Review – Dungeons & Dragons: Legends of Baldur’s Gate #2 (IDW Publishing)

Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Jim Zub
Artist: Max Dunbar
Colorist: John-Paul Bove & Joana Lafuente
Release Date: 19th November 2014

Review of Issue #1HERE

Combining a marvellous mixture of flashbacks, swashbuckling swordplay and political intrigue, Jim Zub’s narrative for issue two of Legends Of Baldur’s Gate probably landed rather well with the mini-series’ 7,642-strong audience back in November 2014. For whilst the comic’s plot certainly contains some quite lengthy conversations between the likes of Delina and her would-be rescuers Krydle and Shandie, as well as those involving Duke Ravenguard and the duplicitous Fetcher, these dialogue-driven interludes are arguably just as mesmerising as Minsc’s bloody battle with a coven of mask-wearing magic users.

In fact, one of this twenty-page periodical’s greatest assets is the way Zub manages to quickly establish just how complicated the coordination and running of the large city actually is; whether it be the major port’s devilish criminal underground packed full of favours and faceless cut-throats, or its supposedly more honourable noble quarters, where its City Watch dare not disturb its wealthy occupants even after two of their armoured number have been slain. Such attention to detail truly does help sell the menacing environment surrounding our heroes and also promotes the sprawling conurbation as a very real, living metropolis, full of merchants, warriors, priests and thieves.

Likewise, Zub perfectly projects the ever-present threat of a violent death into his storyline even when Delina’s newfound friends are both heavily-armed and evidently formidable fighters. Before the reader can really even register that the party are being waylaid by sorcery-aided assassins, its “beloved Ranger” is stabbed in the side by a sinister-looking curved blade and Krydle is fighting for his life against the razor-sharp talons of an unknown attacker. This shocking assault upon the senses immediately ramps up the tension within the comic, and demonstrates just how much danger the quartet are already in, even though they’ve yet to attempt to move between Baldur Gate’s upper and lower levels.

Impressively imbuing all of this book’s numerous chess pieces with plenty of individual character is Max Dunbar, whose artwork is particularly impressive when it comes to facial expressions – even when the figure is that of “a miniature giant space hamster of great courage and wise wisdom” called Boo. Furthermore, this publication contains an enthralling insight into the artist’s preliminary sketches of its protagonists, as well as some of the highly-detailed landscapes required for his layouts – courtesy of a behind the scenes article by editor, John Barber.


The writer of this piece was: Simon Moore
Simon Tweets from @Blaxkleric ‏
You can read more of his reviews at The Brown Bag

Comment On This Article

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: