Thursday, August 21, 2003

Knights Of The Dinner Table Illustrated #25 - A Review

Written by: Mark Plemmons
Penciled by: Brendon & Brian Fraim
Inked by: Brendon & Brian Fraim
Colored by: N/A
Lettered by: Brendon & Brian Fraim
Editors: Brian Jelke & Eric Engelhard
Publisher: Kenzer And Company

It seems like the same complaints keep coming up over and over as I’ve read this title these past few months. What was once a laugh-out-loud parody of fantasy role-playing and the traditional sword and sorcery comic book had become weighted down by a serious plot and an attempt to create a unifying continuity between various events in the book’s past.

And now, in this issue… it all comes together. And even as things reach the pinnacle of months of plot threads being woven together, this issue somehow manages two tricks that it has often failed in previous recent issues. First, this issue is actually accessible to new readers. Second, it is funny as all get out.

In a way it reminds a bit of Sojourn #25, which also came out this week. I’m not a regular reader of Sojourn, but the bargain hunter in me can’t resist a one-dollar comic. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the issue, despite obviously being a ending to something very big, was very easy to get into despite not having my beloved “Previously on…” page. The same can be said of KILL, which doesn’t give any background into the on-going story of this issue besides a summary of our four main characters. And even these summaries are tinged with humor, the profile of female fighter Thornia saying that there is no information about her because she just joined the book as a woman of mystery. All you need to know is “she’s human, she’s female and she’s been imprisoned by a secret society that has been manipulating the Untouchable Trio” for years.”

That does, in essence, sum up the revelation the last few months have been devoted to. This is to say, that a group of adventurers known as the Untouchable Trio (fighter El Ravenger, thief Knuckles and wizard Teflon Billy) have become the victims of a society, formed up of people the Trio have wronged in some way. This society includes a princess they rescued who was given less than royal treatment and the best friend of a randomly slain peasant. The society has been moving the trio around the world, using their innate ability to cause random destruction to further their own goals of world domination and the Trio’s eventual destruction.

All of this is conveyed in one pictorial panel by Thornia, who was freed by the society in order to lure the Trio into a trap-filled dungeon. Naturally, the Trio are ready to call forth bloody vengeance but due to a lack of magic in the world thanks to the alignment of the moons, they are not operating at full power… until Teflon Billy reveals some unusual and humorous uses for livestock.

No. Not that. You should be ashamed of yourself for even thinking it.

The art is still gorgeous as ever, and the black and white style really does suit the book well. While this book isn’t one that you typically buy purely for the artwork, the Fraim Brothers (at least I assume they are brothers and not friends with the same last name) can easily stand aside Greg Land in terms of being able to draw a fantastic fantasy scape and manage the trick of being as detail-oriented as Bryan Hitch without being quite as dirty (and managing to maintain a monthly schedule to boot!

So to everyone at Kenzer and Company, please accept my apologies for my less than faithful remarks the past few months. I am glad to say to say that things are as funny as ever again, that the plot actually helps the humor this time around and that I am really looking forward to next month’s issue. Hopefully I’ll have a few more friends reading with me next time.

No comments:

Post a Comment