DRYAD # 1 review – What Do We Have Here? (Wiebe, Osterling, Oleksak, Oni Press)

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Writer – Kurtis J. Wiebe Artist – Justin Osterling Cover A Artist – Tomas Oleksak Cover B artist: Fiona Staples – Cover C artist: Chris Wildgoose

Thanks to Oni Press for the review copy!

DRYAD is a new comic by writer Kurtis Wiebe and Justin Osterling. Weibe’s Rat Queens was a pleasant surprise for me, so I was interested in what he had in store for Dryad. Dryad takes place in a similar world as Rat Queens, introducing us to a human/elf couple looking for a safe town to raise their kids. 

One issue in and I’m wondering what this comic will turn out to be.  I’m not sure who the ‘main characters’ are yet.  The opening pages in particular do a great job of establishing the relationship between the parents, Morgan and Yale. That led me to think this was their story. But then the focus shifts to the children, who are painted a with a broader brush. So far, the siblings fall into the stereotypical cautious/studious and charge forward/action oriented tropes. While most of the character development seems focused on the parents, the major plot point involves the kids.

I also am curious what will be the driving force for the story, or whether this book will be more about the family’s interaction. There seems to be a wider interesting world out there that the writer can explore, with references to the city the parents came from and mysterious lost societies. I wish a little more time had been spent setting up the latter, as the major plot point seemed to come out of nowhere. Without context, I wasn’t sure how to take the final panel, which ends the issue on a cliffhanger.

I was most impressed with Morgan’s character design, which sets her apart and hints at an interesting backstory.  There is also a very effective scene involving an arrow which is a credit to the artist’s skills. Tone wise, this book seems more serious and grounded than Rat Queens. This type of story takes some time to develop the world and the characters within it, so I’m interested in seeing what happens in issue 2.

Check back soon for my thoughts on issue 2 of the series.

DRYAD #1 is now available.

Have you read the issue? What are your thoughts? Feel free to chat with me on Twitter or leave a comment below!

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