We live in an era with a preponderance of fantasy comics, and Adventure Finders #2 one dodges the challenge many have by keeping a small cast (the party numbers five) and using their character moments to bolster the action scenes. It all revolves around Clariette, a tall and charismatic young (read: lower level) adventurer with ambition and pluck. Her bookish wizard and cousin Jolfe and their friend the healer Aviarra have gathered two outcasts — a big hyenaman called Asogog with a sick gigantic double crossbow and the halfling archer Bielsica (no elf, nah, she's half Dryad and half Eldarri, which sounds fancy). With this intriguing and ambitious team, they have a big plan: raid a camp thousands deep with creatures called Verbolg (they're like kobolds, basically) to rescue two nobles and a host of human prisoners from a caravan the party once traveled with. Along the way, kind-hearted Clariette tries to teach some basic literacy to Bielsica (which immediately has benefits) before some great fight scenes show the clandestine raiders at work.
Here's the thing: this is all the work of one person. Espinosa does a great job with contrasts on the coloring, making his characters pop from the backgrounds while nailing the scale and spectacle of the landscape. When somebody catches an arrow in the eye, it's a riveting moment that moves the plot forward while keeping the reader's attention. Clariette's lawful good alignment shines through when she could easily cut her losses, and her (apparently) high charisma check keeps her team (who all seem to be good-aligned, from lawful to chaotic) right alongside as her plan escalates in danger. There's even a very clever plot twist with a chieftain who isn't what he seems and a character who does more to save herself than expected.
While not sharing the licensed relationship of some other fantasy titles, or the in-depth lore of your Stranger Comics or Critical Role works, this acts as an effective one-shot, tossing you in and giving you enough of the characters to keep you intrigued. It's easy to see these characters being played at any tabletop in the country (or, virtually via Zoom these days) down to the mace-wielding cleric. If you like fantasy storytelling, this is a fun and confectionary take on the genre with parameters that are pretty well established as lingua franca and won't give you a hard time getting your entertainment. RATING: BUY.
Adventure Finders: Adventure, Monsters and Treasure! #2
Our Story So Far
Clariette: A simple town girl with big dreams and an adventurous heart, out to make the world a better place. Ariarra: Pragmatic wandering cleric and healer, fiercely independent. Jolfe Endarion: Clari's cousin, an apprentice wizard with a love of adventure and good food. Together they set out in an age of constant warfare, across a world ruled by a monolithic empire, to battle enemies and monsters, make allies, save people in trouble, and find adventure!
Rescued from deadly reavers by a mysterious fey archer named Bielsica, Clariette and her allies finally begin to heal and recover from their long ordeal. Sheltered in the Green Shroud under Bielsica's watchful eye, they rest for a few days.
Clariette and her friends and allies, with the help of the mysterious fey archer Bielsica, now finally head for home.
Along the way, they come upon the marching army of orcs who raided their caravan some weeks ago. Clari sees that the orcs have the royal Biverius clan prisoner along with many other people.
Unwilling to leave them all to a terrible fate, Clari now hatches a daring but dangerous plan …