IDW Publishing 2017
Illustrated by Jim Zub
Illustrated by Netho Diaz
Coloured by Thiago Ribeiro
Lettered by Neil Uyetake
During the last arc the gang ran from that Master Vampire who really was way too strong and powerful for them to handle. That wasn’t their world and they weren’t prepared to face one as powerful as he yet the encounter was all too real and has repercussions that we see here. I love what Jim is doing with this run. Now they find themselves in the frozen northern reaches of Forgotten Realms. From one world to the next this group is not only encountering threats they never dreamed possible but they are also learning more about themselves at the same time. The characterisation and feelings that they are experiencing really are so relatable to everyone.
I think the fact that Jim is able to take this from an RPG to a series of stories that have very real characters that face fantastic obstacles is something that should be read by more people. It doesn’t hurt either that it makes me want to find a group roll up a new character and play myself again, I mean that’s just icing on the cake. That playing Dungeons & Dragons has lost much of its stigma should go a long way as well and embracing our inner geek has never been more popular or fun.
I’m really impressed seeing how the characters are facing their current challenge. Being on the run and far from home is really starting to take it’s toll on them emotionally. Minsc who is usually so jovial and positive to be so down and full of doubt is one of the more unexpected things that makes perfect sense and makes me like him more. Krydle too who is usually so strong and stoic seems to be succumbing to the effects of their adventures. It’s such good, strong and powerful storytelling and really shows these characters off for who they are and can be.
I’m also a huge fan of the interior artwork here. The use of page layouts through angles, perspective and even the use of backgrounds are filled with detail and pack a lot of emotion. The way they utilise the facial features and body language is wonderful to see. The creativity and imagination in bringing these Giants to life, not to mention their new ally Saarvin, is utterly delightful.
Here’s hoping their new ally is one who’ll be around for a bit I think the addition of him to this band would add a whole new level of intrigue and interest, at least for me. Besides with all this world hopping why not add a character from a world not their own? Plus I mean he’s just so damn cool and when wouldn’t they need a scout in their party?
In a lot of ways this reminds me of when the New Teen Titans went into space to free Starfire. It’s got that out of their element quality, the perfect characterisation that goes along with feeling that way and the heart and bravery of facing any and all threats head on.