Stuck in the frozen wastes of the northern Forgotten Realms, the party of adventurers from Baldur’s Gate are beaten, bruised and just trying to survive. There are rumours of frost giants roaming the land and a band of ogres are out searching for fresh meat. With one of their own severely injured, things are looking bleak for the band of heroes. Is it good?
Dungeons & Dragons: Frost Giants Fury #1 (IDW Publishing)
The series picks up after the group had just suffered a major defeat at the hands of the vampire Strahd in the land of Ravenloft. Delina, the mage of the group, used a magic locket to whisk them away at the end of the “Shadows of the Vampire” miniseries that precluded this one. In saving them, they ended up lost in the icy wilds where this story picks up.
I was unfamiliar with the previous two series that focused on this band of D&D adventurers, but being a lover of fantasy I thought the beginning of this series would be a good place to start. Besides Delina, the party consists of the ranger Minsc, thief Krydle, halfling archer Shandle and cleric Nerys. They each have unique personalities and their conversations seemed more natural and less cliched than you might expect from a D&D book, where it would have been easy to fall into familiar archetypical fantasy dialogue and tropes.
Writer Jim Zub does a good job with the banter between the members and even though I am just being introduced to the group, it’s easy to see there’s an established history between them. It helps that there have been other comics that had to deal with establishing the characters so Zub doesn’t have to waste a lot of time with “knowing stares” and innuendos about each of their secret histories. Instead it lets us jump on board with a team that already has a rapport.
The book looks good, especially the ogres, drawn with in a way that shows both their fierceness and stupidity all in one expression. Artist Netho Diaz animates the expressions of the characters so that their reactions highlight what is going on in the story. Colorist Thiago Riberio adds some nice tones to book, like warming firelight in a cave and the whites and blues in the icy wastelands.
Is It Good?
The book looks good and I could see myself liking the characters, as I got to know them, in future issues. There’s a battle scene, but otherwise there’s not much happening other than watching the team try and regroup after a crushing defeat in the last series. There’s a bit of a tease at the end of the issue, but what it means and whether past readers would get more out of it, I don’t know. That may be the biggest knock against the issue, as I feel there isn’t much here, plot development-wise, for newer reader like me.