Sunday, September 21, 2008

Dragon Prince #1

Ron Marz & Lee Moder
When I picked this up, I was expecting a straight-forward fantasy - swords and sorcery and all that. I really enjoyed Ron Marz's stint on Crossgen's Scion, so I was excited to read a story like that again. But while this is a fantasy, and it does include magic and shape-shifting dragons, it's of the subgenre of that old school fantasy meeting the real world. This first issue of Dragon Prince sees a young bullied Aaron uncover the truth behind his heritage - that his father was a dragon, and that he has dragon in his blood, with the ability to shape-shift and breathe fire. Long ago, dragons were abundant, but his father was the last of his kind, and as his father has died, Aaron is now alone in the world, half-human, half-dragon, with his mother trying to protect him from the same dragon hunters that tracked and killed his father.
I really enjoyed the opening of this book. It followed a dragon meeting a young woman in a small village before he's attacked by hunters. It turns out to be a story being read by Aaron's mother, as she's an author, but I think that this was the best part of the issue. From there, we're introduced to Aaron and his troubles at school, and when his mother begins to explain his origins, it just seems a little too...readily accepted. There's no defiance really to what's happening. Aaron accepts things after a brief, feeble protest, and the two worlds just kind of clash for me. I think that it's mostly the pacing that I didn't like. If there was a little more time spent with revealing his origin, I may not have been so jarred by it. But that being said, I did like the scene where Aaron's powers first manifest themselves. I just wish I could ignore the rushed pages that followed.

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