Publisher: Oni Press
Writer: Kurtis J. Wiebe
Artist: Justin Osterling
Released: March 4th, 2020
Warnings: Animal death
Yes! It’s time! Dryad #1 has finally dropped, and I personally couldn’t be more excited about that fact! If you’re a fan of Rat Queens, then this is absolutely a series you’re going to want to check out.
Why do I say that? Because Kurtis J. Wiebe is the author for both series, and there are so many tones and themes in common. So the odds are very good that if you like one, you’ll enjoy the other. I know I did. Working alongside Wiebe is a new artist, Justin Osterling, but his style is already proving to be one worth keeping an eye on.
It’s a tale of love, lore, monster hunting, and so much more. And that’s only the beginning. An elf and a human fall in love – that’s a tale we’ve all heard before. Together they’ve found a safe haven for which to raise their family in. But how long can one family be content to be merely ‘safe’?
Between the creative team and the description for this series, I was understandably quite excited about this release date. Now the real question is; was it worth the wait?
It is officially safe to say that Kuris J. Wiebe has done it again. Once again, he has introduced a compelling plot. His characters here are intriguing and complex. While not all of them may be human, they infuse the story with their relatability.
Dryad #1 starts on an interesting note, immediately pulling readers (myself included) into the story. It is a great start, as is the rest of this issue. It is a fascinating world with complicated characters, all of whom seem to have their own backstory and baggage.
Speaking of baggage, I feel like there is actually quite a bit more to the history of these two lovers. I have a feeling that their children are going to end up uncovering that mystery for us, and I honestly cannot wait.
Dryad #1 is split into two distinct time periods. Because believe it or not, there’s a significant time jump after the introductory scene. It was a clever way of setting the stage. Our characters’ backstories have been revealed, all while leaving us curious as to see what happens next.
Honestly, I really enjoyed this first issue. I have so many questions and theories for what is going to happen next, all of which is proof of how engaging the story has already proven to be. I don’t actually have any idea what is going to happen next. And I love that.
I honestly loved the artwork behind Dryad #1. It is every bit as fantastical as the genre itself. The two go perfectly hand and hand, which honestly is not a given. So I’m going to appreciate that fact.
Justin Osterling really brought this fantasy world to life. The characters and monsters are all intriguing, with careful decision choices being clear throughout the entire issue. A highlight for me had to be the characters’ expressions, which ran the gambit (two parents, a teenage girl, and a teenage boy, need I say more about the emotional range being displayed?).
Actually, I’d like to add a second highlight to this review. The backgrounds. I’m absolutely in love with the backgrounds for this series. The forest scenery is both beautiful and the perfect setting for a fantasy series. But it’s really the colors that make it all come to life. They are vibrant and striking. And I would love a print of some of these scenes.
Dryad #1 was everything that I had hoped it would be, and then some. I’m honestly incredibly curious to see where this story leads us. I’ll admit some extra curiosity to what the parents have done in their past…and what their teenage children will do next. But that’s all the more reason for me to count down the days until next month!
Sometimes a series will hit a moment that is upsetting to some readers. In this instance, there are a couple of animal deaths worth mentioning. Both of them have a slight warning (a panel or two to realize what you’re in for). But I’ll state them clearly here as well. Spoiler warning! A bloody dog corpse is displayed at one point, and a bird is killed later on.