I’m not too familiar with the Pathfinder franchise. I was tempted to look it up before reading, but decided against it. Why? A lot of people are not going to know about the franchise beforehand either, and the comic claims it will ‘entertain new readers.’ So I wanted to test that and see what a new person to the franchise will think of it. The first issue of Pathfinder reminds me of other fantasy based things, such as this World of Warcraft manga I read, and even The Lord of Rings. If you can’t tell, that’s a good thing. This issue is high-spirited, energetic, and plain fun.
Here’s the official description from Dynamite:
Paizo’s incredible award-winning, best-selling fantasy world, fiction line and tabletop RPG is now the ultimate fantasy comic from Dynamite Entertainment!
Valeros can only rely on his sword arm and his friends, the mysterious and beautiful sorcerer Seoni and silver tongued quick-witted elven rogue Merisiel, but nothing can prepare him for the dangers that lurk ahead. The scattered and chaotic goblin tribes of Varisia are changing, growing in power and unifying in ways no one has ever seen before. At the heart of this strange evolution is an ancient evil looking to establish itself anew.
The iconic heroes at the core of the Pathfinder’s world are brought to life for the first time in a brand new story full of charm and high adventure that will please fans and entertain new readers alike. Issue 1 clocks in at 40 pages (and remains $3.99) and includes over 10 pages of character profiles and Pathfinder RPG game statistics, plus an EXCLUSIVE, removable, playable tactical map and poster.
This felt like a Tales of Asgard story, except a lot less boring. Fans of fantasy-based things will enjoy this especially. We have goblins, fun characters, strong female leads, and satisfying action. While there isn’t much of a plot yet, it’s just the opening issue. If this goes long term, I can see this being one of the best fantasy stories out there. For a slow moving series like this, the opening has to grab you, and grab you it does. We have a pretty brutal fight with our heroes and a bunch of goblins that look like the evil gremlin from Gremlins. The writing isn’t what I would call deep or thought provoking like from The Lone Ranger, but it doesn’t matter in this case, the writing keeps up the overall light tone of the story.
The art is exactly what you picture. Once you know the concept and see the cover, you know how it’s going to look. I have no negatives with it, it fits the story well. This first issue is great step in establishing a comic universe with these characters. They all have a certain charm. Valeros is a more immature version of Thor. It’s hard to dislike him, he grows on you as the story progresses. Then there’s Seoni and Merisiel, the two main female leads. Well, they can fight and are all around awesome. If this comic had one-dimensional characters, it wouldn’t have gone anywhere.
Overall, the first issue of Pathfider is everything you want as a beginning to a fantasty epic. A middle-world like backdrop, fun characters, and goblins, lots of goblins. The actual plot hasn’t really begun, this is a prologue of sorts. Fans of the franchise or not and fantasy people will definitely want to give the comic a go.