All of the great fantasy characters mixed with twenty-something, modern-day archetypes introduced in the first issue of Modern Fantasy are still great, even though the story waffles around a bit, ending on a very similar note to the first issue. These lovable, wannabe adventurers finally get to go on their first adventure! Though technically the stakes are slightly higher in issue two than issue one, the gravity of the situation feels a bit thin…maybe that’s the joke – twenty-somethings making something bigger out of something than it seems or making nothing at all out of something – as that joke is certainly at the heart of a lot of the characters’ mindsets. That’s a good thing. While Rafer Roberts does ground her characters in this ridiculous world, she also realizes that being in your early twenties is actual a ridiculous time. Kristen Gudsnuk adds to the ridiculousness of it all with her playful, yet really beautiful, art.
The crux of the story is that a certain magic amulet with incredible powers was pinched from some very dangerous people in the first issue, and the bad boy thief left it with a group of friends which include Sage of the Riverlands, Gindra, Daughter of Mythra, Darquin Silverman, Lizard Wizard, and others, before he was kidnapped. Now, the bad guys are looking for this group of friends who have never been able to fulfill their adventuring way, instead living out 9-5 jobs in the city. The friends set out to rescue the thief, who is also Lizard Wizard’s boyfriend. (This unapologetically gay couple is a nice touch to the book.)
Sage, Gondra, Darquin, and Lizard are definitely and immediately in over their heads, but that’s part of the fun. While this second issue didn’t quite have the immediacy and hilarity of the first issue, it was still playful and enjoyable with some laugh-out-loud moments along the way. I look forward to seeing where this goes in issue three.
Creative Team: Rafer Roberts (writer), Kristen Gudsnuk (art, colors, letters), Justin Couch (designer), Shantel LaRocque (editor), Brett Israel (assistant editor)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
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