Pathfinder #1 Review – Comic Books
Short Version: Pathfinder #1 from Dynamite Comics is entertaining enough, although it cleaves a little close to fantasy cliches for my liking much of the time. Zub’s writing shines through occasionally, but the pacing just feels a little off. There’s some really good art from Andrew Huerta that elevates the book, it’s a fun read, and the extra Pathfinder RPG is a nice touch.
Pathfinder #1 Writer: Jim Zub
Pathfinder #1 Artist: Andrew Huerta
Pathfinder #1 is the first issue in a new -going comic book series from Dynamite Comics partnering with Paizo, the makers of the Pathfinder RPG. The story follows Valeros, a sort of drink-first-and-ask-questions later fighter along with his adventuring party, which is made up very much like a party for the same-titled RPG. Pathfinder #1 starts promisingly enough, with a fight against some goblins, who threaten the party in rhyme while they are disposed of. The plot setup is interesting enough fantasy fare, as well, as the group finds out that the goblins have some sort of corruption or growth of some sort on them and they have been getting more aggressive as of late (an age old roleplaying plot hook). Still, something about the pacing in Pathfinder #1 didn’t quite click for me the way I wanted and the characters just haven’t been given a chance to get fleshed out well enough yet. At this point, the whole thing seems to lean a little heavily on well-worn fantasy tropes as well. Which may well be the point in Pathfinder #1, but that wasn’t helping me. In any case, it’s a pity because Jim Zub’s writing style does not get to shine quite as much here as it does in his work on Skullkickers. We get some entertaining back-and-forth dialogue, which Zub does as well as anyone in the business, but it is less frequent than in much of his other work, perhaps in part because his default level of craziness is toned down by the default Pathfinder setting. I’m interested to see where it is going, but there’s not a lot to go on in this first issue as to how the plot will develop. The good news is that Pathfinder #1 looks very nice thanks to some good work from Andrew Huerta. In particular, there are a couple of punch impacts that are just fantastic (punches that lack a sense of force are a big pet peeve of mine), and some really nice detail work in there. There is also a good write-up on the town of Sandpoint for Paizo’s Pathfinder RPG, including a few adventure hooks, a couple of NPCs, stat blocks for four of the characters from the comic, and a CR 3 encounter. It’s a nice add-in for those playing Paizo’s Pathfinder RPG or those interested in doing so, and goes a long way to making this an easy recommendation for those interested in that material. Pathfinder #1 is a great value when you take the whole package into account. In any case, for the first steps of a fantasy adventure, it’s entertaining, it just has some problems that I hope Zub get smoothed out going into the next issue. There’s some promise here, it’s just not quite fulfilled yet. Pathfinder #1 is available now from your local comic book shop and immediately from Comixology for $3.99
Has anyone else read it? What did you think? Do you like the idea of including the RPG material in the comic? Talk about it below!