The Adventure Zone: Murder on the Rockport Limited! is a graphic novel by Clint McElroy, Griffen McElroy, Justin McElroy, Travis McElroy, and artist Carey Pietsch, based on the Dungeons and Dragons podcast The Adventure Zone by the McElroy boys. It continues the adventures of Magnus, Merle, and Taako from the first graphic novel adaptation, Here There Be Gerblins.
1—The Continuing Plot
In this outing, we find out the mission of the Bureau of Balance. But before the boys can settle into their new life, they’re called on for a new mission, to the city of Rockport where a BoB agent had found an artifact but was killed before he could return it to the Bureau. So Magnus, Merle, and Taako are tasked with getting to the train the dead BoB agent had hidden the artifact on and getting it before anyone else discovers its existence. Of course, things don’t go as planned, and the boys end up on the train, with a small cast of suspects and (later) some monsters to deal with.
2—The Worldbuilding Continues
Besides the BoB mission statement, we find out about the Red Robes in this issue—not much, just that they’re responsible for the artifacts of doom and want them back. We also get a lot of questions at the end of the book and promises of answers in the next. And of course we meet Angus, Boy Detective; Jess the Beheader; and a few other characters with less dramatic names. There’s also plenty of foreshadowing of future plot.
Ms. Pietsch’s art continues to be beautiful. Her style is simple but full of details, and the panels and pages are well-laid-out. I especially loved the Campaign So Far cork board at the very beginning that just reminds you of the highlights of the previous book. If you haven’t read the previous book, it won’t make sense, but this is a complicated story.
I love the off-the-wall fourth-wall breaking sense of humor in these books. It really captures the feel of the podcast. I can’t wait for the promised third volume, Petals to the Metal.