Note: This graphic novel takes place between Season 3 and the upcoming Season 4 of the Netflix series The Dragon Prince. There are mild spoilers for Season 3 ahead!
After the events of Season 3, things in Xadia and the human kingdoms are finally starting to calm down. Ezran has been gifted a feather from their moon phoenix friend, Phoe-Phoe; he, Callum, and Rayla have been invited back to the Moon Nexus to help Lujanne resurrect her in an ancient ritual. Only Rayla is skeptical of this trip. She suspects that Lord Viren, the orchestrator of all their hurts, is not really dead. She is also struggling with the disappearance of her parents and mentor, Runaan. Once she learns that the Moon Nexus is a portal between life and death, she decides to step through on the night of the full moon, for closure – and for peace of mind. What will she find, and will she be able to come back?
Reading this graphic novel was truly delightful. It felt just like reading an episode of the show. The humorous, yet weighty tone was intact, as well as the dialogue between everyone. Part of the charm of the show is the obvious love each character has for another, through their interactions alone. It’s very “show, not tell” in that regard.
I’ve thought the art style of the show looked like a moving, 3-D ish comic book (trust me, if you watch a clip, you’ll get what I’m talking about). My suspicion that it would translate well to a graphic novel was confirmed here. The environments and characters are rendered beautifully and true to the source material. My favorite sequence was a 2-page spread montage, where the panels of the characters’ actions were interspersed between slim panels of the moon phase, to illustrate the passage of time. It seemed to me that the colors here were more muted than in the show, but that is far from a serious complaint.
Though I have written my review as spoiler-free as possible, there’s no way around it: you’ll need to watch the show in order to fully understand the story here. If your introduction to The Dragon Prince is this graphic novel, you won’t be able to resist seeking the show out anyway 😉 I highly recommend the show for the world, the characters, and the strongest cast diversity I have seen in a long, long time. This graphic novel is more than a worthy addition to the story and universe.
Wartman, Peter, and Xanthe Bouma. The Dragon Prince (Vol. 1): Through the Moon. 2020.