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‘Modern Fantasy:’ Trade Paperback Review

Modern Fantasy is a triumph of style with a ton of heart to spare. With nods to the fantasy genre, but more specifically Dungeons & Dragons, this story reads like something made by Judd Apatow. It’s funny, weird, and relatively progressive. Though it might share some similarities with other fantasy parody content as of late (i.e., Disenchanted), let that not sway you from giving it a shot. In my opinion, this is better than Disenchanted and has much more to offer.

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The trade paperback edition collects the first four (and only) issues of Modern Fantasy along with the expected bonus materials such as concept art and alternate cover art. I wish there was more, and that is a good thing! This story is tight and works great as a shorter piece. That being said, I hope they make more. It’s a novel idea, but what makes this so juicy is the rich characters. Honestly…I just want a LOT more Bock-Darr!

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Back-Darr is probably the best character ever committed to paper. It’s true! He’s a genuine brute played for gentle comedic effect, and they absolutely nail it. He is reminiscent of Batista’s performance in Guardians of the Galaxy, and that’s fine with me. First of all, comic books are rarely funny and the more they try to be funny, the worse they often are. Secondly, characterizations like this rarely translate on the page, that’s why so many heroes and villains are so broad. Bock-Darr is very funny and not broad at all. In other words, he is the chosen one to deliver us all from mediocre comic book writing!

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Rafer Roberts is the writer on the book, and I feel like he did a good job balancing his wacky story with grounded people. Sure, there is a character named Lizard Wizard, but he totally reminds you of someone you know. Roberts also makes very inclusive choices with his characters. For instance, more than one character is clearly a representative of the LGBTQ community. That’s neat!

The book is drawn by Kristen Gudsnuk who clearly took more than a few nods from the Scott Pilgrim series. It’s not a bad style by any means, but it is a bit derivative. Again, it’s hard to pitch a style for this book that would have worked better, because it is very funny and Gudsnuk expertly showcases the humor in these panels. But, you know…what if it was its own thing? That could be cool?

All in all, this is a great package put together by a great team. If you are looking for something light, but full of heart, then look no further. Modern Fantasy matches every laugh with a great piece of adventure that will leave you wanting more. And, on that note, how about we get some more? I would love a second volume of this.

Creative Team: Rafer Roberts (writer), Kristen Gudsnuk (art)
Publisher: Dark Horse
Click here to purchase.

Jeremy Schmidt, Fanbase Press Contributor



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