Dungeons & Dragons: Legends of Baldur’s Gate #4 (Comics Review)

Jim Zub and Max Dunbar had a smash hit 2014 with their title Dungeons & Dragons: Legends of Baldur’s Gate, the latest tie-in comic from IDW that sets up the stage for Dungeons & Dragon‘s upcoming expansion Tyranny of Dragons. Bringing back a fan-favourite character and also introducing a band of brave new adventurers, this new comics series has been pretty incredible so far, and we are only on the fourth issue yet, as of this past week. Each issue packs a great twist, has some great characterisation and comes with some really solid art as well. What more could you want?

Last week’s Legends of Baldur’s Gate #4 takes up from where the previous issue left off, namely Delina finding out that her missing brother Deniak isn’t so missing after all and that he is actually behind some of the more dire events happening in Baldur’s Gate of late. Of course, it is all even bigger than that and we truly see the goal of Deniak’s grand plans as he stands revealed as the big bad of the series, with a major twist at the end of the issue that really puts the subtitle of the meta-story forward, Tyranny of Dragons.

Legends of Baldur’s Gate is, first and foremost, a story about a band of misfits and screw-ups who come together under some really extraordinary circumstances. Writer Jim Zub has highlighted that in all the previous issues, and he does so again in this one as well. What with Delina stumbling into Deniak’s dastardly plot to gain more magical power than her, stemming from their childhood when magic came easy to her and with great difficulty for him and thus leading to some long-held resentment that is finally getting an outlet, things really aren’t looking too good for the good guys. Especially not once Deniak begins his great plan and gives us the ending as it happened in this issue.

The characters are pretty damn important here of course, but I think that it is the meta-story that is more valuable in this issue. In the first three installments we have been rather up-close and personal with the cast and seeing as they all come together for a common purpose and for other various altruistic reasons. Now, we see what it all means and how this title actually ties-into the Tyranny of Dragons expansion for Dungeons & Dragons. Because let’s face it. The setting is called Dungeons & Dragons and the expansion is called Tyranny of Dragons. So where are the bloody dragons in this series?

Well, fortunately, this issue has some answers, and none of those answers are pretty at all.

With the focus being on the relationship between Delina and Deniak this time around, I certainly enjoyed the story this time as much as Id id the previous ones since there was more immediate resonance here. We learned quite a few things about the villain and what turned him into the Elf that he is today, hungry for power and glory unlike anything else in the world. This is where the story starts taking on a rather grim turn, and I’m all for that really since with all the antics of before, the series could use a little sobering up.

No new characters this time unfortunately, though one is teased of course, the one on the cover who makes a very, very brief appearance in the middle of the issue. I confess that with the slightly expanded cast, I’m getting just a teensy bit confused as to what is truly happening but ultimately Jim keeps the writing simple, and that’s the main thing.

Max Dunbar is the artist here with John-Paul Bove on the colours, Neil Uyetake on the letters and Sarah Stone on the cover I believe. Apart from what is yet another great cover for the series, the inside art was also pretty spectacular. The flashbacks to Delina and Deniak’s childhood well-executed, and the slow degradation of Deniak is also quite horrifying, what with his features becoming more and more twist as his plans unfold. Looking at it overall, I think the art is hardly an improvement over the last issue, and that’s saying something since the last in Legends of Baldur’s Gate #3 was pretty damn good.

Fantastic start to the new year.

Rating: 9.5/10

More Legends of Baldur’s Gate: #1, #2, #3.

More Dungeons & Dragons: Shadowplague.

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Posted on January 24, 2015, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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