Scales and Scoundrels #1 Review

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Posted September 6, 2017 by Chad Waller in Comic Books

Written By: Sebastian Girner

Art By: Galaad

Published By: Image

I’m no stranger to reading and reviewing kid’s books (I cover My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic pretty heavily here because I’m a subhuman) because I believe that a story can be good regardless of its genre or intended audience. Compelling characters needn’t be saved for adults. That being said, I don’t jump on every story or genre that comes my way. There comes a point where that’s just not productive for everyone, and in the case of kid’s books, I understand that most aren’t going to appeal to me regardless of character quality. (MLP gets a pass because I’m a subhuman.)

I’ll be honest, the only reason we’re here is that I didn’t know Scales and Scoundrels would be a kid’s book–or at least kid friendly–until I was a few pages in. By then, I figured why  not? I read the first issue of Fruit Ninja yesterday, so I figured it’s just one of those weeks.

To S&S’s credit, it is better than Fruit Ninja.

On a surface level, I like the cut of S&S’s jib. It dives right into its fantasy world with a group of people playing a kind of MtG game in a tavern and betting money. The juxtaposition of real knights playing a card game that involves laying knights and doing damage is wonderfully charming and damn funny too. The main character, Luvander, wins, is accused of cheating, and a brawl ensues. By this point, I’m still on board.

However, it’s a bit after that, when Luvander is wandering around the city, avoiding guards and monologuing to herself that my attention began to slip. Luvander is…kind of boring. She’s a badass thief/adventurer with a mean streak but a heart of gold underneath, and I get the impression that any scramble she finds herself in won’t be all that life threatening. Either she’ll pull herself away without a scratch or the plot will.

(Also, that dragon on the cover doesn’t show up, which kind of sucks since I’d have liked a dragon to show up.)

This is a shame too, because the writing itself is fairly solid throughout. There isn’t much to Luvander, but the other characters have a lot of charm to them, and the back-and-forth between the townsfolk regarding a burnt-down bar is a lot of fun and funny too. I even respect the book’s pacing, which isn’t go-go-go but fairly meander-y for a first issue. It’s as relaxed as the book’s tone.

Hell, even the art is fine. I mean, it’s not amazing, but the style is cute as hell and certainly fits the world/tone S&S is going for. The book won’t win any awards in visual storytelling, but the coloring is nice and bright, and most of the facial expressions are fun. I’m reminded of Cartoon Network cartoons.

Scales and Scoundrels #1 is a perfectly fine first issue to a comic book I have no real interest in continuing. It’s a kid’s book, or at least masquerading as one, and while it has the art style and charm to draw older audiences in, it lacks the character work to make them stick. I don’t expect to come back, but if you have kids who want a fun fantasy romp, this could be worth following. I’d say its a cut above the competition in that regard.

Scales and Scoundrels #1



Scales and Scoundrels #1

7

Final Score

7/10

Pros

  • Artwork is cute
  • Some nice gags
  • I like the pacing/style/tone
  • The writing is mostly fine, sometimes venturing into good

Cons

  • Main character is pretty boring
  • Nothing here to really hook me in



About the Author

Chad Waller

Chad Waller is the cofounder of Dual Wield Software, a two-man video game company working on their first game, The Regret of Vitrerran. He also likes to write, preferring fiction and poetry, but also the occasional book review or video game essay. You can follow him on Twitter @DualWieldSoft and find his company page on Facebook with a quick search.