There’s nothing like the cartoon ‘Dungeons and Dragons.’ Thirty-five years ago the world was introduced to a group of teenagers and a child transported to a world few of them knew how to navigate. The group was led by a real bastard of a dungeon master who gave ambiguous clues when what they needed was a direct answer. Still, there was always a lesson to learn and the endgame was to try and find a way home. ‘Ruin of Thieves: A Brigands Story’ has a Dungeons and Dragons vibe where a quest’s success hinges on the party you’ve gathered.
Stilian Desault gets a reprieve from the gallows. However, this may just be another way he gets to possibly die in a much more gruesome way than a clean head-chopping. On this journey Stilian is joined by several others with skills that look like the best and luckiest eight-dice roll you’ll ever get in a role playing game. Of course they have to claim a magical artifact and make a powerful enemy along the way. What’s more old enemies resurface. However, Stilian has enough charisma to sway anyone to join him. By the time this comic starts more plots are developing to keep these Brigands from acquiring their query. And there’s a comet streaking through the sky like a supernatural GPS.
For a fairly mature audience this band of cutthroats will feel familiar. A murderer, thief, hardcore prisoners, a Firestarter, an assassin and a wizard walk into a bar and meet three other unsavory men. They all get acquainted and things stranger from there. Moreover Stilian has to keep his team in check. With soldiers everywhere on a small island and all of them wanted, retrieving this artifact is getting increasingly difficult. As with all RPGs there’s a side quest that goes completely pear-shaped. Think of all the good bits from your favorite retro-games. When a character dies for real in Final Fantasy VII, or that first good scare from the first Resident Evil that tension and danger collides with drama made for good storytelling. That happens here in this comic book from Action Lab: Danger Zone.
Ram V, Kumar and the team behind ‘Ruin of Thieves’ has something special here with some good old moral dilemmas and a bit of danger ever-present. You don’t know if this band of Brigands are going to get anything accomplished, but you root for them.