2010/05/20

D&D comics history part 3 - AD&D (DC comics)

In december 1988 the first issue of "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons" was published by DC comics.
Based on a montly publication, the serie ended with the 36th issue in dec.91.
An annual 1990 issue was also edited.


The story takes place in Waterdeep, the well-known city of splendors in the Forgotten Realms. It relates the adventures of some "almost" typical D&D party.

I have no idea if the main characters have been created especially for the comics or existed already in some D&D module. (I tend to think these guys are newcomers to the Realms...)
We have here Priam Agrivar, lvl 6 human paladin, Vajra Valmeyjar, the lvl 7 fighter, Onyx The Invincible, lvl 4 thief / lvl 4 fighter dwarf, Kyriani the lvl 5 half-elf mage, Conner the lvl 7 human rogue and Timoth Eyesbright, lvl 4 centaur (!) fighter.

The story is sequenced in episodes that last up to 4 issues.
If all the main characters don t always appear in each issue / sequence they all have roles in the latent storyline.

When the first issues are written by Michael Fleisher, the rest, except few issues by novelist Jeff Grubb, will be handled by Dan Mishkin.

So what to say about this serie ?
Considering my tastes, I personaly find that the graphics are of average quality. Even the covers are just ok... if it weren t D&D's, I doubt I d have ever opened one... (Art by Jan Duursema ; except 3 issues by Tom Mandrake)

Art by Jan Duursema                           Art by Tom Mandrake

Now, concerning the plots, we re really in some PnP module's adventure-like scenario...
...and if that doesn t feed perfectly the needs of a good story, at least we have some concept here.
Like any dungeon quest, ya have specifics monsters, good and bad named dudes (like Xanathar the Beholder and her drow sidekick Shaina ! ["Eye of the Beholder" PC game psychotic fan here... XD]) as well as places and items that are taken from the Forgotten Realms novels or modules.

All this tends to balance the lack of quality in both graphics and stories. Also a special attention has been done on main characters' backgrounds and other particularities.
Like Timoth the Centaur ! A very sensitive horsy dude... we can t deny they used some creativity here heh...
Or even Kyriani the half-elf... mix of both of her precedent personalities (Cybrinai a lvl 1 innocent half-elf mage and Kilili the half-drow lvl 9 caster badass...)

More, at the end of each issue, ya can find some characters, monsters or items descriptions sheets as well as maps, etc. All this giving (easy, imo) credits to this RPG-inspired comic experience.


But well we were still in the 80's... and we can t ask much of anything born that time... :P

DC & TSR will persist with the publishing of D&D comics and will produced other series as "Forgotten Realms", "Dragonlance", "Spelljammer" or even the mini-serie "Avatar".

More info for collectors !
Here is the complete list of every titles of the serie, as well as some info on each one as trivia, notes, month of publication, main authors, etc :

  1. The Gathering (DEC 88)
Story : Michael Fleisher / Art : Jan Duursema
   2. The Bounty Seekers of Manshaka (JAN 89)

Story : Michael Fleisher / Art : Jan Duursema
   3. The Secret of Selune's Eye (FEB 89)

Story : Michael Fleisher / Art : Jan Duursema
   4. Sorcerer's Moon (MAR 89)

Story : Michael Fleisher / Art : Jan Duursema
Trivia : D.Mishkin is credited for story on cover when M.Fleischer (with "sc"...) is credited on title page
   5. The Spirit of Myrrth 1/4 (APR 89)

Story : Dan Mishkin / Art : Jan Duursema
   6. The Spirit of Myrrth 2/4 (MAY 89)

Story : Dan Mishkin / Art : Jan Duursema
Subheading : Beneath the City of the Dead
   7. The Spirit of Myrrth 3/4 (JUN 89)

Story : Dan Mishkin / Art : Jan Duursema 
Subheading : Showtime ! or, Revenge of the Living Monologue
   8. The Spirit of Myrrth 4/4 (JUL 89)

Story : Dan Mishkin / Art : Jan Duursema 
Subheading : Die Laughing
Note : Editor is credited as "Bye-Bye Barbara Kesel"
   9. Catspaw Quartet 1/4 (AUG 89)

Story : Jeff Grubb / Art : Jan Duursema 
Subheading : Night of the Moonpenguin
Trivia : entitled on cover : Timoth's Travails 1/4
   10. Catspaw Quartet 2/4 (SEP 89)

