Trade Paperback due Nov 7, 2023
(Available to preorder on Amazon USA)
I often say it’s best to wait for the collected edition of some comic book mini-series than to buy the monthly releases, and Dungeons and Dragons: Saturday Morning Adventures is no exception. That’s because an episode is parted out as four issues/chapters. While I applaud bringing back a beloved 80s cartoon to print, it’s a much better read when I have them altogether. A lot of ongoing titles depend on how well this title sells.
With this release, the goal is to put them in another Saturday Morning Adventure where they’ll one day realise home is where the heart is. Either fans can cue in Elvis Presley’s song or interpret this phrase differently.
As a result, readers will find that they’re all tired after being in the Forgotten Realm for god knows how long. They are now questioning their ability to discover the means to return to Earth. After doing some good to bring order back, they now believe it’s time to settle down and accept their fate. Issue one is about them weighing in over the pros and cons. But before they become divided as a team, the next issue shows Venger’s forces locating them and they have to run! As for where whether they feel safe, that depends on if they trust their leader.
In “Prisoner of the Deep,” Hank, Sheila, Diana, Presto, Eric, Bobby, and Uni meet Phaelona, a guardian of a tower who brought them here via a mystical portal. When she reveals she can’t leave her home because of some hex, what they do to help isn’t too bright. They believe destroying the magic inside the tower can break the curse. But instead of finding freedom, they’re teleported away and have to fight some classic D&D monsters before being able to reunite.
As a result, this plot isn’t anything beyond the norm expected for a usual cartoon adventure. As much as I wanted to read about how they’ve changed since they last were featured, perhaps it’s time to tell the story, “Countdown to Requiem.” The true finale does wrap everything up in a very tidy episode, and “Requiem” is available to view on YouTube as a fan film.
In this latest, Dungeon Master isn’t here to assist or lead-in to their next adventure. In the comic, he is behaving really weird. All he says is to lie low while he’s off to find French fries! Writers David M. Booher (Canto) and Sam Maggs (Rick and Morty Ever After) seems to have forgotten how DM operates. As a result, I’m guessing that he’s not the real gnome. We might not know his fate until another miniseries. Personally, I’d love to read a one-shot to explain how they came into appearing in the live-action D&D movie! Alternatively, a story to reveal how they survived the maze can be just as good.
As for whether the same team will be involved in the next series, I hope George Kambadais sticks around. His approach to drawing the gang makes them look older. Hank has a jawline that rivals Ash (Evil Dead), and the other characters, especially Sheila and Presto, don’t look as young anymore. Also, those splash pages are fantastic! Thus, I’m led to believe this group survived there for more than a year.
Also, I’m fairly sure this Dungeons and Dragons: Saturday Morning Adventures isn’t a one-shot. There’s a few more months left of this cartoon’s 40th anniversary; the broadcast date was September 17, 1983, and this team deserves much more than just this comic book, an action figure line, and a cameo in the live-action film. Let’s hope IDW has plans to keep their adventures ongoing.