IDW Publishing 2019
Written by Jim Zub
Illustrated by Max Dunbar
Coloured by Sebastian Cheng
Lettered by Neil Uyetake
Infernal Tides #1 (of 5)
A new Dungeons & Dragons adventure begins here! Minsc and his friends are caught in the middle of devil-tainted corruption that has taken hold of Baldur’s Gate. Unravelling the secret of its source will take our heroes to unexpected places and threaten the sanctity of their very souls. Even if they survive this perilous journey, there will be Hell to pay! Infernal Tides continues the D&D comic odyssey.
This is one of those books that I look forward to coming out time and time again. Jim's writing style and the way he's able to bring these characters to life is bloody brilliant. He is able to make you want to play D&D in a group setting as well being jealous that the group you play with can't get their characters to work in concert like these do. Then there is the way that he's able to take these traditional Dungeons & Dragons characters and make them feel like the most effective superhero team you've ever seen. This team to me works as well as, if not better than the first run of New Teen Titans.
The way that this is being told is sensational to see. The story & plot development through how we see the sequence of events unfold and how the reader learns information is expertly done. We get this incredible introduction of new characters and how they seem to stumble upon their adventures in ways that surely delight. The character development is phenomenal to see as get this look at the personalities and how they all interact with one another as well how the react to the situations they find themselves in. The pacing here is pretty darn perfect and while it takes all the above to weave its through the pages creating this marvellous ebb & flow that makes you feel you've reached the end way too soon.
What we see within these pages is never going to be what it appears on the surface and it's the layering and deception that you never see coming which is what I love the most about it. Friends can enemies and enemies can be allies depending on what the situation calls for as well answers are the one thing that will never be easy to come by.
Max is Jim's perfect partner in crime here. His imagination and creativity that we see within these pages is utterly phenomenal and I adore the way he's able to bring the towns, the demons and the heroes to life in ways that pull you into the story. The linework is exquisitely laid down and the varying weights being utilised really bring about some of the best attention to detail that you'll see. Max and Sebastian are able to bring this to life with such awe and wonder that even the tiniest of details are displayed. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels shows a masters eye for storytelling here. The colour work is astonishingly good as we see these various hues and tones within any given colour create the shading, highlights and shadows. These guys work so well together it's almost scary.
I love how Jim treats this book, these characters and this adventure as he brings us into a world where even the toughest Avengers couldn't imagine being able to handle. The story comes at us from a few different angles and then complicates matters as we begin to see the way they are going to merge. The only thing left to wonder is will our intrepid team of adventurers be able to keep from entering the first level of hell by stopping the Infernal's?