Writer: Sebastian Girner / Artist: Galaad / Image Comics
The plot in Scales & Scoundrels is thickening like buttermilk pancakes! We pick up where we left off with the squad just entering the fabled dungeon Dened Lewen. Luvander is treasure-hungry, thirsting for adventure while Prince Ari’s bodyguard, Koro, is not with the shits and came with the shade. Dorma the dwarf guide goes all ‘Storm in Genosha’ us after giving us some backstory on the people who once occupied Dened Lewin.
Scales & Scoundrels #3 gets medieval with the action, finally! The mysterious dude asking around town for Lu in the first issue shows up and then shows out! Your boy came out woods and into the midst of bandits like T-1000 desperately seeking John Conner.
If he had a Polaroid with Luvander’s face on it I wouldn’t be able to pick them out of a lineup. He took on a whole squadron of bandits solo! By. His. Self. Girner and Galaad grab the tag team title belt with this one. They deftly handle character and plot progression with the blazing pace of an issue centered around action panels. Props to Galaad who pulls off slick details that embellish character’s motivations mid-sequence. At some frantic point in the story, Koro does some shady ass shit (surprise) while giving side-eye that nobody sees.
When said shady shit comes to fruition, Koro gives the same side-eye; like she did some dirt and then stood still and waited. For five pages, held that same side-eye over her shoulder! Koro letting you know they about that life. For the initiated, that’s the look Bishop gave Q at the lockers.
Tip of the hat to Girner, for finding new ground in the ‘Dwarven folks lived in an underground treasure trove had a battle and don’t live here anymore, what happened?’ trope. A tip of the fitted cap for that one supernatural thread that peeks through each issue. Whenever someone puts hands on Luvander’s gold something goes little… sideways.
Any of the supernatural Urden elements that take place always happen in-panel but masterfully misdirected away from the readers’ attention. Scales & Scoundrels never cease to amaze with its presentation of this mythos.
Reading Scales and Scoundrels? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.