The 2022 Dungeons & Dragons Annual releases Wednesday, August 10. This comic, published by IDW Publishing, features two stories: Lost & Found and Something for Everyone. Both of these stories heavily feature the Feywild, the mystical Plane of Faerie from the multiverse of Dungeons & Dragons, a rather rare setting in the current edition of D&D until recently. In fact, the first story in the comic, Lost & Found, pulls heavily from the published 5th edition adventure The Wild Beyond the Witchlight (2021), this edition’s first major foray into that plane. While many of the Dungeons & Dragons comics deal with the weird and the arcane, stories about the Feywild are certain to raise this to a new level; this leads to a masterfully made comic that any D&D fan will connect to and enjoy, but one that will simultaneously be challenging for new readers to pick up.
Lost & Found follows a human rogue named Billi Sharpe and a Harengon (not a rabbit) named Clipper as they search to find what was stolen from them by a resident of the Feywild. To do so, they each separately travel to the Witchlight Carnival, where we encounter many figures who appear in the corresponding Witchlight Carnival section of The Wild Beyond the Witchlight, including carnival owners Mr. Witch and Mr. Light themselves. Along the way these new adventuring companions must work together to overcome the confusion of their lost things and find a way into the Feywild. Once there, they encounter Billi’s long lost, missing facet of her life and face a fearsome foe, also featured in The Wild Beyond the Witchlight.
In Something for Everyone, the story explores the dangers of the Feywild, not exactly just whimsy and delight, and looks at how even Fey folk can be oppressed by the very nature of the Feywild. Through a love story about a pixie and a fairy, we gain additional insights into this mystical plane of existence, which is often shrouded in mystery and alien thinking. Both stories feature great writing and progression and provide welcome insights into worldbuilding and set pieces on which the official 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons books are often on the lean side.
A large team contributed to this book. “Lost Things” is by Jim Zaub with art by Eduardo Mello and Kyler Clodfelter and colored by Patricio Delpeche and Agustina Vallejo. The second story, Something for Everyone, features the work of writer Ryan Cady, with art and colors by Vincenzo Riccardi. The comic as a whole is lettered and designed by Johanna Nattalie. The art from both Mello/Clodfelter and Riccardi is captivating, capturing both the whimsy and threat inherent to the Feywild, as well as the arcana of the broader Dungeons & Dragons mythos. The colors of Delpeche/Vallejo and Riccardi are of particular note, having a wider range in coloring options than most comics might usually allow. A great example is the use of color choices to distinguish between inhabitants of the Material Plane (the “regular” world) and the Feywild, with noticeable distinctions between Billi and Clipper and Fey like the fairies who capture them upon their arrival in the Plane of Faerie, for example. The more free reign drawing the Feywild entails has allowed both the artists and colorists to really shine here.
As a player and Dungeon Master, Dungeons & Dragons comics can be great sources for lore and world-building. Reading a comic is certainly much more bite-sized compared to playing a campaign, but the pacing of this book helps capture the mood of a perhaps rather a jam-packed couple of hours with your adventuring party. As someone who currently is the Dungeon Master for a party tackling The Wild Beyond the Witchlight, this comic has a great charm that captures the mood of that particular adventure. In fact, seeing some of the characters on the page and further illustrations and scenes of the happenings of the Witchlight Carnival has given me some great inspiration I plan to bring to my next session. I honestly can’t think of better praise for a Dungeons & Dragons comic: inspiration for the next time you pull out your dice!
The Dungeons & Dragons Annual 2022 is a great comic for those who have steeped themselves in the broader lore of the multiverse of the tabletop roleplaying game or who have kept up to date on many of the novels and comics that have been published within that set of worlds over the years. While the merits of the comic itself, in particular the art and coloring, are undeniably notable, this comic would be a difficult starting point for jumping into Dungeons & Dragons. However, if you have dabbled in some D&D in either written or playable format (and don’t mind some minor spoilers for a published adventure), then this comic is a great addition to your collection! Be sure to swing by your favorite local comic book store and pick up a copy of Dungeons & Dragons Annual 2022!
For more on the Feywild and The Wild Beyond the Witchlight, keep an eye out for an upcoming announcement from GateCrashers.