This third adventure featuring this particular group of characters contains the classic combination of frost giants and white dragons in a wintery setting. The story is slightly paint-by-numbers as most moments are predictable with a couple of exceptions. That said, in a niche genre like this, those little exceptions are why we keep reading this stuff. This issue feels very much like a comic version of one of the story branches in the D&D Endless Quest book titled Mountain of Mirrors in both art style and storyline and that is not a terrible thing.
The introduction allows any reader a way into the text by explaining the style of writing, but Jim Zub does a good job throughout to make it accessible. They also include a dramitis personae for the new readers and character sheets for those who are already well versed. Furthermore, the inclusion of notes informing the reader where to read referenced stories creates an entry/reference points. Zub also seems to have a lot of fun with these stories with the ogres getting in a fight with each other before our heroes are discovered and adding in jokes such as them needing to kick five times as much evil and that being an exact figure. I also enjoyed how off-hand expert dragon knowledge was thrown in because so many people in the community have had an obsession with dragons at least once in their lives. These funny little details and nods are the best part of the issue.
While the writing is what one would expect, with a comical flair, the art is quite fantastical. As seen on the cover, Netho Diaz makes the Frost giants truly massive in proportion to everything else. This size makes the rendering of details very important and Diaz effectively lives up to the established style with their musculature and glowing eyes being particularly well done. Many of the transitional art by various artists are also exceptional and would make fine posters. Neil Uyetake’s letters are a high point in this with the parchment paper script setting the scene for each part and other varying choices such as the details in the word balloons. For example, the broken lined word balloons show that even when it looks like the characters are screaming it is still done in a whisper and the misshapen word balloons show a weaker voice when Lady Kathon is injured. The sound effects for the arrows are also very well done.
Ultimately, this is a really enjoyable issue even if it isn’t the most nuanced or unique. It conveys the deep love the creators have for their work and this is the kind of fair that fans of the genre know and love too. There isn’t anything hugely spectacular, but it is a fun ride that hits all the notes we have come expect. If this kind of stuff is what you love, chances are you will enjoy this too.
(W) Jim Zub (A) Netho Diaz (CA) Max Dunbar