I'm a well read grad student who's bluntly honest about all things, although I try to be most honest about myself.
I didn't read the description before diving into this. I don't do a ton of fantasy, especially the dragon variety, but I gobbled this up. After all, boxing dragons. That is both awesome and hilarious!
But there needs to be more than this to really keep my interest. There was. This was a fairy tale being told by one prisoner to the others, the story of the man who killed the last dragon. But there's far more to this simple story than this: it's really about the poor, the downtrodden, the disenfranchised, versus those who lorded over them.
It's easy to see the dragon's love of terror in the wardens, who care little for the prisoners so long as they cowered. Much like the township has no protection against the dragons, no higher authority to call upon, the prisoners have no one to squawk to, either.
Mammoth, the prisoner who tells the fairy tale, is no longer willing to take this power disparity. However, he knows that luck won't help him, so much as a solid plan - a plan that he's making up as he goes along. (Which is a nice difference from the fairy tale, where everything is planned out to a t.)
That being said, this comic is pretty brilliant. It doesn't treat the reader as if they're dumb, making the parallels between the story so obvious that it's painful to read. It's subtle, and some major differences like how much things are planned out, help these two narratives along.
It also has a lot to say about social and economic inequality. Add to this that it's setting up a solid fantasy world. Although this feels fairly grounded in a historical setting, there are dragons, magic, and dwarves already, and I like what Kleid is doing with them. So far the dragons are the most fleshed out, and I'm knocking down one star because I felt as if some of the other fantasy elements didn't get any explanation at all - like the magic used in some matches. Otherwise, this was perfect, and I really, really enjoyed this. Looking forward to issue one, which was also included in my dropbox links. (And yes, I got this for free for a review.)
You can buy this issue here for $.99. I'm looking forward to continuing this series: it has a lot of good things to say. Also, I was trying to figure out where I knew Kleid's name. Finally figured it out. Raven's Last Hunt Novelization. I eyed it, but wasn't into the prose novels at the time, so did not get this.