"The Eye of the World: Volume Two" Graphic NovelReview
Written by James Ferguson
Written by Chuck Dixon
Illustrated by Andie Tong
2012, 176 Pages
Graphic Novel published on June 19th, 2012
Life isn't easy when you're on the run. Rand al'Thor and his friends are finding that out the hard way. Whisked away from their homes by the mysterious Aes Sedai (think shaman) Moiraine and her Warder Lan Mandragoran, Rand, Mat, Perrin, and Egwene are still trying to make sense of how radically their worlds have changed. All they've ever known has been in the small village of Emond's Field, but after it's attacked by the ferocious Trollocs, they're pulled away. Moiraine says that these young people are important, although she cannot tell them why. One or all of them is wanted by the Dark One and she has vowed to protect them.
If all this sounds a little complicated, you're not alone. The Eye of the World is the first book in the Wheel of Time saga written by Robert Jordan. Dynamite Entertainment has worked with Tor Books to adapt this epic story into a graphic novel. As a fan of the book series, I was immediately interested in this. Admittedly, it's been quite some time since I've read The Eye of the World, but things came back very quickly as I read this volume.
Although the novels bounced between certain characters, providing numerous points of view, the comic centers on Rand. He's definitely the most important one of the bunch so that makes sense, but something feels like it's missing from the story. Chuck Dixon had the unenviable job of adapting Jordan's massive tome into single issues. Instead of having a peek into the minds of the characters, we're provided with an omnipresent narrator that provides the thoughts of Rand. It's not the character thinking like most super hero comics. This all-seeing narration exists to tell you the things that seemingly couldn't be put through in dialogue. This hurts the overall story because most of these captions wouldn't be necessary if the characters just talked it out or even just have Rand giving these "thought bubbles." What's left is this faceless soul explaining things like I'm not smart enough to understand what's going on when someone storms off in anger or even just shoots an arrow.
Andie Tong provided the artwork for this volume. There are some awkward poses, but for the most part the art is pretty solid. There aren't many creatures in the issues collected here, so you're mostly looking at the characters and other supporting players alone. When reading the Wheel of Time novels, I was always clamoring for any images of this world that I could get my hands on. It's one thing to imagine what these things look like, but it's quite another to actually see it and I think that other WoT fans would embrace this comic as a result. It's great to see Lan and Moirane and Rand rendered on the page.
Fans of the Wheel of Time novels should eat this graphic novel up. It's a pretty faithful adaptation from what I can remember, but again, it's been awhile since I've read these books. It does feel a little slow at times, but considering that The Eye of the World clocks in at over 750 pages, there's a lot to cover. I'm glad this wasn't forced as a mini-series and Dynamite is doing the story justice by giving it enough time and space to grow. The narration really needs to improve though. If the comic is going to be about Rand, let him narrate it. Don't give us these captions to help us through a book that we shouldn't need help deciphering.