Requested Review: Muscle Fan’s “Rise of the Guardian”

Good morning everyone,

Blog reader Crimsonking1969 requested a Muscle Fan’s “Rise of the Guardian” review several months ago, before this site went on a semi-hiatus in mid-April. Now that There She Grows is back to normal, it’s high time to write this requested review! Thus, without further ado:

Rise of the Guardian’s plot is centered on a female blonde elf named Hennethel who enters an abandoned temple looking for loot. Along with gold, she inadvertently discovers a potion which increases her size and strength. Afterward, an elven elder tells Hennethel that two more potions exist and each will further enhance her power and stature. She is motivated to find the missing potions not only to enlarge her own body, but also to help other elves by giving herself the ability to serve as their guardian. Along the way Hennethel encounters a dragon, hill giants, humans, and orcs.

Her quests were firmly set in the fantasy world first established by J. R. R. Tolkien in his stories “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” and then further expanded upon by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson in their role-playing game “Dungeons & Dragons” (D&D).

Rise of the Guardian’s first issue was released on April 10th, 2015 while the fourth, and most recent, was released on February 10th, 2018.

These are the contributors for the first issue.

Throughout the entire series, the writer was Edward Gibbon and the artist was Emmanuel Xerx Javier. However, a few other people colored issues and worked on the covers. For instance, Teodoro Gonzalez was the colorist for the first issue, Francesca Piscitelli for the second, and Mohan for the third and fourth iterations.

Of note, writer Edward Gibbon is only credited with “Rise of the Guardian” and hasn’t worked on any other Interweb projects.

Nearly two and a half centuries ago, Edward Gibbon wrote “The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.” The only logical conclusion is that Edward must be a vampire granted unnaturally long life via blood sucking 😉

In contrast to Edward Gibbon’s single series at Muscle Fan, Emmanuel Xerx Javier drew multiple series such as “A Touch of the Vapours,” “The Prison Queen,” and “Tree Hugger.” Furthermore, Emmanuel worked on Giantess Fan comics such as “Rescue G-T-S” and, most recently, “The Dancer.” Emmanuel also penciled “The Crystal of Size” for Shrink Fan.

Regarding Emmanuel’s art, it was pretty good. The line work was detailed and maintained at least some anatomical plausibility even as the blonde elf bulked up with impressive musculature.

Loved this panel in which Hennethel leaped like Marvel Comics Incredible Hulk. She also mimicked the Hulk’s thunderclap to create a stampede and distract foes.

There was also some effort made to demonstrate Hennethel’s increasing height. In one panel she easily passed through a doorway, but after another size increase she was forced to duck her head to pass through that same doorway.

Crimsonking1969 pointed out this comparison seen above. The image on the left was taken from the beginning of issue #2 and the one on the right was taken from the ending of issue #2.

Regarding negatives, there were a few minor typos. No deal breakers, but they could have been fixed to improve the quality. For example:

One might think that the asterisk in the dialogue balloon above would indicate that a translation would be provided at the bottom of the panel. Alas, there was no translation or breakout. The asterisk served no discernible purpose and thus its inclusion was a mystery.

There was also one line of dialogue in which the elder referred to the guardian as a “he,” but all of the guardians were shown as females. So, that either should have been “she” to indicate that guardians must be women or it should have been “they” to indicate that all genders can serve as guardians.

This depicts an orc attacking an elf.

It must also be noted that the fourth issue ended with “To be continued,” but as of July 2022 nothing more has been produced in the four years since that was released. To be fair, there weren’t any unresolved plot threads or cliffhangers. So, this was a situation in which the narrative could have progressed further or ended right then. In fact, the third issue had “The End” in the final panel, but apparently a decision was made to produce another installment. (NOTE: Solo would appreciate more Rise of the Guardian issues, please and thank you! 🙂 )

Lastly, this was an action-oriented story and thus combat was the primary component. Love-making took a back seat to adventure, but sex was still present. Hennethel had an infectious attitude being eager to take part in multiple orgies, but also dedicated to protecting people from monstrous threats. She was a likeable heroine.

Genitals were never seen. Topless nudity was the furthest extent of risque imagery. If this was a movie, it would have earned no more than a R-rating. No hardcore XXX action was depicted.

Overall, Rise of the Guardian is a recommended read. D&D and female muscle growth fans will enjoy this comic!

^ If you’re familiar with this, then you’ll like Rise of the Guardian.

That’s it for now folks. Come back to There She Grows for more reviews and interviews coming soon!

This review was written by SolomonG and is protected under Fair Use copyright law.

All Rights Reserved.

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