My top pick for best all-ages title of last year is back and well it’s still really fucking good. There is something strange about this issue though and I think it’s the impact of it all. With the first issue I had no idea what to expect so everything it did was a surprise, but here you can see the formula working; the comedy becomes more familiar and the shock has worn off. Usually that can kill an issue. No lie, if you have a first issue that’s incredible it’s very easy for the audience to be unimpressed by the second issue, because you can only shock them once. How does the second issue of Dungeon Fun stack up then?
In the last issue Fun was banished/decided to leave the dungeon. Now Fun and Games, her fairy Knight that’s following his cursed sword, are staring at a lava pit occupied by the lava monster Boombastyx. Boombastyx is asleep at the moment so Fun thinks about stabbing it with her sword. Thus begins the amazing back and forth of Fun saying the sword is hers and Games saying the sword is “ours.” The best part is that they correct each other under their breath or in the middle of a sentence never giving the other the final word.
After failing to get past Boombastyx they run into a strange-looking dude that looks like a Dungeon Master. Fun of course tries to stab him, but Games tells her that he’s part of the Dungeon system and must help them. Well he kind of does that. After leading them into a dungeon of skeletons they find themselves facing off against an ogre who steals Fun’s sword. Since Games is cursed to be with the sword he goes with the ogre, be it not by choice. That leaves just Fun and Frank Baxter the apprentice Dungeon Master, but is Frank what he seems to be?
One of the things that were great about the first issue was the comedy; the subtle nature of the jokes and the mixing of an era with knights and dragons with modern ideas like a complaint box. That’s continued here as the comedy hits the perfect beats in the story. After a strong first issue I’ve seen other creators try to ramp up the humor in the second issue which doesn’t work, but with Dungeon Fun it doesn’t miss a beat and keeps the same pacing that worked so well in the first issue.
There wasn’t as much heart in the second issue as there was the first, but a bit more of the story is revealed. There’s an interesting twist that plays out in an otherwise questionable scene. Colin Bell has a great formula for writing this series and I don’t think it’s one that people could copy. That’s the charm of the series is that it seems like a simple idea that anyone could do, but the execution is what makes it all come together and work.
I think Neil Slorance should draw 33% of all comics out there. I would say 100%, but I would say that there’s a strong handful of other artists that I would miss so we’ll just call it a third. Slorance’s performance on this issue is particularly important. His style being so distinct in the first issue would have made any changes in this issue stand out instantly. Thankfully he delivers the same level of quality in this issue. He plays a big part in the comedy as well. Though the characters have simple and stylized designs, their facial expressions are key to the comedy. When the Goat at the beginning tells his wife to grab the kids the fear on his face is pure, but hilarious.
How does this issue stack up to the first? Well as our main characters names suggest, “It’s all Fun and Games.” Really the only thing that this issue is missing from the first is that initial shock that you can never get back. Though it’s been a while since I read the first issue, this second issue picked up like I had never left and reminded me of everything that I liked about the series. It delivers in spades so be sure not to miss out on what’s looking to be my pick for best all-ages title of 2014.
Writer: Colin Bell Artist: Neil Slorance Publisher: DoGooder Comics Price: $7.00 (Roughly) Website