D&D comics history part 9 - DragonStrike (Marvel)

In D&D comics history, Dragon Strike "Before the Strike !" is an interesting piece.
First, it s been released in february 1994 by Marvel, when the previous D&D licensed comics series ended in 1991 and when the next ones will only be published in 1996.
So, this was the only D&D related comic during a 5 years period.

Now, Dragon Strike (the board game) being a simplified version of Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, it is still not officially licensed under D&D...
(I long hesitated to include this title within the collection for this reason...)

Second interesting point is the return (very short in the end...) of Marvel in D&D comics.
(reminder : D&D cartoon ads were published in Marvel comics and magazines...)

Now, concerning the comic itself, this is far from being a masterpiece.
It contains 32 pages (including 8 ad pages).
Story by Jeff Grubb, art by Mike Harris and Frank Percy (inker).

This is just an introduction to something, characters meeting along the story to form some party to fight against some bad guy.
We have the blond barbarian-typed warrior with his long sword (bastard one ?) and his friend the ranger (?) elf with his Green Lantern-like costum and his bow... who will meet later the female thief with her whip and her short (on front cover) or long...(p.29) sword and finally the blue-dressed wizard who wears some weird wolf-headed helmet..

Most amazing thing, imo, is that only the villains and the good king have names in this story... the good guys being called, even when shouting at eachothers, by their class and not their names (which are still unknown at the end of this issue...)...well except the elf...who is designated by his race...

If the scenario is just about the grouping of a party to start some quest (really like if some D&D's DM wanted to make it really really short...), the lack of depth in story and the proficience of mistakes concerning D&D rules are just huge...
Try to beat up some skeleton warriors with a bow... o_O

Oooh ! He-Man & Green Lantern !   :P

Art itself is just acceptable for the time it was issued.
Some nice things here and there...
We can believe the plot would have lead somewhere as Jeff Grubb is well known within the D&D novels readers.
(reminder : he was also in charge of scenari on the Forgotten Realms serie)
But this first issue will also be the last : Fail ! o_O


  1. The guy with the blond hair looks like he is Dare, the warrior. The elf *should* be Greenthorn.

    The female thief with the whip is called Arakeela (or Keela for short), who "steals for good". The wizard with the wolf headdress is called Deathmark.

    The king will be King Halvor the First. If there is a lot of undead in the comic, then this is probably the story of the war against Malakeesh a necromancer/illusionist.

    After the war against Malakeesh was over, these four went into Wildspace (a Dragon Strike/Spelljammer crossover) and were eventually collectively known as The Heroes of Wildspace.

    1. Actually, the King would be King Halvor the II.

  2. Thanks for the info !

    I have to admit I dunno much about DragonStrike & Wildspace.

    And indeed the video from the Dragonstrike game confirms what you wrote :

    Found also this amazing trailer of the apparently never-released Wildspace game :


  3. I've seen that video (and spoken to the director - Flint Dille). The entire footage, for the full 30 minute video was shot, but never combined with the other elements.

    I didn't know anything about Wildspace or Dragon Strike, until I stumbled onto something written about Endless Quest: A Wild Ride that suggested it might be connected to Spelljammer. I checked the cover, and thought that was incorrect, but it turns out the cover of A Wild Ride is actually a recycled Dragonlance painting and A Wild Ride is a story about the four characters from this comic travelling to The Rock of Bral to try to bring Malakeesh to justice. So if Malakeesh is behind the undead warriors in this comic, you could say that A Wild Ride is a sequel to this comic.

    The four characters in the Dragon Strike video, each have their own Young Adult Dragon Strike novel. All four of these novels and two Endless Quest books set on the Dragon Strike world feature at least one of the four characters.

    The four YA novels are each the backstory of one character. They also refer to the characters as: the warrior, the thief, the elf and the wizard (at least on the outside of the books). Inside they have a few screen captures from the video that comes with the Dragonstrike boardgame.

    The two Endless Quest books for Dragon Strike feature sketches by someone called Terry Dykstra.

    All the Dragon Strike books (YA and Endless Quest) are written by Michael Andrews, but there is no such person.

    I think that Wildspace was going to follow the same pattern, including four Young Adult novels and a couple of Endless Quest books. But the line was cancelled. That probably happened the same time that this comic line was cancelled.

    I've not read the two Endless Quest novels for Dragon Strike and I don't own the boardgame, or this comic, but I've read the four novels that describe the warrior, the theif, the wizard and the elf and may be able to identify other characters in this comic.