SCALES AND SCOUNDRELS VOL. 1: INTO THE DRAGON'S MAW TP
SCALES AND SCOUNDRELS VOL. 1: INTO THE DRAGON'S MAW TP BY SEBASTIAN GIRNER AND GALAAD
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
SCALES AND SCOUNDRELS VOL. 1: INTO THE DRAGON'S MAW TP is the breath of fresh air we need during times of darkness and political uncertainty. The art is a ray of sunshine that is both fun and incredibly charming from page one. Galaad and Girner weave a tale that stands out among the dark and mature fantasy comics common today. Now is the perfect time to jump into the series and catch up with Luvander and friends.
100 %
A DELIGHTFUL FANTASY ADVENTURE

What if someone took your favorite 16-bit Japanese role-playing games (JRPGs) from your childhood, mixed them with DRAGON BALL and Hayao Miyazaki’s whimsical films, and turned them into a comic book? The result would be SCALES AND SCOUNDRELS VOL. 1: INTO THE DRAGON’S MAW TP, a fun fantasy adventure. 

SCALES AND SCOUNDRELS VOL. 1: INTO THE DRAGON’S MAW TP collects the first five issues of the series. It features a cast of charming characters, a colorful art style, and a bombastic plot. Creators Sebastian Girner and Galaad weave a tale that feels fresh in today’s stable of comics.

MONSTRESS #13 Review: All’s Fair in Love and War

All Roads Lead to the Dragon’s Maw

SCALES AND SCOUNDRELS VOL. 1: INTO THE DRAGON’S MAW TP follows the adventures of Luvander, a vagabond treasure hunter with a mysterious past. She wakes up from a strange dream in a forest one day after hearing a cry for help. Finally, she finds a trio of travelers under attack from a group of bandits and saves their lives.

The travelers turn out to be Prince Akisbjorne of the Scarlet Sands Empire; Koro, his bodyguard since birth; and Dorma, their dwarven guide. The trio is on a journey to seek out Dened Lewen, an ancient dungeon said to house amazing treasure in its deepest level. Akisbjorne convinces Luvander to join them on an adventure of a lifetime, and she joins his party. As a result, Luvander and company dive into a journey filled with danger, excitement, and mystery.

SCALES AND SCOUNDRELS VOL. 1: INTO THE DRAGON'S MAW TP
Courtesy of Image Comics

What Lies Beneath

SCALES AND SCOUNDRELS VOL 1: INTO THE DRAGON’S MAW TP gradually introduces us to Luvander and company’s motivations as they go into Dened Lewen. Akisbjorne, Koro, and Dorma aren’t used to Luvander’s erratic personality because one moment she’s laughing, the next moment she’s wolfing down food. In addition, the plot introduces the dangers that lurk inside Dened Lewen. This includes a bounty hunter that ruthlessly pursues Luvander with his two hounds and a demon that preys on treasure hunters.

Girner uses quiet moments to build up character relationships before the plot moves to the next action piece. For instance, SCALES AND SCOUNDRELS #2 has a moment where Luvander’s motives are questioned by Koro as Luvander tries to sneak off into Dened Lewen. It’s a tense moment that gets interrupted by an arrow that narrowly misses Luvander and Koro. Hence, by allowing these types of moments to exist, Girner reminds us that these are strangers that are still getting to know each other.

SCALES AND SCOUNDRELS #1 Advanced Review: Bringing the Fun to Fantasy

Vibrant Art in Every Page

The world of SCALES AND SCOUNDRELS VOL. 1: INTO THE DRAGON’S MAW TP shines thanks to Galaad’s vibrant art. The world feels lived in, as details burst on every page. Take, for example, the market selling all kinds of goods that Luvander wanders into in SCALES AND SCOUNDRELS #1. In addition to this attention to detail, the art is delightful, with panels feeling like a mix of anime and video games.

One of Galaad’s biggest strengths is his ability to set apart characters’ individual personalities through body language. For example, when it comes to gold, the dragon inside Luvander comes out with her eyes glowing red. All the characters are very expressive, which reflects Galaad’s background in animation. It’s a joy to see panels that flow with energy. This is further reinforced by the wide range of colors that lends to the adventurous theme.

SCALES AND SCOUNDRELS VOL. 1: INTO THE DRAGON'S MAW TP
Courtesy of Image Comics

A Cast of Charming Characters

One of Girner’s greatest strengths is his ability to subvert typical fantasy tropes. Akisbjorne would guard Koro in a typical fantasy story. But SCALES AND SCOUNDRELS reverses this gendered trope. In fact, SCALES AND SCOUNDRELS VOL. 1: INTO THE DRAGON’S MAW TP avoids this trope by making Koro a bad ass who taught Akisbjorne how to fight. Even the clothing reflects this reversal of the trope. For example, Akisbjorne wears a cape with trousers and uses a shield to fight, while Akisbjorne is shirtless, which makes him vulnerable for a few issues.

Interview with SCALES AND SCOUNDRELS Creators Sebastian Girner and Galaad

 

Closing Thoughts: This Dragon Soars

SCALES AND SCOUNDRELS VOL.1: INTO THE DRAGON’S MAW TP is the perfect entry point into the series for readers of all ages, thanks to its feel-good art and charming protagonists. In dark times, it’s nice to have a comic that people can jump into. Ultimately, it serves as a reminder that no matter how tough things get in life, there’s always hope.

If there’s one minor nitpick, it’s that sometimes it’s quite easy to stare at the detailed backgrounds. But thanks to Jeff Powell’s lettering, panels do not overstay their welcome and instill a sense of motion. In fact, Powell’s lettering is vital to the tone of the story as it would fall apart without it. Overall, SCALES AND SCOUNDRELS VOL. 1 successfully brings back the magic of the FINAL FANTASY series and carves out its own niche.

SCALES AND SCOUNDRELS VOL. 1: INTO THE DRAGON'S MAW TP
Courtesy of Image Comics

SCALES AND SCOUNDRELS VOL.1: INTO THE DRAGON’S MAW TP will be released on February 7th. SCALES AND SCOUNDRELS #6 will also be released on February 7th.  Meanwhile, the first five issues of SCALES AND SCOUNDRELS are available now on Comixology and your local comic book shop.

Show ComicsVerse some Love! Leave a Reply!