Written by: Jim Zub
Art by: Nelson Daniel and Neil Uyetake
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: June 15, 2016
I really enjoyed the first issue of Dungeons & Dragons so much that I am back again for #2. I mentioned in my last review that I will always give anything with Minsc and Boo a try and Jim Zub hooked me in with a cool story and a crazy cliffhanger...Ravenloft?!? I'll admit that I am a bit more old school than that, but I have opened up in my old age. Just stay clear of Dark Sun and I'll be okay. Reading the first issue got me psyched to play a little D&D, but that just isn't going to happen, so I had to wait for this issue to get my fix. Now that I've read it, is it Tomb of Horrors good or The Forest Oracle bad? Let's find out...
We start off with a little spooky narration welcoming us to Ravenloft and then before the reader can blink, a thousand bats fly in and snatch up at least one annoying guy from last issue. We still have the two werewolves, but we kind of need them to explain the sitch. They are trapped in Ravenloft and Count Strahd aren't going to let them leave.
With everything laid out, the werewolves take off and leave the party ready to fight each other. Thankfully, that doesn't last long at all and Minsc makes the hero's choice...head towards the most dangerous looking option there is. Actually, that's more of the idiots choice, but I love Minsc and would never call him an idiot. Plus, Boo would never let him do anything stupid, right?
This leads to the party heading into a cursed fog and coming out right away to go the opposite direction. It's an odd scene that may pay off later as the fog activated the locket that the werewolves wanted, but there are other matters at hand at the moment. They stumble upon a gypsy (?) caravan and go to "Madam Eva" to get directions to the nearest town. Minsc and Boo quickly find out that she is a little more insightful than Google Maps.
This is the scene of the book as Madam Eva does a card reading for Minsc and the big guy only hears what he wants to hear. She tells him of an evil and he is already yelling that he will vanquish it and when the cards say different, he destroys the cards, the table, the...just about everything! After him and Boo leave, Madam Eva gives the rest of the party some not so hopeful parting words and they rejoin Minsc and Boo.
If you have had previous run ins-with Minsc, you know that the guy is over-the-top good and courageous and that's why he is so loved. The party is starting to learn just that, but not everyone is warming up to him. He is a black and white, evil versus good kind of guy and when he's around, things tend to fall in those categories pretty easily. Like a runaway wagon being attacked by evil ghouls.
The battle that breaks out is pretty good with Minsc jumping right into the fray and before it's over we get a Magic Missile, some arrow and sword play and a bunch of sliced up ghouls. The scene ends with the party possibly heading off to a place to sleep and Minsc boasting about a certain Count of Darkness. Why did you go and do that Minsc?!?
The issue ends with the Count looking into what is going on and using some pretty extreme methods to do so. Seriously, it's bad, ugly and there are three of them. If you read the issue, you will know what I mean. I call the middle one!
This issue was a little more jokey than the first and I liked it. Minsc is such an over-the-top hero, but there is such a fine line between awesome and annoying, but thankfully, Zub lands on the awesome side of the fence. This is a Minsc issue and while I really wanted to learn more about the other party members, I'll never complain of too much Minsc. That being said, I hope Zub concentrates on the others a bit more going forward.
Nelson Daniel's art is so good and fits the story so well. If Wizards of the Coast ever decide to give us an update of the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon, I'd hope they would at least grab Daniel for the character designs. Please make that happen, someone!!!
Bits and Pieces:
Or heroes are in Ravenloft which is awesome, but so far, it just seems as a way to show how over-the-top awesome Minsc is. That is not a bad thing, but I really hope that Jim Zub concentrates more on the other party members going forward. Nelson Daniel's art is excellent and I can recommend this comic to D&D fans, but also any fan who is looking for a good time adventure with a large dose of humor and great art. That is me and that's why I gave this issue a...