Ron Marz and Lee Moder are looking to bring a little fire to the shelf this week. We had the preview of Dragon Prince #1 yesterday, but you want to know how the whole issue turned out, don’t you? Hit the jump to see whether or not you’ll need to add this book to your buy pile tomorrow.
Dragon Prince #1
Writer: Ron Marz
Artist: Lee Moder
For whatever reason, I really thought this book was going to be reminiscent of Ron’s run on the CrossGen title, Sojourn. I really enjoyed the hell out of that book. As I was reading through the first issue of Dragon Prince, I began to see how different this book was going to be. And you know what? I’m glad this book goes in a completely different direction.
Marz’s opening takes place in the past. We don’t know how far back, but it’s clear the tale begins well before our titular prince comes into the picture. In this past, dragons are hunted down by dragon hunters. The hunters are mystical beings who can quell a dragon’s flame with but a word. Marz not only establishes the world we find our characters living in, but also the idea that modern advancements like guns don’t carry quite the same raw power as magic does. It may not seem like a big deal, but right from the get-go, Marz takes high-powered weapons out of the equation. The story is better for not allowing the reader to ask, “Why don’t they just shoot it with a rocket?”
From the past we are shot up to present day, where we meet the boy who would be prince, Aaron. These next few pages are really where Lee Moder gets to show off a bit. The dragon imagery throughout every panel may not be very subtle to those readers accustomed to searching the background for insight into story and character, but that doesn’t mean it’s not appreciated. Moder is able to sneak in a dragon in just about every conceivable way: dragon lamps, dragon posters, and so on. It’s interesting to see just how much Aaron is into dragons before we find out just how much dragon is in Aaron. I can see what you’re thinking now, and the answer is no, this book is not ripping off Firebreather. Both Marz and Moder take the story in a different direction. Instead of having a dragonboy living amongst humans and trying to fit in, Aaron and his mother immediately go on the run when Aaron’s abilities begin manifesting. Moder doesn’t have a lot of action to play with this issue, but Marz sprinkles in enough character moments for Moder to showcase his knowledge of facial expressions and body language. Like a good artist, his work never detracts from the script, and Marz tailors the issue perfectly to Moder’s strengths.
Overall, I enjoyed Dragon Prince quite a bit. The problem with new books is, unless I’m having a light week, I generally don’t try them out. Luckily, this week happens to be a fairly light one, and I’ll be picking this up just to see where Ron and Lee are going to take it. If you’ve got a little extra room on your buy pile this week, and you’re looking for something off the beaten superhero path, pick this up.