A warrior, a valkyrie, a magic user, and an elf fighting monsters in dungeons? Obviously, that's going to remind most people (most nerds anyway) of fantasy gaming. But surely I’m not the only one who immediately thinks specifically of the classic ‘80s game Gauntlet? “Wizard needs food badly!”

But Kelsey Wroten’s Dungeon Punchers takes the familiar in a new and rather less serious direction. It’s still the story of these four archetypes on a monster-filled adventure, but there’s a thick layer of self-aware irony that’s all too rare in fantasy, and Wroten’s art gives everything a fun, playful air that’s impossible too take seriously, but equally impossible not to enjoy.

The preview focuses on Jupiter Crosswind, the group’s warrior, who has been wielding a sword since he was a baby and spent his youth in The Holy Fraternal Order of the Brotherly Knights, a raucous frat for swordsmen in which he was hazed with a beer bong and so forth. We don’t know much about the other three party members based on the preview, but there’s no doubt more about them to come in the comic. From what we see here, they don’t seem to know each other well, or maybe they just don’t like Jupiter very much. It could very well be some of both.

Dungeon Punchers is very much writer/artist Kelsey Wroten’s project, and it will be interesting and fun to see where she takes it. The first chapter will be out next week on mobile platforms via the Stela app.



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