The second issue of the Dungeons and Dragons: Evil At Baldur’s Gate comic takes a big step up in quality this month as the focus shifts from the somewhat dull Minsc the Mighty to the duo of thieves/rogues Krydle and Shandie.
Having returned to Baldur’s Gate after adventuring in Ravenloft and the frozen north, Krydle is faced with some ghosts from his past as he discovers that his former friend turned enemy Burgust is back in the city, having reformed the gang of killer thieves, The Blades.
Whilst the first issue was a fairly shallow tale that didn’t delve into character, this story takes a look into the past of Krydle, giving an insight into his previous time in Baldur’s Gate. The story reveals that he was part of a quartet of thieves called the Outcasts. Having become successful Burgust wanted to form a guild, which the others did not. When one of the group was killed and another captured, Krydle fled the city; though Burgust murdered his mother as punishment.
With Burgust back in the city this gives Krydle a reason to go after him, not only to atone for his past, but to gain justice for his mother. It’s a surprisingly emotional story, one that shows how damaged and troubled by his past Krydle is. Luckily for him, Shandie is there not only to watch his back, but offer him the emotional support that he needs.
The main bulk of the action of the book takes place during Burgust’s assault on The Parliament of Peers, a meeting of the people who run the city. The attack has two aims, to plunge the city into chaos, and to kill Krydle’s father. The sequence is not only entertaining due to the twists and turns that the fighting takes, but also because of the emotion of Krydle fighting to save his father, and the baggage of his lost mother.
With the first issue of the mini-series being something of a disappointment, issue two is a huge improvement and very impressive. Maybe it’s the change over to new characters to focus on (perhaps Minsc isn’t that deep a character to do a story on) but it feels like a completely different book. It’s deeper and more personal, the characters feel like real people, with flaws and motivations that make more sense.
Steve Cummings’ art is good throughout, but looks the best in the scenes where’s there’s some kind of weather or atmosphere look the best. The scene where Shandie comforts a crying Krydle in the rain is particularly stand out, and the fight at the end of the book where the meeting hall is filled with smoke looks great.
With Dungeons and Dragons: Evil At Baldur’s Gate focusing on different characters each issue there’s bound to be changes in quality; it’s not always going to be possible to produce satisfying oneshots each issue. However, this issue is a good indication that quality can improve over that of the first issue.
Dungeons & Dragons: Evil at Baldur’s Gate #2 is now available from IDW Publishing.