The Dragon Prince original graphic novel Through the Moon helps bridge the gap between Seasons 3 and 4 while teasing a major return.
One of the most successful Netflix original animated series is The Dragon Prince, a high fantasy series featuring rival kingdoms filled with myths and monsters in the continent of Xadia. Recently renewed by Netflix for four additional seasons, the fantasy franchise has expanded into the mediums of prose and comic books, adapting and continuing the characters’ adventures after the defeat of the villainous Lord Viren. Series creators Aaron Ehasz and Justin Richmond have developed the story for Through the Moon, an original graphic novel continuation of the series, written by Peter Wartman and illustrated by Xanthe Bouma. Set within the canon of the animated series, the graphic novel feels like a natural progression while setting up potential paths for the show to follow next.
Set shortly after the defeat and apparent death of Lord Viren in the Season 3 finale, King Ezrin and his half-brother Callum, along with the Elven assassin and Callum’s girlfriend Rayla, prepare for a mystical ceremony involving the opening of the Moon Nexus. As the trio are joined by Viren’s son Soren and venture to a remote part of Xadia to carry out the ritual, Rayla is haunted by the possibility that Viren may not actually be dead, which puts a strain on her relationship with Callum as she becomes obsessed with discovering the truth.
Wartman’s scripting really excels is in the dialogue, capturing both the raw, unresolved emotions from Callum and Rayla and the animated series’ underlying sense of humor. For the most part, the graphic novel feels like a side story that streamlines the action to just four of the main cast and takes place outside of the usual intrigue and epic, sprawling action that typically permeates across the original series. There are a couple of intriguing threads to be picked up on by the series’ eventual fourth season, but the real showcase here is the insight into Callum and Rayla’s relationship rather than vital plot progression. Similarly, those who are not caught up on the animated series are not the intended audience for this original graphic novel; it assumes readers are up-to-date on the animated source material.
Bouma’s art is a faithful recreation of the look of the CG animated series, though it leans more into a visible anime influence with its character work and facial expressions. Just as Wartman’s scripting is especially strong in the graphic novel’s more emotional moments, Bouma’s art soars both in bringing the characters’ emotions to visual life and the more magical elements of the story. Given the underlying premise, there is a more surreal nature to this graphic novel, and the artwork elevates the source material whenever it leans more into that potential. However, there are some transition panels that are overly minimalist in their presentation.
With The Dragon Prince only officially renewed for a fourth season just this past July, it may be sometime before audiences return to the world of Xadia. In the meantime, Through the Moon offers a chance for fans to read another adventure with their favorite characters between the events of Seasons 3 and 4. Not necessarily required reading, the original graphic novel does offer a deeper look at the characters’ psyches, dynamics and teases the return of a major character ahead of the fourth season. A lightweight story yet completely within the world that Ehasz and Richmond have created, Through the Moon has the smaller-scale elements that have endeared The Dragon Prince to millions of fans worldwide as they wait for the animated series’ eventual return.
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