Advent Review #16: Dungeons & Dragons: Legends of Baldur’s Gate #3 (Comics Review)
Jim Zub and Max Dunbar have kicked off IDW’s new Dungeons & Dragons series, Legends of Baldur’s Gate in great style recently, with a story that ties in to the setting’s newest lore-gaming expansion, Tyranny of Dragons. The first two issues have proven to be rather spectacular, focusing on characters old and new alike, and presenting readers with a pretty damn fantastic mystery as well, one that draws the characters into a much larger story than it at first apparent, and all I can say that it is a blast right now.
Legends of Baldur’s Gate #3, out last week,sees the characters take the next step in their search for Delina’s twin brother Deniak, who went missing in Baldur’s Gate some time back. With the help of the Beloved Ranger and social outcasts Krydle and Shandie, Delina has faced up to some interesting adventures of late, and the latest is a roof-top chase across the city that brings her face-to-face against someone she didn’t expect, even as the other characters face up to their own unique challenges and predicaments in a most fun way.
With the new issue, Jim Zub shows how good he is at writing a story that can come off as rather goofy, and still be pretty serious. In my experience with his work, he has been doing that for more than a year now with IDW’s Samurai Jack tie-in, and he pretty much brings the same narrative style to Legends of Baldur’s Gate. Previously, we’ve seen how Delina’s inexpert use of magic has caused Minsc the Beloved Ranger to return to the city where he was once a great hero, and how the two have become part of a conspiracy running rife through the city that involves some really dark forces.
And the best thing in all of this is that Jim carries over a strong sense of tabletop RPG to this comic in that Krydle, Shandie, Delina and Minsc all come across as being part of an adventuring party of the type that tabletop RPGers come up with in their games. The characters fall across the various archetypes and the gradual introductions we have been getting to all of them certainly make for a great experience since while the story itself is rather finite, there’s a grand scope to all of it, that what these characters will discover will shake their world and affect Baldur’s Gate and the rest of the world outside the city in a big way.
I won’t deny either that this series is plain good fun. From Minsc and his pet hamster Boo to the hilarious dialogue from Delina and the others, Jim is unrestrained in his humour. It is all light-hearted fun of course, to balance the seriousness of the events as they unfold, and it is nice to see Jim doesn’t take the story too seriously, and the characters are the same way too. The best part of this issue was obviously Minsc trying to get into a gala hosted by his old friend who is still alive, with the caveat being that the gala is only for the highest of Baldur’s Gate’s nobility and not for a “commoner” like Minsc, since no one at the mansion gates takes him seriously at his word.
Or even the best part could be Coran holding Boo in his hands during a scuffle at the Gala, and being utterly shocked by the whole thing. That was certainly a golden moment. And then the comic ends on a rather shocking note, with a twist that I didn’t see coming from a mile off even.
As before, Max Dunbar is the artist here with John-Paul Bove on colours and Neil Uyetake on the letters. The art on this series has been pretty phenomenal so far and that doesn’t change with this issue either. This time, Max and John-Paul get to stretch their creativity in different ways, with the gala at Coran’s estate being perhaps their best splash page on the series, or even all the characterwork that they do in general. Great linework, great colours, what more could you ask for, really?
As things progress further for the characters, we are starting to see some things fall in place, and it is a pretty exciting time to get on this comic if you haven’t yet.
More Dungeons & Dragons: Shadowplague.
Posted on December 16, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged Advent 2014, Advent Calendar, Advent Calendar 2014, Advent Reviews, Advent Reviews 2014, Baldur's Gate, Comics, Comics Review, Cute Hamsters, D&D, Delina, Dragons, Dungeons & Dragons, Dungeons & Dragons 40th Anniversary, Dungeons & Dragons: Legends of Baldur's Gate, Epic Fantasy, Fantasy, High Fantasy, Jim Zub, John-Paul Bove, Legends of Baldur's Gate, magic, Max Dunbar, Minsc, Moon Elf, Neil Uyetake, Review, Review Central, RPG Tie-In, Tie-In Comics, Tie-in fiction, Tyranny of Dragons. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.