I read the first Fabled Four back in 2019 and enjoyed the 16bit medieval comedy quest concluding it was an intriguing concept and the artwork is amazingly retro. For the full review click here. Now the third comic has just released this month it’s a good time to catch up with the series.
The humour is still a joy to read from the nonchalant way they treat a death of a teammate in the second comic to the healer’s innuendos towards his old headmaster in comic three. The dialogue shows the team dynamic well and how over their heads they are. However, I find it hard to recall most of the characters names but at least their personality traits and dialogue are different. With the wizard’s dialogue reminding me of friends I used to have from college and the healer (David) being an immature nob most of the third book. The character motivations and back story aren’t as important as they were in the first book but there are more sound effects which was my main problem with the first issue.
The tropes of Dungeon and Dragons are well subverted with the creation of an unstable wraith/ barmaid who is cooler and smarter than the rest of the team. Her reveal in the second book is one of my favourite scenes including how the guys don’t know whether to fight her as it might seem sexist. Another favourite scene of mine is in the third book where they are camping outside, and David fails to save someone and somehow motivates the team to try the unbeatable level three. Then there’s the battles in this series which are imaginative with the dialogue, the action, and the character designs.
These two books have all the glorious 16bit D&D imagery you would expect but there is a wider array of evil characters including a spiky purple ghost with gold bracelets and a thunderbolt. I didn’t expect the form of the last boss, but this is a NSFW comic as you can easily tell by the language used. Furthermore, it makes sense as all the corpses outside the great tower seem to be guys.
Overall, these books improve on the first with new surprises and better enemies but still retains the same great humour. David Jenkins