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Comic Review: The Guild: Fawkes #1
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The Guild: Fawkes #1The Guild: Fawkes #1
Written by Felicia Day and Wil Wheaton
Art by Jamie McKelvie
Color by Matthew Wilson
Letters by Nate Piekos of Blambot
Cover by Paul Duffield
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: May 23, 2012
Cover Price: $3.50

The Guild: Fawkes is a one-shot, backstory comic for one of the best characters in Felicia Day‘s insanely popular web series. If you don’t already know what The Guild is, then firstly, shame on you. Secondly, this comic will probably not make much sense to you; it’ll just be a story about some kilted sociopath who oddly resembles Wil Wheaton. You should probably watch all five seasons of The Guild to truly appreciate this comic. Hey, the web series is short, free, and hilarious. You have no excuses.

Back in February, Dark Horse Comics released a preview image of the cover, the first ever glimpse of Fawkes’ in-game avatar. The character looked amazing. Not how I would have pictured Fawkes — just infinitely cooler. I was floored and instantly said, “I’m so gonna cosplay Fawkes at DragonCon.” Yeah, I’m a complete mark for this whole Guild metaverse thing.

The comic takes place between seasons 4 and 5 of The Guild and sheds some light on Fawkes’ surprise appearance at the MegaGame-O-RamaCon. Naturally, the focus here is entirely on Fawkes and his guild, the Axis of Anarchy. The story reveals the truth behind the Axis’ mysterious break-up. Venom plays a key role here as does Kwan and his hand-masseuse, Nik. I need to find a Korean to translate the quotes in this comic. If only to figure out what in the hell Fawkes says in Nik’s native tongue at an opportune moment.

It turns out that Fawkes is exactly what you’d expect from an arrogant, elitist, online PK: he’s a bitter, career college student. Fawkes is too intelligent for his own good. He’s smart enough to moonwalk through undergraduate school without much effort. Now he’s stuck in graduate school working on that elusive thesis. However, instead of focusing on completing his education, he’s too easily distracted by opportunities to prey on the weak. He never passes a chance to flaunt his superiority. Fawkes also fancies himself as an Epicurean with the ladies — he samples once and moves on. That is, until he fell for our hero, Codex. Now, his comfortable life as the evil leader of The Game’s most notorious guild is in shambles.

This story is almost exactly how I imagined Fawkes’ real life. Yet I was still fascinated to watch it all play out. Fawkes is smitten with Codex. He’s got it bad for her. This kind of obsession can’t possibly end well for him. Or can it? Maybe Fawkes is just an old romantic hiding behind a wall of arrogance. Blech. I just hope that this new, soft and delicate Fawkes is a phase. The Lord of Douchery must return to his rightful throne and torment the Knights of Good. It saddens me when a perfectly awesome villain turns into a babyface. Or worse, a wimp.

Felicia Day and Wil Wheaton collaborated to write the script. The story’s beauty is in its simplicity. It perfectly captures the voice and spirit of the web series. The situations involved are hilariously absurd, but border on the cusp of believability. This was one of the rare comics that I actually read twice. I simply had to go through and find all the juicy subtleties strewn throughout each panel. On top of that, the script is full of great scholarly quotes that you can memorize to impress your non-Guild-comic-reading friends.

The Guild: Fawkes provides fans with a glimpse into the life of the show’s coolest villain. The story adds unnecessary, but much appreciated, depth to a character that was previously just an evil asshole. He still is. But he’s our evil asshole. This comic stands as my favorite Guild comic release outside of the original three-issue miniseries. All Guild fans should give this issue a read.

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