Story : Jeff Grubb / Art : Jan Duursema 
Subheading : Of Mirt & Mind Flayers
   11. Catspaw Quartet 3/4 (OCT 89)

Story : Jeff Grubb / Art : Jan Duursema 
Subheading : All Hades Breaks Loose !
   12. Catspaw Quartet 4/4 (NOV 89)

Story : Jeff Grubb / Art : Jan Duursema
Subtitle : Down in the Depths
   13. Spell Games 1/4 (DEC 89)

Story : Dan Mishkin / Art : Jan Duursema
Subheading : Shackles of the Past
Trivia : J.Grubb is credited for story on cover when D.Mishkin is on title page
   14. Spell Games 2/4 (JAN 90)

Story : Dan Mishkin / Art : Jan Duursema 
Subheading : Shell Game
   15. Spell Games 3/4 (FEB 90)

Story : Dan Mishkin / Art : Jan Duursema
Subheading : Cat & Mouse
   16. Spell Games 4/4 (MAR 90)

Story : Dan Mishkin / Art : Jan Duursema
Subheading : The Last Betrayal !
   17. Kyriani's Story : The Ostus Legacy 1/2 (APR 90)

Story : Dan Mishkin / Art : Jan Duursema
Note : This issue has a barcode on cover in place of authors credits
   18. Kyriani's Story : The Ostus Legacy 2/2 (MAY 90)

Story : Dan Mishkin / Art : Jan Duursema
Subheading : Day of the Darkening
   19. Phases of the Moon 1/4 (JUN 90)

Story : Dan Mishkin / Art : Jan Duursema 
Subheading : First Quarter : Selune Rising
   20. Phases of the Moon 2/4 (JUL 90)

Story : Dan Mishkin / Art : Jan Duursema 
Subheading : Second Quarter : Dark of the Moon
Note : barcode on cover
   21. Phases of the Moon 3/4 (AUG 90)

Story : Dan Mishkin / Art : Jan Duursema 
Subheading : Third Quarter : Lunatics !
   22. Phases of the Moon 4/4 (SEP 90)

Story : Dan Mishkin / Art : Jan Duursema 
Subheading : Last Quarter : Total Eclipse
   23. Lawyers ! (NOV 90)

Story : Dan Mishkin / Art : Tom Mandrake
Note : T.Mandrake is credited as Guest Artist

Trivia : Inker Rick Magyar is credited only on cover
Note : No october issue.
   24. Scavengers 1/3 (DEC 90)

Story : Dan Mishkin / Art : Jan Duursema 
Subheading : Scavengers !
   25. Scavengers 2/3 (JAN 91)

Story : Dan Mishkin / Art : Jan Duursema
Subheading : Predators !
   26. Scavengers 3/3 (FEB 91)

Story : Dan Mishkin / Art : Jan Duursema 
Subheading : Survivors !
Note : barcode on cover
   27. Death and the Dragon's Eye 1/4 (MAR 91)

Story : Dan Mishkin / Art : Jan Duursema
   28. Death and the Dragon's Eye 2/4 (APR 91)

Story : Dan Mishkin / Art : Jan Duursema 
Subheading : Suspicion !
Note : barcode on cover
   29. Death and the Dragon's Eye 3/4 (MAY 91)

Story : Dan Mishkin / Art : Jan Duursema
Subheading : Dead of Night
Note : barcode on cover
   30. Death and the Dragon's Eye 4/4 (JUN 91)

Story : Dan Mishkin / Art : Jan Duursema 
Subheading : Burning Questions
   31. Pillar of Gold 1/2 (JUL 91)

Story : Dan Mishkin / Art : Tom Mandrake
   32. Pillar of Gold 2/2 (AUG 91)

Story : Dan Mishkin / Art : Tom Mandrake 
Subheading : Broken Pillars
Note : This time T.Mandrake is credited as Guest Penciller
   33. Summer in the City (SEP 91)

Story : Dan Mishkin / Art : Jan Duursema
Note : Entitled on cover : The Wager that saved Waterdeep !!
   34. Rites and Wrongs 1/3 (OCT 91)

Story : Dan Mishkin / Art : Jan Duursema 
Subheading : Telling Lies
   35. Rites and Wrongs 2/3 (NOV 91)

Story : Dan Mishkin / Art : Jan Duursema 
Subheading : The Truth
   36. Rites and Wrongs 3/3 (DEC 91)

Story : Dan Mishkin / Art : Jan Duursema 
Subheading : Rights & Wrongs
Trivia : Next Issue : AD&D #37 announced on last page

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