Jun 12, 2015

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 108: The Adventurers #3, 1986

Back to The Adventurers today, jumping into the middle of their story. It seems that evil is all around these unfortunate characters, from the Lord who hires them in the first place to their human-sacrificing compatriot in the dark robes (seriously, guys, don't the dark robes tip you off?). It seems, however, that rather than presenting completely altruistic heroes in this series, along the lines of the adventurers from AD&D, the writers of this series want to give their characters a bit more darkness, a bit more self-involvement. This is a tricky tactic, as one can often end up in these situations without characters that one's readers are invested in. A reader can only take so much of an irredeemable character.

I'm still unsure about the artwork in the book. Kent Burles obviously spent a lot of time on his renditions, but there's strange shifts in perspective that I'm not sure are intentional, and a strange flip from photo realism to almost caricatured facial expressions that's a bit off-putting. On a different note with the art, I think that the choice to put what is basically the climactic cliffhanger moment from the end of the comic on the cover is a strange one to have made.

I remember when The Adventurers was being published, and some of my friends who were also gamers were reading it, but I wasn't amongst those who were. I think it may have appealed to my adolescent self. There's just enough posturing from all of the characters that I might have interpreted each of them as badasses, but my (apparently) more mature self just sees them as sociopaths. Don't get me wrong; I still think that pulling off a fantasy hero is possible, but nuanced character does not necessarily mean complete scumbag who's only in it for him or herself.

I've quite a few more issue from the series, which I will dutifully get to, but I'm not really enjoying them that much, so I'll have to intersperse it with something else. What that will be, I guess we'll see. Tomorrow, that is.

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