Tuesday, September 6, 2022

D&D Comics, part one: the 5e era

Dragon vs Giant action from Frost Giant's Fury

 Various publishers have had the rights to Dungeons & Dragons in comic book form over the years.  As I read (or in some cases, re-read) through these volumes, I'll summarize my recommendations here on the blog.

Here's the bottom line: the D&D comics from IDW are a mixed bag at best.

While some runs are good adventure comics, others are a mess - featuring disappointing writing, sub-par art, or both.  The "Baldur's Gate" series of mini-series occasionally has some highlights but is burdened by its product-of-the-year tie-in nature, and the insufferable "comedy" of Minsc & Boo.  The lead characters in that run who are not Minsc do tend to grow over time and get more interesting.

None of these are "run out and get it!" recommendations, but sometimes you find TPBs marked down, or single-issues in bargain bins.

At The Spine of the World

At The Spine Of The World.  I liked this Icewind Dale mini-series - the art is nice, the story is well-presented.  Bonus points for being self-contained and having precisely zero Minsc in it.

Frost Giant's Fury

Infernal Tides


Frost Giant's Fury.  Best of the Minsc & Boo series as far as sword-and-sorcery action.

Infernal Tides.  One of the better Minsc & Boo outings.

Mindbreaker.  Minsc & Boo vs mind flayers.

Mindbreaker ties in with the Baldur's Gate 3 vidya game 


Legends of Baldur's Gate.  The start of our current troubles - the beginning of the Minsc saga.

Shadows of the Vampire.  Minsc & Boo in Ravenloft.  I note that one of the main characters gets a consequence in this run, but they have failed to pull the trigger on that obvious consequence 25 issues later.

Evil At Baldur's Gate. More Minsc & Boo.  So much investment in this series!

A Darkened Wish.  An ambitious story jammed incautiously into five issues of dubious art.

Actual action shot of a dragonborn from A Darkened Wish. 

Ravenloft: Orphan of Agony Isle.   Set in the reimagined 5e Ravenloft, this one's about Viktra Mordenheim, the brilliant scientist and abusive weirdo, as well as the girl she's experimenting on, and Viktra's former lover Elise (the monster).  The art is very 2022, and the pacing tells me the writer wants this story to be a slow-burn mystery and maybe a dysfunctional love triangle.  Unfortunately it's burning so slowly I can't possibly care about the characters.  Things look up a tad in issue #3 as Elise arrives, but I can't promise I'm going to finish this one.

Orphan of Agony Isle

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