Seraph’s Sanctions: ARCHON: BATTLE OF THE DRAGON # 1

Writer: John J. Perez
Art: Marco Maccagni & Salvatore R. Villirillo
Colors: Bobby Hernandez
Letterer: Amanda Sykes
Editor: Daniel Mills
Publisher: ACTION LAB ENTERTAINMENT ( August 2015)

The 411:
We open with a grand legend of the Shadow Lords and the day where the dragons turned their back on the Shadow Lord to help humanity … for money. And the grand legend seems to be a part … of a game. Or is it? Plus, we meet Gareth and his daughter as they travel to his new job in Las Vegas; being the head of security at a casino/hotel called the Archron. Oddly enough, Gareth’s new place of employment has dwarves, ogres and more!

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Big Moment:
Meeting Gareth’s new boss.
The Good:
We open with an epic battle dealing with a big legend. We have a compelling lead character with an interesting background and new job. We have elements of a tabletop rpg, fantasy and modern world all mixing together. Perez creates a tapestry of an entertaining tale, mixing the world of fantasy with the world of the modern age seamlessly. The main plot of the book has not fully taken shape but the concepts behind the book make it very interesting. The dialogue in this issue is diverse and appealing, allowing to deepen the experience of the whichever realm the story is taking place in. Perez does a terrific job of making characters feel believable and give them solid development.
Macagni, Villirillo and Sykes paint some wonderful pictures of these worlds and characters within Archon. There is a solid amount of detail that definitely gives readers a sense of the modern world versus the fantasy realm. The art is a nice mix of cartoony, classic comic and slight anime influence. It works really well for the story. Syke’s colors help really distinct the difference between the classic fantasy, given colors as if it were in an old tome, and the modern world is full of color that really grabs you. Maccagni has great versetility between solid backgrounds and making characters of all shapes, sizes and colors. Villirillo’s inks bring out Maccagni’s pencils to vibrancy while Syke’s colors knock them outta the park. There are some great perspectives as well. The team creates an experience that is just beginning.
The Bad:
The book is dense to begin with. The role playing aspects are hinted at and the history from the role playing game was fun, but it seems a bit much for the first issue. Maybe it will connect better in subsequent issues but it was talked about in the beginning and the end … but the two formats seemed off.
The Verdict:
Archon: Battle of the Dragon was a solid read. Sophisticated characters, solid characterization and good art that make the book appealing. The plots give you a good amount of mystery and Perez leaves you begging for more. While the beginning and ending feel odd, but Perez still makes it work for the most part. Definitely made me want to know more and I can relate to Gareth easily enough.