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Review – Evil at Baldur’s Gate #1 (IDW Publishing)

Evil-Doers Beware in Evil at Baldur’s Gate #1

Dungeons & Dragons: Evil at Baldur’s Gate #1 reunites readers with the main characters from Frost Giant’s Fury as they return from Ravenloft. Evil at Baldur’s Gate is a five-part miniseries of one-shot stories about each of Baldur’s Gate’s heroes. One can suspect that each part of the miniseries will have a different tone depending on the character types. For example, Evil at Baldur’s Gate #1 is rather silly and has an overall spoofy tone.

Story

Dungeons & Dragons Evil at Baldur's Gate 1 (IDW Publishing) Cover B by Dean Kotz
Evil at Baldur’s Gate #1 (IDW Publishing) Cover B by Dean Kotz

Evil at Baldur’s Gate #1 follows Minsc the Mighty as he and his companions return to Baldur’s Gate from their time abroad in Ravenloft. The Beloved Ranger, immediately upon his return, wants to find evil and vanquish it. His friends, however, want nothing more than to lay low for a while. Of course, Minsc does not like that plan and, therefore, disregards it. Once his friends head out into the city, the Beloved Ranger decides to look for a tavern…and maybe some trouble. As I mentioned above, the story itself feels rather spoofy. It is full of minor jabs at some of the more stereotypical archetypes of Dungeons & Dragons. It’s got a couple of great moments of action but does not seem to offer anything deeper than some action and comedy.

Writing

Jim Zub’s writing in Evil at Baldur’s Gate #1 comes across as rather blithe and spoofy. Minsc comes across as a bit of a dimwit. However, much of his dialogue would suggest that he is a self-aware character. Obsessed with justice and vanquishing evil, his dialogue matches that of a Dungeons & Dragons newcomer who wants nothing more than to find and slay dragons. Zub’s action sequences are as lighthearted as much of the dialogue. The sequences are easy to follow but do not seem to add much to the story, only the legend that is Minsc the Mighty.

Art

Dean Kotz’s artwork matches the lighthearted tone of Evil at Baldur’s Gate #1. Kotz’s illustrations actually remind me quite a bit of The Last Airbender. Though, there was at least one panel where Minsc and another character look like classic He-Man action figures. Granted, that only seems to add to the spoofy tone of the issue. The illustrations of Baldur’s Gate–the city–add an extra depth to the story. Aesthetically, it appears as a city one might explore in Assassin’s Creed. Stefani Rennee’s colors match the tone of the story and bring Kotz’s already-lively illustrations to life.

Conclusion

Jim Zub gives fans a lighthearted and quite silly story in Evil at Baldur’s Gate #1. It’s a story that does not seem to boast anything much below the surface. What you see, is pretty much what you get in Evil at Baldur’s Gate #1. If you’re looking for a fun, comical story to pass the time, then you’ll enjoy this particular issue. However, if you were expecting something a little deeper and more in line with Dungeons & Dragons’ detailed worlds and character, you might be disappointed. Evil at Baldur’s Gate #1 definitely appears to be a Low Fantasy story as opposed to D&D’s usual fare of High Fantasy.


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About the author

Joshua Page

Joshua is a recent college graduate with a B.A. in English who once wrote a 2,700 word essay on Harley Quinn in a literature class. Not only is he a massive DC and Harley Quinn fan, but he is obsessed with the Alien and Star Wars franchises. When he is not reading comics, he is studying beer. By definition, he is a nerd and proud of it.

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