Written by T Campbell & Phil Kahn
Illustrated by John & Jason Waltrip
-Extreme spoilers below-
Guilded age is a comic that follows a rag tag group of adventures as is the standard fantasy trope, it has many mirrors to a world of warcraft setting. Yet those mirrors appear just that for several chapters, its an intriguing read and is fascinating to read about the complicated political structures and lives of these various fantasy adventures and civilizations. Yet in an effort to be zaney and new, the author out of seemingly nowhere turns the comic on its head and has the entire setting actually be a game where a handful of the main characters are trapped in a set virtual reality bacta tanks. And there is an evil CEO of a blizzard like company attempting to cover everything up. It then alternates between the game / fantasy story and the real life cover up and their human guildmates being hunted by a hit man. And it all just feels like its trying way too hard, the story was fine to just be a politician story with fantasy elements and adventures, instead they had to make a dramatic reveal and yell psych we got you everything inst as it seems! The two stories had almost no interactions between them, and could almost be viewed as two separate plots altogether if read separately. Its honestly just a bad writing trope / element in my opinion and diluted an otherwise great story yet did not ruin its good elements.
Questionable plot elements aside, the story is still engaging, the characters are loveable and witty, the writing is fantastic, and the art is generally good even if it occasionally looks rushed.
Overall I would suggest giving Guilded Age a read, but only if you’re fine with the crazy plot reveal. If you ignore the essentially alternate universe shenanigans you can pretty much enjoy it’s story as a fantastic tale of a few adventures banding together to do something great.