cover image At the Moment of Your Death (End After End)

At the Moment of Your Death (End After End)

Tim Daniel, David Andry, and Sunando C. Vault, $19.99 trade paper (136p) ISBN 978-1-63849-169-9

The afterlife is a sword-and-sorcery Valhalla in this underdeveloped launch to a dark fantasy series. Struggling San Francisco artist Walt is hit by a BART train and wakes up in the thick of a high-fantasy battle, complete with monsters, armored knights, and winged fairy-like folk. Grink, his gnome-ish guide, informs him that he’s dead and has been recruited into an eternal war, fighting in the forces of a powerful fairy queen called the Catha. “The end after end—never ends,” Grink warns, and that’s all the explanation Walt gets as he’s thrust into a party of questing warriors. Between flashbacks to Walt’s pedestrian past and glimpses of Grink’s conversations with other guides, readers get hints that things aren’t entirely what they seem. But most of the first volume is consumed by conventional Dungeons and Dragons–style battles and miniquests. Sunando C.’s sturdy, confident fantasy art, saturated in vivid color, keeps the action peppy, but the script often seems to be spinning its wheels in anticipation of plot twists down the line. Still, fans of hack-and-slash and role play games may be willing to stick around to find out if this dungeon crawl goes any deeper the next time out. (May)