Werewolves, vampires, swords, sorcery and lots of humorous banter made up the first issue of this series. The characters work so well as their dynamics are fun and complex, but how is issue #2? Is it good?
Dungeons & Dragons #2 (IDW Publishing)
You know it’s a role playing game, but beyond that what’s this comic book about? The official IDW summary reads:
LOST IN RAVENLOFT! Our intrepid heroes have been pulled into the realm of eternal night. With dark forces watching their every move and unknown horrors hunting for their blood, will our heroes endure? Jim Zub (Wayward, Samurai Jack) returns with a perfect jumping-on point, continuing the adventures of the team introduced in the hit Legends of Baldur’s Gate! Ravenloft is a classic D&D adventure beloved by gaming fans being reintroduced for the 5th edition game system to much acclaim.
Why does this book matter?
Writer Jim Zub is becoming of my favorite writers these days with his fantastic Thunderbolts action series and now this. Plus artist Nelson Daniel continues to draw in a detailed yet cartoony style with good comedic timing and solid action.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Like a good Dungeon Master, Zub continues to tell an intriguing journey for the heroes as they face different villains and situations to get through. In this issue they face a poison fog, a strange fortune teller and a bunch of cart-robbing ghouls. Throughout this journey Minsc continues to be hilarious with plenty of overtly-heroic but somewhat dumb one liners to keep the chuckles going. It helps that he talks to a gerbil on his shoulder named Boo who according to Minsc can sense tasty things. He’s deadly serious, but it’s hard not to laugh when he opens his mouth. This increases the entertainment value when the heroes face the trials along their journey in this issue.
Flappy evil is the worst kind of evil.
Nerys and Minsc appear to be getting a bit of a romantic build up too, or at least a deeper respect for each other. This makes for some fun interactions that will be interesting to follow as the series goes on.
While that builds the action continues to be quite fun, with magic, swordplay, and punching keeping the excitement up. Daniel continues to draw some fun looking monsters, manages to make the fog fluid and magical, and the action is easy to follow. You gotta love how Daniel uses watercolor to ramp up backgrounds during the ghoul fight scene on the cart, or the speed lines that are used to ramp up the action to start. The sound effects are part of why this comic is so damn fun too–they’re always catering to the sound and there are so many fun ones in here. “Tip”, “slash”, and “pull” are just three on one page that enhance the action sequence.
It can’t be perfect can it?
After the great character development of the last issue I was a bit surprised how little Zub used of the heroic characters in this issue. Everyone gets a line and a bit of a moment, but Minsc really steals the show and practically makes this issue a solo book. The book is still entertaining, but it’s missing the team feel the first issue had.
So the heroes didn’t win this day.
Is It Good?
This is the best damn fantasy series on the shelves today. It’s fun, action-packed, and very funny.