Monday, 2 June 2014

Review: Dragons Riders of Berk - Volume 1: Dragon Down by Simon Furman and Iwan Nazif

Publisher: Titan Comics
Format: Paperback
Released: May 27th, 2014
Rating: 9/10

Amazon summary:

Set in the town of Berk, the comic relates the adventures of young Hiccup and his faithful dragon Toothless - plus Hiccup's father, Stoick the Vast, and Hiccup's friends Gobber, Snotlout, Tuffnut and Ruffnut - and Astrid. Created by the hottest comic talents, Titan will publish six new books, containing ongoing storylines and spotlighting several fan-favourite characters in special short stories. 


I'm a big fan of dragons (I want one) and a big fan of comics (I have far too many), so putting these two things together is basically the best thing for me! I loved the first How to Train Your Dragon film when I first saw it at the cinema and I've since watched the Dragons: Riders of Berk mini adventures that Dreamworks cleverly put together. After reading this comic twice I think it's safe to say it's a good read - as exciting as the show/film and with great artwork to accompany the story!

Dragon Down mostly focuses on Snotlout's dragon, Hookfang, and what happens when his scale shedding causes havoc in the town of Berk. Hookfang flies off and gets a bit lost, meaning Hiccup and his friends have to set out on a risky mission to find him before the Riders of Alvin do. It's nail-biting stuff from start to finish, let me tell you!

All the characters you know and love are featured in this sixty-four page comic strip, including Tuffnut, Ruffnut, Belch and Barf; Snotlout and Hookfang; Astrid and Stormfly; Fishlegs and Meatlug, and of course Hiccup and Toothless. Hiccup's father, Stoick, also makes an appearance or two and he's just as intimidating as always! Simon Furman's written characterisation is spot-on, with the dialogue being exactly what you'd expect these Viking dragon riders to say. Dragon Down could easily be a script for the animated TV show, it's that good!

Iwan Nazif's artwork throughout is also fantastic, especially his depiction of all the various dragons. I'm sure these creatures can be tricky to illustrate but they're all captured brilliantly here, with Toothless and Hookfang being my favourites! The colours used really pop thanks to the mix of Viking browns and vibrant dragons, ensuring that every page stands out. Dragon Down is a must-read for any How to Train Your Dragon fans, young or old. I can't wait to read further volumes in the series!

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