Saturday, November 3, 2012

Thirty Days of Graphic Novels, Day 24: "The Legend of Drizzt, Book 1: Homeland"

In many ways, Drizzt is the Wolverine of the Forgotten Realms: a character that is iconic, fascinating, and much overused.  There are probably as many rebel drow with twin swords running around on gaming tables today as there are kids sticking plastic knives between their fingers and shouting "snikt". That being said, there's a reason both characters are so popular in their respective domains.

Homeland is the comic adaptation of the R.A. Salvatore novel of the same name.  Although not written first, it covers the earliest period of Drizzt's life as he grows into manhood in the massive Drow underground city of Menzoberranzan.  I read the novel several years ago, and I remain impressed with Salvatore's depiction of Drow life: cold, calculating, opportunistic, and dangerous.  Salvatore has obviously thought through the culture and the reason Drow appear the way they do to others in the Underdark and on the surface.  Drizzt will come to loathe and despise that culture, but it won't let its grip on him go easily.

Comic adaptations of novels often fail miserably, but this time I think justice was done.  The plot threads are easy to follow and there's not so much condensing of material that the reader is left confused or feels cheated.  I still think it's not 100% clear what made Drizzt think so differently than his fellow Drow, but perhaps that's part of the point of the story.  The artwork is fairly good overall, especially for the occasional shots of Menzoberranzan architecture and monsters; facial features need work, as much of the Drow males and females look the same.

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