2018/04/21

D&D comics history part 28 - Dark Sun : Ianto's Tomb (IDW)

   As IDW took over the D&D license in 2010, they released a promotional #0 issue including both premieres/pilots of their main ongoing series (that will be known later as Fell's five) and what will be a 6 issues story set in the Dark Sun universe entitled :

Ianto's Tomb

HC cover

   Despite what is written on the back cover of the final HC version, it is not the first time ever that a comic story takes place in the Dark Sun setting as one was released in the DDP's The Worlds of Dungeons & Dragons in 2008. But indeed, it s the first time a whole comic series is dedicated to Athas.

   The story is written by Alex Irvine, art by Peter Bergting, colors by Ronda Pattison and letters by Neil Uyetake.

   We're following a mul (gladiator) named Grudvik escaping his slave fate and well decided to get answers from his treacherous beloved, Rubi, a lady of the Trade House Ianto. He'll be soon joined by Aki, a slave psionic hunter, and these two will be thrown in some political, mystical and treasure-hunting quest. While a good part of the adventure is set in the desertic area, the main plot is set in the great city of Tyr and Under Tyr (city was raised on pillars over a swamp, once a sacred wood). This underground city is full of scavengers, escaped slaves, and other individuals willing to stay in shadows as well as undeads and other creatures living among the ancient crypts.

Giant tentacles in the desert, 4-arms villains in catacombs... danger is everywhere on Athas !

   The art is pretty decent and we have a nice insight of the Athas world and its creatures as well as the use of psionic powers. The story is rich of details concerning the world and its history and in the whole, the plot is cleverly set up. When we would have awaited more adventures of Grudvik and Aki, time told it will remain a one-shot series. That s kinda sad as many plot's points remain vague and left reader's curiosity unsatisfied.

   The series will be compiled in tpb and in hard-cover.
Each single issue will have different cover versions as IDW did for Fell's Five series (Tho "only" 2 to 4 this time...), all including monster's stats or character's sheet as bonuses when #1 will have its module edition with a playable adventure for 2 to 3 12th level characters.

Aki's chara-sheet (issue #4)

#1 Module Edition issue cover and adventure page

    Note that the RIA cover version of the second issue is a 16-pages only Dark Sun Art Gallery with no direct link to the story but fine art.

#2 CVR RIA - Art Gallery issue

   And for the froggies... a french tpb version of the comic was pusblished in 2011 by Milady under the title : Le Tombeau de Ianto (translated by Philippe Tullier, lettering by C├ędric Liano)

Milady's french TPB

   Once again, IDW did a great job with this release, clearly offering their readers nice and fresh stories with a dose of humor that was lacking in most of DDP's issues. A nice and promising era for the D&D comics line ! O_oV

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