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The Order of the Stick, Vol. -1: Start of Darkness

(2007)
Author: Rich Burlew
Illustrator: Rich Burlew
Publisher: Giant in the Playground
Pages: 112
Personal Rating: 7/10
Amazon: 4.5/5
Goodreads: 4.5/5
Bindings:Paper Back
Series:
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Classifications:Comedy
Fantasy
Comic
Synopsis:
From the depths of time comes a story of wicked villains, terrible secrets, and monumental screw-ups! The Order of the Stick: Start of Darkness reveals for the first time the secret origins of Xykon, Redcloak, the Monster in the Darkness, heck, even the demon cockroaches. Containing 112 pages of all-new never-published-online comics in dramatic black-and-white, Start of Darkness is full of villainy goodness for any fan of the OOTS. Learn such secrets as:

* How did Xykon and Redcloak meet?
* How did Xykon became a lich?
* Why did Eugene Greenhilt swear revenge on Xykon?
* What ever happened to Lirian's Gate, anyway?
* How did Redcloak discover the Monster in the Darkness?
* Why on earth does Redcloak put up with Xykon's crap???

The Order of the Stick: Start of Darkness is presented primarily in black-and-white, similar to our bestselling On the Origin of PCs, but features a special full-color insert detailing the Secret Lore of the Crimson Mantle—in the popular crayon format, first seen in No Cure for the Paladin Blues. Featuring introductions by the author and Miko Miyazaki, paladin of the Sapphire Guard, this book is a flat-out must have for fans of the OOTS plotline, as it fills in missing details in the story of who these evildoers are and why they do evil. Wallowing in unrepentant villainy has never been this much fun (legally)!
Reaction:
Very enjoyable, but quite short. Burlew gives "reasonable" back story to his main villain and what exactly his plan is, though one could wish for more. It's in black and white for most of the book, but it's still good. I wouldn't use it as an entry point to the series. It works better at fleshing out ideas you already want more detail to. Best to read it after reading. "Dungeon Crawling Fools" or, even better, "No Cure for the Paladin Blues."