Dynamite’s adaptation of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time has taken on an epic task to tell a story that has spawned such a massive universe, and if a first time reader were picking up Issue 22, apart from being entertained, there wouldn’t be enough information to fill holes in the story. As with many comic stories, this is one that either has to be read from the beginning or researched. This doesn’t mean that readers won’t enjoy the book. The writing and artwork are enough to keep audiences interested and coming back for more.
WOT is steeped in history and mythology, and the concepts behind the story make for some interesting reading. This latest issue brings the protagonists, Rand and Mat running for their lives on their quest for food and shelter and bickering over whose possessions to sell in order to survive on the road. A narrative breaks in explaining the thinking and hardships of the characters, while the two venture along as minstrel and juggler, eventually finding their past catching up with them.
Writer Chuck Dixon is a staple in the comic world and does a great job drawing in a reader and keeping the story interesting. This is no surprise to fans of Dixon’s. He has given the comic industry thousands of scripts and is one of the creators of the character Bane. He is also no stranger to taking on epic stories like The Wheel of Time, which he showed with his graphic novel adaptation of The Hobbit. Well known for his character development, Dixon is able to add depth to the characters throughout WOT. The main characters are easily likeable, but Dixon shows real talent by highlighting the personality of secondary characters, which we see with the first meeting of the bastard barkeep and his snarky server.
The artwork is good, but it’s the color work that deepens the pages of the book. Nicolas Chapuis’ shading and dynamic difference in color between the foreground and background is really the key in grabbing someone into the pages. Artist Andie Tong does a great job, and those who know him from his other work, like Tron: Betrayal, will know he holds up his end of the bargain in this book. In WOT his line work in character faces define which are friend and which are foe, right down to the sinister expressions, however, he has a tendency to draw his female characters with very masculine facial features. With the comic world full of beautiful female creation, there is no reason to have most of the women in the book with such hard features.
Between the dynamic color and the cliffhanger story, which left me wanting to know what will happen next, The Wheel of Time is definitely worth the read and worth the time it takes to get caught up on the back story for first time readers. This epic fantasy story, which crosses timelines and genres, has a little something for everyone.