Thursday, April 15, 2010

TSR Worlds Annual 1 (Chapter 5)

The full cast of the Spelljammer comic has finally been assembled.  Now we finally get a preview of what kind of exciting adventures they are going to have together.

This one is going to be a doozy.

Things start with the crew boarding the mini-me Spelljammer and deciding to fly to Waterdeep in order to pick up some new crewmen.  There is some concern that Meredith will be unable to find her way back there despite having no trouble finding the Realms’ Master off of a vague description of where it was or her ability to navigate interstellar space.  To make sure stay on course, they decide to look out the window for landmarks.

Of course the real reason for this is so that they can notice an unusual formation of standing stones.

As always, Tember is wrong 

Before we continue with the plot, isn’t it a little odd that Jasmine seems to know so much about space culture?  She understands immediately what an asteroid is and knows to call them “spacers”.  Now, her parents were friends with Meredith, so it is possible she heard stories about people from beyond the stars.  Nevertheless, it seems a bit off.

Back to the story.  Have you seen the Empire Strikes Back?  Remember the part where the Millennium Falcon is in the asteroid field and they hide in a cave?  Except it is not a cave, it is a giant space slug that eats spaceships?

So does the author of this segment. 

I wonder if it has mynoks in its stomach

Apparently the Spelljammer crew flew too close the space slug which, as we know from Empire Strikes Back, lies around all day in wait for flying ships to eat.  The mini-me Spelljammer takes off into space against Meredith’s will.  The space slug is equally capable of space travel and follows it.

Meredith begins to panic when it looks like the ship is about to ram into the crystal sphere that surrounds planetary systems in Spelljamming space.  Fortunately, like the full-sized version of the Spelljammer, the ship is  capable of creating its own portals.

Unfortunately, they fail to lose the space slug.

That is one determined slug

So what does this tense chase scene need?  Maybe an interlude where Jasmine’s wings randomly change shape?

Those barely look like wings anymore!

Done.

Back to the chase.  Meredith notes that at this point it will be easier to keep going to Unipaxala rather than return to Toril.  She tells Jasmine that after she returns Pax and Tember to their world that she will take Jasmine home.

Wait.  Didn’t Jasmine tell Ishi that Meredith had offered her a spot on her crew?  If she is part of the crew, why would Meredith take her home?

I think this book needs a better editor.

Around this point the space slug reveals that it has the ability to breathe fire.  This normally wouldn’t be a big problem, but they are in the highly flammable Phlogiston between crystal spheres!  The slug goes up in a big fireball.

It breathes fire? 

I must admit, I didn’t see that one coming.

Despite having survived the slug, the mini-me Spelljammer was traumatized and refuses to relinquish control to Meredith.  She decides to attempt to land on the nearest planet, but believes it will be a rough landing.  Pax decides to put the rest of the crew in suspended animation.

Heh heh... Softwood Heh heh...

When Meredith is at the end of her endurance, she sees the planet Vulcan come up on the viewscreen.

Unfortunately, the Prime Directive will prevent the Vulcans from helping you

And they all lived happily ever after.

Can you say cliffhanger?

OK, maybe not.  This is the end of the TSR Worlds Annual though, and there is no way I am following this group to the Spelljammer comic to find out what happens.

You can expect my regular Forgotten Realms comic reviews to resume though, at least once I have recovered from this 70 page slog.

Thoughts

  • My cousin once mused that adventurers must all have a big glowing red “A” on their chest, considering how often they are attacked by wandering monsters.  I can only assume Meredith has a big glowing red “A”, wears monster attracting perfume, and posts her location on attackme.com.
  • Was the space slug supposed to be an actual monster or was it just a Deus ex machina?  If anyone recognizes it from a D&D supplement, please post it to the comments.
  • It seems as if there was a lot of controversy over what Jasmine’s wings should look like.  In the Forgotten Realms comic they were black but often referred to as being white.  They then were briefly colored pink.  In this issue, they randomly turned into pterodactyl looking wings, although I believe they are supposed to be butterfly wings in the actual Spelljammer comic.

2 comments:

rook103 said...

Hold the presses...just announced:
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/photo.php?pid=5793197&id=73340321070

Keep up the good work!

A Hero said...

@rook103 - I have to admit to being curious about the upcoming IDW Dungeons & Dragons series. There have been a number of comic properties since the DC/TSR ones I have been talking about in my reviews, but few have appealed to me. Maybe IDW can break the streak.

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