The best damn swords and sorcery comic is back this week and I sure hope this ensemble cast kills it literally and figuratively… but is it good?
Dungeons & Dragons #3 (IDW Publishing)
So what’s it about? The official IDW summary reads:
The Baldur’s Gate heroes struggle against the forces of dread as the darkness of Ravenloft takes hold of their hearts and minds. What good is survival if it means losing your soul?
Why does this book matter?
Jim Zub is very good at writing dialogue managing to make each of the characters in this band of heroes sound unique from each other. They’re also funny too. Nelson Daniel draws the heck out of this series with every ghoul, werewolf, and vampire looking somewhat cartoony, but always fun to look at.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
So now that the audience knows who we all are…
This is one of those issues where the heroes rest and lick their wounds waiting till the next day to fight the good fight, but wind up being personally tested. Still stuck in a shadow realm they rest at a vineyard, but must face a poison mist in the night that forces them to face their deepest and darkest secrets. Zub utilizes this issue to delve a bit deeper into two characters who haven’t been quite as prominent in the last two issues and he sets up a potential heroic arc for both. Now that we know what’s hidden in their closets they’ll move towards redemption as the series goes on. Minsc and his ally hamster Boo take a bit of a back seat this issue–they were practically the main characters of issue #2–but they still provide a few hilarious moments in this issue.
Daniel once again kills it on art. He’s possibly my favorite artist out there these days, with some cool mist effects flying around our characters complete with haunting ghost figures for our heroes to deal with. A check in with the werewolves help to remind us they are brutal and vicious with some nice blood flying around.
It can’t be perfect can it?
That said, Daniel doesn’t have a lot to work with in this issue. Not a lot happens in this issue, which is unfortunate. The first four pages remind us who the characters are as they hunker down for the night, but aside from some colorful bits of dialogue not a lot happens. Three more pages check in with the villains and the actual events feel as they they could have played out over a single page instead. The revelations of our heroes is interesting, but I can’t shake the feeling things are decompressing here to fill out the story arc. The pace is too slow for its own good.
Shut up you fool!
Is It Good?
This needs more action, more character interaction, more everything! While it’s not a terrible issue it makes you wish there was more or at the very least things moved faster than they do.