Written by Sebastian Girner
Art by Galaad and Jeff Powell
Published by Image Comics
Release Date: November 8, 2017

Trapped in the Dened Lewen by the cave in, Lu and the gang must traverse the unknown cavern that lies ahead. But will they be safe from the fabled terrors lying in the Dened Lewen? Find out in this issue of Scales & Scoundrels!

I love the built-in mythos of the world. You can tell there’s history there, there’s empires and gods and dragons in their past. It’s great world building and I applaud Girner for it. I also love the inspiration I can feel in the pages, especially the Lord of the Rings inspiration with the ancient dwarven civilizations. It’s very well done.

Lu, as always, is great. She buries her complexity under humor and simplicity that makes her underestimated by her peers. The more peeks into who she truly is, the more I want to know about her, about her past.

The backgrounds done by Galaad are gorgeous. Rocky, cluttered green forests, immense, archaic caverns, remnants of past lands buried among the dead and legends – it’s all very captivating. I also love the usage of the skeleton arm as a torch and the design of the stinkbug monster. They are both refreshing surprises in the comic, whether for a light source or a dungeon monster.

My favorite panel, however, is a more peaceful one, filled with wonder and awe-inspiring goodness.

The prince gazes down at the vastitude of the hollowed emptiness of a civilization abandoned by its people.

“I need a moment to take this all in. To think we’re standing in the halls of Dened Lewen.”

A large pillar with fungi growing on it stretches towards the top of the cave, spiraling rows of doorways surrounding, stretching down to farther than the eye can see, a wrapping staircase closely following the series of stories in this lost city.

“I’ve read so much of this place, its history and legends. Now I’m really here…”

Time has half-taken back the untenanted land. Cracks, debris, flora encroaching on the underground nation.

“It’s like a dream.”

Read it. Read Scales & Scoundrels. It’s a dash of Nimona, Lord of the Rings, and Tomb Raider. It’s fantastic, and with the cliffhanger it ends on, I can’t wait to read the next issue.

The Verdict: 9.5/10


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