Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Jim Zub
Artist: Max Dunbar
Colorist: John-Paul Bove
Release Date: 10th December 2014
Despite essentially consisting of a frantically paced, night-time dash across some of the city-state’s most precarious, tile-covered rooves, issue three of Dungeons & Dragons: Legends Of Baldur’s Gate still provides plenty of intriguing insights into the corruption-riddled world of the Patriar, as well as a bag full of laugh out loud humour. In fact, Jim Zub’s ability to combine super-tense action with a seemingly never-ending carousel of one-liners is arguably this comic’s greatest strength, and certainly helps invigorate its more sedentary scenes with some much-needed sparkle; “Hamster justice cannot be ignored, ugly man!”
Foremost of these sequences is the leading cast’s extraordinary entrance into one of “the upper crust’s” most lavish of social gatherings, in which Minsc somehow manages to convince a startled servant that the heavily muscled adventurer is actually a musically-talented troubadour. This somewhat lengthy conversational piece runs on for a good twelve, well-proportioned panels, and could easily have dragged on if it wasn’t for the Canadian author making the doorman extremely dry-witted, and the beloved ranger engagingly naïve.
Likewise, the sheer scale of the chaos caused by Delina when she inadvertently bumps into “one of the jerks who ambushed us” is hilarious and demonstrates just how fast things can get out of control when you allow the former bodyguard of the witch Dynaheir into a banquet whilst he’s still armed with his extraordinarily large two-handed broadsword. Whether it be Shandie stuffing her face full of vol-au-vents, Krydle face-palming himself at the sight of his partners-in-crime tearing up his brother’s party, or Coran’s disbelief at finding Boo suddenly squeaking in his hands, it’s doubtful that many of this comic’s 5,563 readers successfully managed to stifle a laugh or two during such well-penned carnage.
Adding enormously to this book’s sheer sense of fun is Max Dunbar’s artwork, which does an incredible job of imbuing the storytelling with lots of energy and dynamism. The swashbuckling swordfights atop some the metropolis’ tallest buildings are particularly noteworthy for their prodigious pencilling, as are the plethora of facial expressions drawn upon every character as they endure a myriad of different emotions during the Dragon Cult’s attempted abduction of their young moon elf team-mate.