Meeting the rich and famous is always an interesting experience. Especially when the famous aren’t really all that rich & only meeting you because the twenty bucks you’re handing over has to go on the electric key when they get home. Having been to my fair share of conventions I can honestly say that I’ve seen all manner of occasions where fans have finally got to meet the stars that they had always dreamed of meeting only to discover that the object of their appreciation doesn’t match up to what they were expecting. It usually transpires that said hero knows nothing about quantum mechanics or how to work an actual stargate & is a touch surly as said fan is unknowingly the 786th person to question them on such matters. Worse still, I’ve been witness to occasions when person they’ve dreamt of meeting is so blind drunk they simply attempt to stare down said fans top while I’m busy capturing the proud moment on camera for all of Facebook to see. Of course not all famous people are bastards, For every time I’ve stared into the cold bored eyes of a person who was only trawling the circuit to pay the bills I’ve seen a number of “stars” sit down & spend time chewing the fat with the common people because hey, they’re just common people too. But for the purpose of this article though, just think about the ones who are bastards.
Ok so I’m being a touch heavy handed with the melodrama but it’s relevant because this is the issue where our intrepid travelers get to meet the mythical celebrity that summoned them to fight the Fairie Horde & truth be told he’s not quite the man you thought he’d be… Since its beginning The Order of Dagonet has been about subverting people’s expectations. Every time the book has come up against convention it’s always done its level best to tip it upside down, shake it around & make funny with what comes out. In this case it’s the idea of Merlin, ancient & wise wizard who helped found one of the greatest ideals ever known to mankind. Merlin’s been busying himself in the background of Dagonet since the beginning but it is only now as the first arc draws to a close that we finally get some face time with the man as he informs the knights of their mission & gives them the tools they need to complete it, but needless to say, he’s not really the big I Am that we were all expecting…
Dagonet’s greatest strengths have always been its dialogue and its art & this issue sees both aspects put in their strongest turns yet. The normally bright & chaotic artwork takes a step towards the other end of the pencil case as the characters spend much of their time in a dark cave with a round table (not that Round Table you understand, but a round table nonetheless). The colour & panel layouts of Dagonet’s art is something that has always contributed to its unique feel & having an issue that takes place mostly in the dark creates a nice counterpoint to its usual summery shades. Given that the issue has to cover a lot of plot development that requires people to stand around and talk Strutz does a great job of keeping everything dynamic so that it still makes for good reading. Of course you can make people having a chat look as dynamic as you want but it’s all for naught if the writing doesn’t stand up & Whitely does a great job of balancing out the exposition with lots more of the whip smart dialogue & character development that the series is best at. This may be a book that deals its stock & trade in one liners & pie to the face moments but what keeps me coming back to Dagonet is it’s genuinely likable cast of players that still feel real, even in the most fantastical of situations.
In conclusion there’s enough tying up of threads in this issue to give the first arc a sense of closure, but there’s also enough starting of new ones so that you’ll still be inclined to get the next issue. I’ve recommended all the previous chapters & I have no bones about recommending this one as well. Granted if you haven’t read Dagonet before then this issue probably isn’t the best jumping on point, but thankfully all the previous issues are on sale alongside this one at the Firetower website (that’s http://firetowerstudios.com/ to people like me that haven’t worked out how to insert links into their pieces yet!) or alternatively if you’re trawling the convention circuit in the U.S.A over the coming months then you’ll be able to purchase the issues or the first trade at the Firetower booth (better yet buy both!), but don’t worry these guys’ll be nice when you talk to them, I promise.