The Dungeons & Dragons cartoon series gets new life as IDW Publishing continues the story in a four issue mini-series.
In 1983, six unsuspecting kids boarded a magical roller coaster and were transported to the Forgotten Realms…much to the awe and wonder of millions of children every Saturday morning! In celebration of its 40th anniversary, IDW will bring back the heroes of this cartoon classic in March with the new four-issue comic book miniseries, Dungeons & Dragons: Saturday Morning Adventures, a thrilling “lost episode” charting new territory in the world of D&D by writers David M. Booher (Canto), Sam Maggs (Rick and Morty Ever After), and artist George Kambadais (John Carter of Mars).
Noble ranger Hank, intrepid acrobat Diana, quiet thief Sheila, impulsive barbarian Bobby, fearful cavalier Eric, and uncertain magician Presto only want to get back to their own world. But escaping the Realms has turned out to be much harder than getting there! Danger lurks at every turn, the enigmatic Dungeon Master is less than helpful, and Venger—the force of evil—will stop at nothing to get his hands on the magical weapons that the kids have come to rely on. To top it off, Hank has made a startling discovery: Despite the dangers, Sheila, Bobby, Diana, and the others aren’t so sure they want to go home after all.
The Dungeons & Dragons cartoon has graduated from its cartoon show roots to cult status. It aired from 1983 to 1985. It was originally produced by Marvel Productions and aired on CBS on Saturday mornings. It was later syndicated and rerun on various networks around the world. The show was based on the popular tabletop role-playing game of the same name and followed the adventures of six kids who are transported to a fantasy world called “the Realm” where they must use their wits and magical items to defeat a variety of monsters and villains as they try to find a way home.
We always wondered if they ever made it. . The series was canceled before we ever got to find out (the 2019 Brazilian Renault commercial not withstanding).
There have been a few nods to the series in other contexts that have attempted to explain what happened to the six kids. In the game Baldur’s Gate 2, on the back wall of the Adventerer’s Mrat in Athkatla are paintings of two of the shows characters. Examining them gives you the explanation that they died horribly at the hands of the dragon Tiamat.
Then there was a promotional comic from 1996 called Forgotten Realms: The Grand Tour, which showed the kids grown up to become a band of middle-aged losers still unable to find their way home. (And moved them from “the Realm”, with four suns, three moons, and a bunch of floating islands in its crowded sky, to the less outlandish Forgotten Realms setting.)
The closest thing to an official resolution was a scripted finale by one of the series’ commissioned by the production company, which was recorded in radio-play format for a limited DVD release. Then some fans got together and used that recording in combination with footage harvested from the show to create a final episode.
Sam Maggs, one of the comic’s writers, said, “As a lifelong D&D fan, it is an absolute dream to get to work reviving a childhood classic. It’s been such a blast working with IDW and the fine folks at Wizards of the Coast to home in on what made the Dungeons & Dragons Saturday morning cartoon such a cult favorite. Setting these characters up for a whole new run of stories has truly been a career highlight, and I hope fans will love seeing Uni (well…all our cool kids, but especially Uni) back in action as much as I do!”
The series kicks off with one of three variant covers.
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