IDW Publishing 2021
Written by Jim Zub
Illustrated by Eduardo Mello
Coloured by Katrina Mae Hao
Lettered by Neil Uyetake
The prelude to Baldur’s Gate III and newest adventure in Jim Zub’s acclaimed D&D saga continues! Following last issue’s disastrous turn of events, some of our heroes are missing, and the mind flayer threat is twisting ever deeper into the workings of the city. What secrets will be revealed, and what steps will the remaining Baldur’s Gate heroes take to save their friends?
I love this series. Minsc and Boo particularly though I have to say that what we see from them this issue really makes the reader think. You go off script and become so thoroughly engaged in the story. After all, if he has amnesia then how does Minsc know the smell level of evil or that Nery’s is able to interrogate the dead? It is something to think about and makes the mystery surrounding that much more palpable. One of these arcs we’re going to have to discover his origin and how Boo came to be as sentient and able to fight alongside the party as effectively as he does. It doesn’t necessarily have to be one arc it can start in one, they get sidetracked and this continues with the more they learn about him. I dunno about anyone else but I’m dying to know more about this dynamic duo.
Jim is a master when it comes to the Dungeons & Dragons storytelling. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information are 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. This manages to continuously flesh out their personalities incredibly well. The pacing is excellent and as it takes us through the pages revealing more of the story the more questions we have and the more we want to see, learn and know about.
I am extremely impressed with the way that we see this being structured and how the layers within the story continue to emerge, grow, evolve and strengthen. I am also liking the way that we see the layers here open up new avenues to be explored. Now whether they will be or won’t be isn’t relevant but they all add this great depth, dimension and complexity to the story. How we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow as well as how it moves the story forward are impeccably handled.
The interiors here are fantastic! The traditional comic book style works well as seen through the linework and it’s varying weights and techniques being utilised to create the detail within the work that we see is pretty extraordinary. We see very few backgrounds being utilised unfortunately however. The composition we see within the panels and how this brings out the depth perception, sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope to the story is handled extremely well. 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.
The more adventures we see these folks on the more impressed I am by the level of teamwork and by extension how they treat each other as family. They may be an adventuring party and one that had a rocky start but now I couldn’t imagine this team without any one of them being a part of it. I will continue to tell you this is as much a superhero team as you are going to find on stands right now. We see some extraordinary writing and phenomenal characterisation alongside some lovely interiors that brings this life.