I’ve played some casual Dungeons & Dragons in the past with some friends, but never delved deep into the lore of the universe, and despite being familiar with the name Baldur’s Gate have never played any of the video games. As such, I was very excited to begin reading the comics.
Sadly, the first issue of Dungeons & Dragons: Evil At Baldur’s Gate is fairly light on the world building, and as such I still don’t have a great deal of a sense of what the world or characters are like.
We’re briefly introduced to a group of adventurers, though we only get to spend any real-time with one of them, Minsc the Mighty. There’s little to compare him against in terms of the rest of his group, as each character quickly splits off to do their own thing after entering the city of Baldur’s Gate; but I do get a sense that he’s the fighter of the team, but is somewhat lacking in the brains department.
I don’t know if Dungeon & Dragons: Evil At Baldur’s Gate is supposed to be comedic, as some of the things that Minsc says are clearly supposed to generate humour, but something about the delivery fails to actually entertain. Rather than being funny, lines such as “I like making ugly people make ugly angry faces”, comes across more annoying and childish than anything else.
However, the people around Minsc appear to be written fairly straight, which could indicate that Minsc himself is just an idiot, rather than the book trying to have ‘silly’ humour. It’s something that I’m more curious to learn in the second issue.
The action in the issue is competent enough, though little stands out as particularly spectacular or noteworthy, though the design of the Oni creature that Minsc fights is interesting. Whilst the monster gets to show off some of his moves against the group of bandits that he fights, some of which is pretty good, the fight against Minsc himself is a little disappointing. They throw each other through a window, performs one ice spell, and then the Oni gets stabbed. It’s very short and anticlimactic more than anything else.
With the second issue set to focus on a pair of thieves, hopefully the story will have a bit more excitement and variety to it over a large man wandering around talking like a fool. The second issue needs something more, some kind of story or character development, more engaging dialogue, or some flashier action, in order to keep interest.
A fairly disappointing start to the story, Minsc the Mighty may not have been the best character to focus on first, but fingers crossed the story will get better.