The Legend of Drizzt: Bane of the Spider Queen


Originally published in 1990, R.A. Salvatore’s Dark Elf Trilogy set in the Forgotten Realms shone like a beacon in the fantasy genre. It was, and still is, comparable to Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings and Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman’s Dragon Lance series and – like those – is still being sold in nearly every major bookstore today.

Then, in 2005, Devil’s Due Publishing (traditionally known for their G.I. Joe and Transformers comics) began releasing a comic adaptation of the story with a script by Andrew Dabb and wonderfully detailed pencils by Tim Seeley.

Naturally the full plot of the novels can’t be fit into three trade paperbacks, but all of the essentials are still there. We can see the development, decline and eventual resolution of the relationship between Drizzt Do’Urden and his father Zaknafein and, most importantly, the bond between Drizzt and the ever-faithful Guenhwyvar, his panther companion from the astral plane.

Drizzt was born in the underdark beneath the ground in the drow city of Menzoberranzan, a city run by the female priests of the dark spider goddess Lolth who relishes only evil and treachery. Brought up in a society so far detached from our own we would die within a day even if not for our pale skin, Drizzt is raised to be a ruthless and cunning killer.

But Drizzt is born different from his kin and kind. He possesses an unimpeachable sense of honor despised by the spider queen who seeks only his death to “appease” for the good he has done, such as saving the life of a surface dweller in a drow raid aboveground.

Rather than face certain death at the hands of his own family in order to restore their honor, Drizzt ventures out into the underdark with only Guenhwyvar at his side. But for the most reviled of the intelligent races in the realms it will be difficult to survive in the most dangerous corridors of the underdark. Thus must Drizzt journey to the surface to face a world unknown to any drow before him.

The artwork in these comics is just astounding. Although much of the action takes place in the bleak environs of the underdark, the art remains colorful and vivid. Never have I wanted to visit a place so dangerous. The action is well wrought and never leaves you with a sense of confusion despite the numerous fights between Drizzt, who expertly wields two scimitars in battle, and the numerous horrors of the underdark and surface.

Despite lacking the complexity and depth of the original novels, this is a series well worth adding to your collection.