Wulfgar has heard tales of what has happened to the barbarian tribes of Icewind Dale. To set things right he must assume the title of chief amongst the tribes. In order to do that he must have the right of challenge; be it by blood or deed.
Wulfgar is not of noble blood. He will have to earn the right by deed by going on one of the most suicidal quests imaginable. Wulfgar must face Ingeloakastimizilia, the frost dragon known more commonly as “Icingdeath”.
This comic follows the novel very well. Some things are omitted because of the constraints of going from 300+ pages in novel form to three 48 page comic books. Some of the things that were omitted would help the story make more sense. I understand though. Sometimes sacrifices must be made.
I really liked how Errtu was depicted. He was exactly how I’d envisioned him. Icingdeath was drawn well, but the worm was much smaller than I had expected. I was envisioning something closer to Smaug than a komodo dragon. I had similar issues with most of the characters. For better or worse 30 years of reading the novels this series is based on put a certain image of what characters looked like in my head. The way Drizzt appeared came close to what I had imagined. The other characters looked much different.
The artwork is still great. If you’ve been a fan of the novels for a long time be prepared for the possibility of some differences.
Like I mentioned earlier, a lot was pared down to make everything fit in the pages of the book. Fortunately a great deal of that was in the action scenes. A picture is worth a thousand words so we don’t need as much to give us the detail of what’s transpiring.
The creative team included Drizzt’s conversation with Wulfgar about leadership. Those two pages in the novel were life altering. The conversation loses none of its potency being in ,a comic format.
There were no grammatical errors and the story follows canon. There was one issue though. While I really like the font and style the narrative is presented in it was very difficult to read to the point that it became a distraction. The font size was too small. A minor tweaking and we’re off to the races.
The transitions in the story are practically seamless. I would have liked to see a little bit more character development, but it doesn’t impact the story at this point.
I really enjoyed this adaptation of the story. Some liberties were taken to make the story all fit within the confines of three comics. It still has me eager to dive back into the Forgotten Realms and get reacquainted with Drizzt and the rest of the gang.