At long last, the first of the new Dungeons & Dragons comics has been release. Legends of Baldur’s Gate #1 sees Jim Zub (writer), Max Dunbar (artist) and Jon-Paul Bove (colorus) telling the tale of Delina, a moon elf wild mage, who begins the story fleeing from gargoyles who have been sent after her for an unknown reason. In her attempts to protect herself from the gargoyles, whom seem little concerned about any collateral damage they might cause, her magic goes awry and summons Minsc, the addled ranger first introduced in the Baldur’s Gate computer game of 1998.
Minsc mistakes Delina for Neera, a wild mage introduced in the Enhanced Edition of the computer game, and immediately starts protecting her. From there, the two are pretty much lined up for more adventures, although this issue doesn’t go all that much further than that.
This is very much an introductory issue, although it hits the ground running and doesn’t bother too much with exposition. We’ve got a mysterious opponent who wants Delina (probably alive), and she’s trying to find out what’s happened to her brother, who is apparently somewhere in Baldur’s Gate and in some danger. As far as first issues goes, all of that is quite sufficient. (I’m aware that it’s actually about 100 years since Minsc was last active in the Realms, but I’m sure that will be mentioned in later issues).
What makes it really worth reading is the depiction of Minsc; Jim Zub has a great deal of fun with the ranger’s speech patterns; although we’re yet to see a “Go for the eyes, Boo! Go for the eyes!”, we do get great Minscisms like “If there is danger, then I shall dange it!” and “We are very halted, good sir.”
The artwork is very good, although the magnification available from my digital copy occasionally displays a lack of detail on some panels (there’s a couple of faceless citizens that really look odd). Delina is drawn especially well, with an excellent range of expression.
The comic is part of the Tyranny of Dragons story arc, which I’m also experiencing through the D&D RPG adventure Hoard of the Dragon Queen. It seems likely that there’ll be some connection to the Cult of the Dragon. It’s a pity the comic wasn’t available when my players passed through Baldur’s Gate a couple of weeks ago; I could have incorporated a couple of ideas from it into the session!
One interesting note: upon Delina entering the Wide, the great market square of Baldur’s Gate, I immediately recognised the area (and the stage) from our play of last year’s adventure Murder in Baldur’s Gate. It’s nice when the artwork matches your vision of the area.
All in all, it’s a nice, entertaining start to the series, and I look forward to reading the next issue.