Pending death by monstrous creatures while equally trying to survive an endless wasteland with an unrelenting blizzard might not seem like a valid, five-star vacation, or adventure for that matter, but for those familiar with the world of Dungeons & Dragons, it might be a quest for the ages.
We find a band of five heroes on their third adventure, as they were first introduced in Legends of Baldur’s Gate, and barely surviving the last, Shadows of the Vampire, as magical powers transport them away from sudden death to the abominable land of ice referred to as “The Wall.” Although they narrowly escaped one deadly situation, they find themselves in freezing temperatures, without any cover in sight, and one of their mates is severely wounded.
Dungeons & Dragons (D&D): Frost Giant’s Fury #1, brought to you by IDW Publishing, is a wonderful jump-start into this fantasy world. Not only are the illustrations so lively you’ll want to wrap yourself in a blanket to keep warm, the colors are as bold as the characters who hope to survive and defend one another. Artist Netho Diaz and colorist Thiago Ribeiro combine to bring D&D to life. The blizzard conditions are realistic, and the clothing is distinct, providing a sense of texture. The colors further burst these drawings from the pages with amazing reds, greens, blues, and pinks that help to identify each of our heroes despite gale-force winds.
As if following some lucky roll of the dice, our heroes find sanctuary from the snowstorm and must deal with their recent failings in their last quest. Each character shows signs of sorrow, doubt, or resilience. It is an important aspect to the story, as writer Jim Zub elaborates on the strengths of these relationships. In one instance, one friend must remind another to avoid discussing inevitable doom as if there aren’t any other options. This simple heated exchange provides a recharge for the group, which turns out to be perfect timing, as they hope to avoid detection from a group of large, spiked club-wielding ogres.
Along with this tale, Zub provides a lengthy introduction to bring readers up to speed. This resource is valuable to understand the dangers this team has already met, yet this comic book absolutely stands on its own without any prior knowledge. In addition to the intro, personal bios are created for each of the five adventurers. There is a colorful headshot and a description of their strengths and personality, which makes this comic book have a role-playing game kind of a feel. What character would you want to be? Would it be the brave and “not too bright” one who happens to also come equipped with a “miniature giant space hamster” named Boo? Or would you prefer to wield magic as a “sorceress moon-elf” who can level beasts off their feet and even transport people to other places? Perhaps you would prefer to be a master of archery as a “halfling rogue” with enough spunk to fight anyone of any size?
The game is set and Dungeons & Dragons: Frost Giant’s Fury #1 will be available on Wednesday, January 11, in print and digital form.