Overview

Prince of Persia: Before the Sandstorm #1

Review

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Prince of Persia: Before the Sandstorm #1

Credits

  • Words: Jordan Mechner
  • Art: Tom Fowler, David Lopez, Bernard Chang, Tommy Lee Edwards, Cameron Stewart, Niko Henrichon
  • Colors: Pete Pantazis, Dave Stewart
  • Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Jun 30, 2010

I have never played any of the Prince of Persia games, but I have seen the trailers.  I’ve always thought the graphics and gameplay looked fantastic, but never took the time to go out and buy the game or even see the movie, so I don’t have any idea what it’s about.  However, if the story from this book is anything like the stories in the games and movie, I am now a huge fan.

This entire book is so well written and drawn.  It’s thirty-two pages of story, but it flies by so quickly.  When I got to the last page I was still left wanting more.  This didn’t come as a total surprise to me, as the credits page features a mind-blowing list of creators, but still, one would imagine that people would be stepping on each other’s toes with so many cooks in the kitchen.  It did not come off like that at all.  The story flowed seamlessly despite being the collaborative effort of so many artists and writers.

I’m not exactly sure which artists drew which parts, which is part of why the comic is so cool, but the settings are fantastic.  They create a world that’s so intricate and convincing that the reader isn’t even aware that it’s fictional.  The characters, even the incidental ones, are so vividly drawn and characterized.

The storytelling is just top notch.  Everything from the pacing to the narration is perfect.  It functions in perfect Disney tradition which is childish and cartoony, but also exciting.  This is partially because this story seems to borrow a lot from the movie Aladdin.  Again, I have never played any Prince of Persia games or seen the movie, but aside from the supernatural transformation aspect of Prince Dastan, the entire first part of Dastan’s life is the same as Aladdin’s.  Although the two stories share many of the same elements, Prince of Persia manages to take it and make it its own.

The characters are very well developed, and their voices have so much life to them.  The writing is also well supported by the art.  As I mentioned earlier, the coordination between artists and writers is spectacular.  The writer knows just when to back off and let the story come through via art, and vice versa.  The entire scene where Dastan meets the Princess is so well-handled and entrancing.

While I generally shy away from comics that accompany the release of a major blockbuster, this title is just too amazing to miss.  The story, art, and direction are perfectly coordinated to support and enhance each other.  I can only hope that the movie is this good.

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