Saturday, May 21, 2016

Dungeons & Dragons #1 Review - Saturday Morning Weirdness

Go For The Eyes, Boo!

Written by: Jim Zub
Art by: Nelson Daniel and Neil Uyetake
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: May 4, 2016

I am a huge Dungeons & Dragons fan and that goes for the table top pencil and  paper game as well as the later computer games.  As a kid, I couldn't get enough and while I struggled to find people to play with early on, I still bought all the rules books and modules and ate them up.  Some of my best memories as a kid were from the summer that me and my friends actually did more than create crazy characters and played through three full adventures. Well, "played through" is a little bit of an exaggeration because we didn't quite make it out of the Barrier Peaks!  After that summer, however, we never really played much, but that didn't stop me from buying the new editions and hoping to recapture the magic.

That magic did return when Bioware released the original Baldur's Gate computer role playing game.  It was so damn good and almost all of those friends that played that summer years ago gathered online and we had a blast.  While I loved Baldur's Gate II (it was second on my list of favorite CRPGs of All-Time HERE), most of my friends had moved on to MMORPGs by then.  If you ask anyone who their favorite character(s) were from those games, 99% will tell you "Minsc and Boo" without hesitation.  To this day, my buddy, Jay, yells "Go for the eyes Boo!" more than he really should be allowed.  I still laugh every time.  So, when I heard that Jim Zub was coming out with another D&D comic again featuring Minsc and Boo, I was in.  Now that I've read it, is the D&D magic still alive and well, and I'm not talking about Leomund's Tiny Hut...or am I?  Let's find out...

The issue opens with some information on Kelemvor, the god of the dead and their followers, the "Death Clergy".  I know they sound like bad news, but they actually seem pretty good right down to defending the helpless and being sworn enemies of the undead. That little background is followed by...Minsc and Boo!!!  By the looks of it, they are part of a pretty solid party, but really, it's the two of them that put the big smile on my face immediately.  The smile stayed as the party fought off skeletons and werewolves with magic and blades until it comes to a halt (temporarily) for a flashback.

Jim Zub did a good job getting my attention.  There will be plenty of time for the classic D&D party interactions later, people love action and crazy monsters and Zub gives the reader both right off the bat.

The flashback then gives us the needed background and character setup and if anything in this book came off like it was from a table top gaming session, it was this scene.  I always loved the beginning of a session when the party is hanging out in a tavern or heading to say...the Church of Kelemvor, looking for their next adventure and this is what Zub gives us here.  

We learn the parties names as Alby, the Priest of Kelemvor, tells them the details of why he contacted them.  The Church has been having problems with "something out in the darkness" and they need a group to protect their artifacts and treasures.  Sounds like a pretty basic job, but things pick up when we meet the best character in the book (behind Minsc and Boo of course), Nerys, a young Kelemvorian cleric.  After payment is agreed upon, it's back to the present and so, back to the fight!

The fight is pretty long, page wise, and is good at throwing in some cool D&D stuff as well as good dialogue.  I hadn't noticed at the beginning of the book, but realized that Nerys was now part of the party which made total sense besides being awesome.  Awesome, until she is taken away by the attackers.

The rest of the issue sets up the ongoing narrative by showing us a little of who the attackers are, what they were after and kind of who they are trying to get away from.  The last part is saved for the cliffhanger and if you are a fan of the many different D&D settings, you may not be surprised, but you still should be pumped for next issue.

Jim Zub does a fine job of throwing us into this world of swords and magic and while I am not sure how non fans will react to this issue, if you are a Dungeons and Dragons fan then I can easily recommend it to you.  Yes, I want to know a whole lot more about the individual party members, but that just shows that Zub is doing his job.  I'd say he had me at "magic missile", but I was in way before that.

I loved Nelson Daniel's art.  I don't think it's an insult to Jim Zub to say it was the best part of the issue and if it is, I certainly don't mean it that way.  Everything looked great and while I mentioned that I want more information on the party members, just the art gave me a bit of what I was looking for.

Before I go, there is a backup story by Bart Carroll and David Baldeon that looks fantastic and is told as a kind of history lesson.  While it lacks the humor and character moments of the main story, it throws in name checks and locations that hardcore D&D fans will eat up.  I didn't look into it any further, but I can only think (and hope) these backups will continue in each issue.

Bits and Pieces:

Jim Zub really gives D&D fans a cool issue and some awesome promises for the future.  If you are any sort of Dungeons and Dragons fan, you should at least give this first issue a peak.  It has some awesome action, cool characters a sense of humor and...Minsc and Boo! Nelson Daniel's art was the highlight for me and after the cliffhanger, I really can't wait for next issue and what might come after that.



  1. I figured that I'd be the first nerd to comment on this book. I really enjoyed it. I have been getting burned out with a lot of comics lately and just been reading a few books. I had to get this as soon as I saw it and it was my book of the week (actually it was a tie with another book by Zub). Yes Minsc and Boo are my favorites, but I was really interested in all the characters in this book. It was a good break from the traditional super hero book and I will keep reading it for sure.

    1. same here...I actually almost missed the backup which i enjoyed as more of a "hard" d&d tale

  2. Where is my adaptation of the four-player Gauntlet arcade game???

    "Don't shoot the food!"