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Comic Book / Dungeons & Dragons

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This is just going to be the start of a really bad day.

Hasbro and IDW Publishing seem to work well together. Their professional relationship started with the highly successful Transformers comics, which have varied in quality from the mediocre The Transformers: All Hail Megatron to the critically praised The Transformers: Last Stand of the Wreckers, and continued with G.I. Joe comics. So naturally, the next step was for Hasbro to choose another popular franchise that could translate well into the comics medium. The obvious choice was Dungeons & Dragons.

Written by John Rogers of Blue Beetle and Leverage fame, Dungeons & Dragons tells the story of Fell's Five, a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits consisting of:

  • Adric Fell — Adric is a human fighter who uses a sword and shield. More of a Guile Hero than anything, he's a master of the Indy Ploy. He's rugged and tough, and seems to have a slightly shady past.

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  • Varis — Varis is your typical Wood Elf ranger. He's handsome, dashing, loves nature, and skilled with a bow. He also uses two Handaxes for close range combat. Constantly snarks about everything, including other elves (specifically, Eladrin).

  • Khal Khalundurrin — Khal is a Dwarf Paladin. He favors a hammer, and is quick to comment on the superiority of dwarven crafting. As usual, he doesn't get along with Varis. Is a surprisingly good poet.

  • Bree Three-Hands — Bree is a Halfling rogue. She's always out for number one, and provides the comic relief. She's usually the one who gets Fell's Five out of any sticky situations, namely traps — she has an uncanny knack for sensing them. Not to mention sensing any gold or loot that is not nailed down and/or on fire.

  • Tisha Swornheart — The resident mage, Tisha is a Tiefling Warlock. She joins the team about halfway through the first issue, and generally is the nuker. If you can't tell by the way she's dressed, she's also the resident Ms. Fanservice, as is the standard with female warlocks.

The series generally runs on Rule of Fun and Rule of Cool, and often reads as much like as a bunch of creative players playing their characters as it does an actual story — it's another success story in IDW's creative partnership with Hasbro.

Much like IDW's My Little Pony titles, it isn't part of the Hasbro Comic Universe formed by the Revolution; in this case it's likely because bringing them from their own world into the HCU would be too difficult.

Based on the 4th edition ruleset of the games, the comic takes place in its own version of the Nentir Vale setting.

Not to be confused with the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons comics that DC published in the 1990s, set in the 2nd edition Forgotten Realms. Nor with the 2016 D&D comic relaunch, which is called Legends of Baldur's Gate and is also set in the 5th edition Forgotten Realms.

Dungeons And Dragons contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Badass Adorable: Bree.
  • Blessed with Suck: In Issue #6 Drey describes that Adric suffers a curse...the curse of being clever. This means he can always see a way out when everything seems lost, but it also means he can't save everyone, no matter how much he wants to.
  • Brick Joke: Pit trap!
  • The Caper: The latter half of the "Feywild" arc.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The dryad.
  • The Chessmaster: Copernicus Jinx is either a brilliant mastermind who plays a long game, or one very lucky and cheeky gnome.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Everyone but Khal has their moments. Bree uses dungeon traps to her own advantage against enemies that should really know better and Adric breaks one opponent's neck with her own spiked chain.
  • Cute Bruiser: Bree, again.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Tisha was motivated to become an adventurer to avenge her parents' murder, and Adric is hinted to have something of a checkered history as well, having to do with a war before the events of the comic.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Everyone at some point.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Drey Harrick.
  • Elves vs. Dwarves: Although there are a few instances where they actually agree on something.
  • Five-Man Band
  • Hidden Depths: The orc in issues 2 and 3 acts like a stereotypical savage orc, but is both honorable and intelligent. While fighting, Adric asks why orcs always yell stuff like "Orc kill!" in combat, and the orc explains that it makes their opponents scared, meaning that they perform worse in combat.
  • Indy Ploy: Despite being the group's Fighter, this is basically Adric's primary skill for the series. The rest of the group is fully aware that he effectively makes his plans up as he goes, but they're actually all okay with that.
    Khal: "Adric's plans are rarely good ones, but they're quick."
    Varis: "You'd be surprised how much more useful a skill that is in the adventuring trade."
  • Improvised Weapon: Invoked by one particularly skilled orc chieftain (much to Adric's displeasure) who was hoping he'd choose an orcish weapon during an honor duel.
    Adric: This is where he thinks he's got me. Going with an orc weapon. But he doesn't know I trained in orc blades back on the Catalonia. Midshipman fought the savages in the last war. Cleaver, morningstar, spiked club, polearm, I'm ready-
    Gruhn the Orc Chief: "Grunh choose rock."
    Adric: "What?! A rock pick? A rock hammer? A rock's not a weapon!"
  • Interspecies Romance: Adric and Juliana.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Tisha
  • Mythology Gag: The statue from the cover to the original Player's Handbook (and the third edition Player's Handbook II) shows up in the zero issue.
  • Never Split the Party: Stated word-for-word in one issue.
    • Although Adric insists that it's just a "delayed flank."
  • Oculothorax: Wouldn't be D&D without the Trope Codifier. A beholder shows up as the foulspawn's master. "Luckily," it's an Eye of Flame. Still a true Beholder, but significantly weaker.
  • Odd Friendship: Khal, a dwarf cleric, and Tisha, a tiefling warlock.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Played With. Khal is what you would expect a Gimli Expy to be, except he was actually kicked out of his dwarven home because he actively spoke against the rigid clannishness of his culture through love poems.
  • Our Elves Are Different: Played With. Varis is also much like a stereotypical elf, but also is stated to enjoy cities more than the forests, and never hesitates to slip in zingers against other (high) elves that look down their noses at everything else.
  • Our Orcs Are Different: The typical Dungeons & Dragons Proud Warrior Race version.
  • Player Party: There are no players, but the group still consists of roughly the most typical party one can imagine: A human fighter, a dwarf paladin, a halfling rogue, an elf ranger and a tiefling warlock. It's essentially the archetypical party.
  • Running Gag: Bad days, bad ideas, terrible rescues, and there is never any good news.
    • Also, Dwarven work.
  • "Take That!" Kiss: Adric does this to an orc!
  • World of Badass: Well, It IS Dungeons & Dragons...
  • World of Snark

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