Saturday, December 6, 2014

Review: Dungeons & Dragons LEGENDS OF BALDUR'S GATE #2

IDW PUBLISHING – @IDWPublishing @Wizards_DnD

WRITER: Jim Zub – @JimZub
ART:  Max Dunbar – @Max_Dunbar
COLORS: John-Paul Bove and Joana Lafuente
LETTERS: Neil Uyetake
COVER: Sarah Stone
VARIANT COVERS:  Max Dunbar with John-Paul Bove; Tyler Jacobson; Guido Kuip
28pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (November 2014)

Tyranny of Dragons

The second issue of Dungeons & Dragons Legends of Baldur's Gate, the new Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) comic book from IDW Publishing, arrived a few weeks ago.  This comic book series is written by Jim Zub and drawn by Max Dunbar with colors by John-Paul Bove and Joana Lafuente and letters by Neil Uyetake.

Legends of Baldur's Gate #2 is set in the legendary Baldur's Gate (a city in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting of the D&D fantasy role-playing game).  In this “place of history and home to legends,” we meet a young female elf and wild mage named Delina.  On the run from stone gargoyles, Delina casts a spell to protect herself.  It goes wild and hits the statue of Minsc the Beloved Ranger and his hamster, Boo.  Soon, Delina is on the run with Minsc and Boo.

As Dungeons & Dragons Legends of Baldur's Gate #2 (“Part Two”) opens, Delina learns that the two thieves they just encountered are Krydle (a male) and Shandie (a female).  They agree to help Delina find her missing twin brother, Deniak.  However, powerful figures and dark conspirators are also looking for Delina and Minsc, as well as Deniak.

While the first issue was a kickoff issue and read as a simple introduction to the series, Dungeons & Dragons Legends of Baldur's Gate #2 settles into the heart of the story.  A central plot (the search for Deniak) solidifies, and the narrative comes together as writer Jim Zub adds to his colorful band of heroes.  I like Delina and company, and I think there will be good times with them.  It is obvious that Zub loves the D&D source material, always a good things when adapting a property as a comic book.

Artist Max Dunbar steps forward a little more.  His storytelling and compositions are stronger, as if he figured out that this comic book is his sometime while drawing this second issue.  Legends of Baldur's Gate #2 also offers four pages of conceptual art, designs, and sketches that Dunbar produced for this series, and it is some beautiful work.  Speaking of beauty, the colors by John-Paul Bove and Joana Lafuente positively shimmer on some pages.  Readers of D&D comic books as well as of sword-and-sorcery will want to take a trip to Dungeons & Dragons Legends of Baldur's Gate.


Review by Leroy Douresseaux

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