Dragons, Riders of Berk Dangers of the Deep: When the Cat’s Away…

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dragonsIn this collection, Dragons, Riders of Berk: Dangers of the Deep, the village of Berk is endangered when their main source of food is mysteriously cut off. Hiccup and the gang try to find where all the fish have gone, but in the meantime the fleet (all the adults), head off in search of new hunting grounds. The teens, left to their own devices, soon fall into chaos as teens are wont to do. Naturally amidst all their partying they forsake all their responsibilities. Now, if you are an average teenager, the main concern for a house party is getting busted. If you are a Viking, however, it’s not so much “When the cat’s away the mice will play” as “When the cat’s away the mice will get attacked by a rival Viking fleet, hell bent of on conquering their home.” Can they pull it together in time to defend Berk?

These comics are based off the popular book and movie series, though they are a totally different set of tales.You may also notice that they not entirely cannon to the franchise. The closest I can figure is that they take place somewhere between the first and second movie. This comic was effectively a cute side story about the goings on of Berk. It takes that pretty traditional cautionary tale about teens learning responsibility, and tweaks it. Since it’s about dragons and Vikings, the consequences of their actions, of course, are much more dire.

The character art in this comic is based off the design from the movies, so if you are a fan you will easily recognize all your favorite dragons and vikings. I am particularly fond of the way the panels are laid out, because they are so varied and dynamic. The angles of the scenes are always shifting, which makes sense, considering that dragons are considerably more mobile than a human character would be. Pop up panels and tricks like having visual effects invade the surrounding panels add further visual interest .

Overall this was a good comic. The story was a little typical, but as it is meant to be a children’s comic, I cut the plot a little slack.  I really liked the art, and all in all it was a cute little tale. Having the plot independent to the rest of the franchise was actually pretty nice. It enables you to jump in and start reading, without needing any prior knowledge. Besides which, Toothless is adorable, amazing, and who doesn’t want a pet dragon? If you are obsessed with dragons, this comic is a great read (who isn’t). When they finally genetically engineer cat-dragons that you can ride, you can bet I will be first on the list.

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