IDW Publishing 2021
Written by Jim Zub
Illustrated by Eduardo Mello
Coloured by Katrina Mae Hao
Lettered by Neil Uyetake
The prelude to the much-anticipated video game Baldur’s Gate III begins here! Changed by their experiences in Avernus, Krydle, Shandie, Delina, Nerys, Minsc, and Boo return home to Baldur’s Gate to find that something much more insidious has taken root… What could be behind the odd behavior of the Head Librarian of the Knowledge-Hold?
If this didn’t have bad luck I wonder if they’d have any luck at all? Still seeing them with the opportunity to return home for a respite should provide some relief but it has been too long since they’ve left and things in Baldur’s Gate are not what they seem. One thing I greatly appreciate about this story already is that we see how the individuals have changed so that they aren’t near the same as they were when they left. New experiences, changing attitudes and viewpoints so fundamentally they are much different people than when they left. With whatever is going on in town these differences are even more pronounced. Jim really does a magnificent job in making these characters feel like a superhero title in the vein of the New Teen Titans and it just really showcases how a great writer can make anything have universal appeal.
I love, love, love the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is presented exceptionally well. The character development that we see through the dialogue, the character interaction as well as how we see them act and react to the situations and circumstances which they encounter does a magnificent job in bringing us their personalities. The pacing is excellent and as it takes us through the pages revealing the story only serves to make us want to see and know more.
I appreciate the way that we see this being structured as well as how we see the layers within the story emerge, grow and evolve. The layers open up these avenues that beautifully add this depth, dimension and complexity to the story. With the layers that we see here through Krydle and with Nery’s and the Head LIbrarian all add such wonderful aspects to what we see. How we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow as well as how it moves the story forward is impeccably achieved.
The interiors here are extremely nice to see. I like how we see this as such a classic comic book style work as it really kind of just brings this to life through the creativity and imagination that we see. The Displacer Beast is phenomenal and that’s just one example. The linework is strong, clean and crisp and along with its varying weights and techniques bringing the attention to detail through is superbly rendered. We do see some nice use of backgrounds throughout, though there can always be more, to enhance and expand the moments as well as how they work within the composition of the panels to bring out the depth perception, sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope of the story. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a remarkably talented eye for storytelling. The various hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work shows a sensational eye for how colour works and how to maximise its effects.
This is the start to their newest adventure and the lead into the next video game, which if it’s anything like this I may just want to play, and it’s just perfectly done in my humble opinion. This is a classic superhero book set in a Dungeons & Dragons setting, which is basically how it has always been as long as I've played. I love the way that this is being written and how we see the characterisation along with these stunning interiors make this as much fun as it can possibly be.