Review: ‘The Reason for Dragons’
Growing up is hard. Even more so if your father died before you were born. That’s the life of a young man named Wendall the protagonist of Archaia Entertainment’s The Reason for Dragons, the new graphic novel written by Chris Northrop with art by Jeff Stokely.
Wendall has a hard time fitting in. His stepfather, Ted, doesn’t understand him. He doesn’t relate to kids his own age, especially those who pick on him. Wendall just wants to be more like his real dad, brave and strong. So, on a dare, he sets out to some abandoned Renaissance fairgrounds where he meets a knight, Sir Habersham. Sir Habersham tells Wendall that he’s been protecting the grounds from a dragon, the same dragon that burned down the fairgrounds. The two set out on a quest to find and slay the creature.
Even with its fantastical premise, The Reason for Dragons is actually very grounded in reality. The characters have relatable problems, from Wendall trying to live up to the legacy of a dad he’s never met to Ted wanting to get closer to Wendall but failing at every turn. Even Sir Habersham is trying to overcome a past failure that still haunts him.
The Reason for Dragons’ story could use a little more character exploration. Even though the book revolves around Wendall and Habersham, Ted plays just as big a role. But it takes short stories at the end of the main story to flesh his character out more.
Wendall’s awkwardness and attitude toward his stepfather makes him seem a little brattier than Northrop may have intended. The dynamic between Wendall and Habersham seems rushed, and unearned. They meet, spend a little time together, and then hunt for a dragon. Their time together should’ve been built over days instead of one night.
The Final Verdict
The Reason for Dragons is an imaginative tale, but it’s too-short main story doesn’t give enough time to fully explore the relationships between these intriguing characters.