Reviews: Planescape Metamorphosis

Really Fun, Despite Some Serious Flaws

I'm going to be blunt. Planescape Metamorphosis isn't the best written or drawn comic ever. It's done by an admitted amateur, and it shows. But for some reason, this didn't matter. I was willing to overlook the Dull Surprise, the occasional mess-ups in perspective, the slightly dodgey characterisation, and all the other flaws because of two important things.

One, the love the author puts into the comic. Character design is inconsistent, but this is because the author is constantly trying to improve, trying new things and throwing out whatever doesn't work. Expressions are frequently kinda blank, but action scenes are perfectly co-ordinated. You sort of get the sense that although the author isn't great at what they do yet, but they know exactly how to fix that (or if they don't, they will ASAP).

Two, the sheer originality. Most fantasy either pays homage to Tolkien (using his races, or tropes) or outright parodies him, so it's wonderful to see something try to be it's own thing entirely. You could say that it's mostly due to the setting, which the author did not create, but I think otherwise, due to the clever plot devices. For example, Qul sets out on a quest (a standard plot device) which from the start is unusual - asking the gods to turn off the rain both sounds like something from an old story from Oral Tradition and nothing like you've heard in most fantasy. Then it quickly falls apart - turns out his quest was a complete waste, and he can't even go back home. Then he meets one of his old friends, which is what's really driving the plot. Seeing it all unfold is thrilling, even if Qul himself is kinda underdeveloped.

So Yeah. Planescape Metamorphosis has flaws. But it's hard to focus on them when the frog guy, the snarky blue dude, the muscley dude and the goat demon are running around fighting other, less competent dudes. I recommend it highly.