Review: Borderlands – The Fall of Fyrestone #1

I, like a lot of video game players, enjoy the hell out of the Borderlands video game franchise. The first two games are very enjoyable and made the grind for loot fun. With that I can also say that I enjoy the acting and story for the games as well. I’m a fan of the franchise and of the culture that’s sprung up around the franchise. The previous Borderlands series from IDW, “Origins”, was a peculiar thing. It released just after the second game hit the shelves and yet it was all about the origins of the character you play as in the first game and not the new characters in the second game. It also was terrible, despite the fact that it recruited the writer of the first game, Mikey Neumann, to pen the series. Sounds like it should have been golden right? Well it wasn’t. In fact all of the charm and basically everything that made Borderlands, well Borderlands was missing.

Now we’re at “The Fall of Fyrestone” which finds our four main characters from the first game arriving on Pandora for the first time. It too is written by Mikey Neumann.

Let’s pause so I can ask you a question.

Did you play the first game?

No Great! Then you’ll probably like this issue since it’s following a nearly identical story path of the first game.

Yes Too bad, you’re about to read a slightly different version of the first game that puts you on a mission to defeat Nine Toes… oh wait you just get to read about the mission.

I nearly put down for this entire review just, “Did you play the first game? This is just that again.” Sure this time around you get to hear the characters talk and interact, but you know what the worst part of the second game was? Hearing these four characters talk and interact, so hearing seeing them talk and interact again… is still not fun.

BorderlandsFoF-coverRE copy 2They’re cool looking characters that have cool abilities, but there’s no personality there. They all have slight variance in their personality for the most part, but then one aspect is cranked to ten. Mordecai is a drunk, Brick mumbles the same thing over and over, Lilith is looking for danger and Roland… I guess he’s the leader. He talked the most, but really he came across as an insecure teenager.

The art is good. Agustin Padilla isn’t trying to capture the look of the game, but rather the setting and character style. I didn’t fall in love with it or even shout, “that’s a Borderlands comic” or anything crazy like that though. The action was easy to follow and while it’s not in your face, it works. Brick’s head didn’t work though. The fucker’s face changed at least four times while reading the issue which was distracting since he has the most distinguished face out of the group. It is an improvement over the first series, which Augstin Padilla also illustrated. It’s not a leap forward better, but it’s a decent lunge that keeps the knee in front of your toes.

Having read this and having played the game I don’t see myself coming back to find out how the mission to kill Nine Toes turned out. In my game it was a successful mission. I have to wonder though, who the hell is this comic for? Is it for fans of the game which is what anyone would assume or it is for people who didn’t play the game? If it’s for fans then why give them a story that they already know, but now have to experience without any control? If it’s for people completely unfamiliar with the franchise… well I don’t see that really being the case, do you?

Score: 2/5

Writer: Mikey Neumann Artist: Agustin Padilla Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $3.99 Release Date: 7/16/14 Format: Mini-Series, Print/Digital