If you are reading this review, you undoubtedly found your way here after many, many references to it elsewhere on the site. If you simply want to ask, "Is the story worth my time?" then the succinct answer is "Yes." The Order Of The Stick starts off inauspiciously enough, with the misadventures of a Ragtag Bunch Of Misfits as they quest through a dungeon for XP and loot. Fortunately enough, this 120-strip block serves as the perfect hook into the series - it has all the genre-spoofing humor fans have come to expect from it, but without the burden that plot often lays on the newcomer. No fantasy storytelling or D&D convention is safe from Burlew's lampooning. The first 120 strips also lay the groundwork for what to expect when the main storyline kicks in - the reader meets the titular Order (from the ever-greedy Haley to the astoundingly violent Belkar), the Big Bad Xykon, and other important recurring characters and concepts (such as the story behind the Dungeon of Dorukan and the Gate he kept in his basement). Indeed, from as early as the first 20 strips, one can find evidence of Burlew's planning for the long run. One of Burlew's greatest strengths is the use of Chekhovs Gun and Schrodingers Gun; even the smallest detail may find itself in a future strip - or not. In short, "Dungeon Crawlin' Fools" (as the corresponding trade paperback is named) is the gateway drug into the Order of the Stick universe. The first few strips are great to pick up and laugh at, and once you're done, you can't help but keep on reading to see where the story will go next.
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