(W) John Rogers (A) Denis Medri, Horacio Domingues, Juanan, Guido Guidi, Vicente Alcazar, Nacho Arranz, Andres Ponce (A/CA) Andrea Di Vito In Shops: Jun 30, 2021 SRP: $39.99
Expand on your gaming experience with this graphic novel that includes three Game Adventures featuring the characters of Fell’s Five!
Join Adric Fell, the halfling Bree Three-Hands, the dwarf Khal Khalundurrin, the tiefling Tisha Swornheart, and the elf Varis in a tale of high adventure and deep secrets. Adric Fell leads a band of wayward heroes in a world where civilization has been reduced to a few scattered points of light amid a rising tide of shadows.
Plus, play as the heroes of the book in three Game Adventures created for this series, replicating pivotal scenes in the story as roleplaying game encounters. You can use these as the foundation for a longer adventure of your own creation, or you can simply play them as a short excursion!
Diamond Select Toys is known for their wide range of dynamic collectibles. Hasbro is the home of many of the world’s greatest toy and entertainment brands. Now, the two companies will partner up on a new line of collectibles based on some of Hasbro’s biggest names!
The new range will include products based on Transformers, G.I. Joe, Power Rangers, classic animated Dungeons & Dragons, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, Magic: The Gathering, and Jem and the Holograms. Products will include both retro-styled collectibles as well as items based on the newest iterations of the characters. It is DST’s first time working on Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering, two fantasy brands that continue to capture the imagination of fans worldwide.
The new range will span multiple categories of collectibles, including Gallery Diorama PVC sculptures, Premier Collection and Milestones resin statues, Legends in 3D half-scale busts and Minimates mini-figures. The first products will launch in Fall 2021 at comic shops, specialty stores and drug stores worldwide.
The forces of evil are back in Baldur’s Gate and this time, they have some truly heinous stuff planned in Dungeons & Dragons: Infernal Tides. As they try to force the plane of Avernus into the more natural world, a group of heroes will need to rise up and stop them. A group with a good balance of skills. Possibly, one with a miniature giant space hamster. Yes, Minsc and company return to Baldur’s Gate to kick butts.
I feel that there is a lot to like about Dungeons & Dragons: Infernal Tides. It brings back Jim Zub and Max Dunbar. All the creative teams have knocked it out of the park but Zub is a bit more involved with the properties and it just shows in how these tales are delivered. Quickly, you know who is who and what they can do. We see the threat quickly and the story builds them up. But, the one thing I think that might be the most important is that when you have a cast like the one that Infernal Tides has, it’s important to craft their individual voices. Zub makes them feel like a true party and while a character like Minsc has such a strong, outstanding personality, he doesn’t drown everyone out.
Max Dunbar illustrates another great Dungeons & Dragons story. Paired with Sebastian Cheng, David Garcia Cruz, and Neil Uyetake, Infernal Tides features a lot of great character design and action sequences. I thought there was a really great 2-page splash in issue 2. As someone who has been reading these adventures since Evil At Baldur’s Gate, it’s good to have a colorist that I think is perfect for Max Dunbar’s art.
Ultimately, IDW Publishing does Dungeons & Dragons right. I’ve been really happy with all of the stories they’ve done but I do feel there’s something a bit more special, exciting and enjoyable about Jim Zub and Max Dunbar working on a tale set in Baldur’s Gate. Dungeons & Dragons: Infernal Tides ends up as another truly enjoyable tale of Minsc and company that’s sure to keep fantasy readers enthralled.
Story: Jim Zub Art: Max Dunbar Colors: Sebastian Cheng, David Garcia Cruz Letters: Neil Uyetake Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0
IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
(W) Jim Zub (A/CA) Max Dunbar In Shops: Feb 17, 2021 SRP: $17.99
A new D&D® campaign begins as the odyssey following the Baldur’s Gate heroes continues in this graphic novel adventure! Minsc and his friends are caught in the middle of devil-tainted corruption that has taken hold of Baldur’s Gate. Unravelling the secret of its source will take our heroes to unexpected places and threaten the sanctity of their very souls. Even if they survive this perilous journey, there will be hell to pay!
Dungeons & Dragons: At the Spine of the World #2 (of 4)
(W) AJ Mendez, Aimee Garcia (A/CA) Martin Coccolo In Shops: Dec 30, 2020 SRP: $3.99
As Runa, Saarvin, Patience, Amos, and Belvyre trek across the icy tundra in search of a hidden city whose magic could help save their own, they find themselves at the mercy of the blighted landscape… and hunted by unimaginable monsters.
Based on the massively popular game and featuring a brand-new cast of characters, written by New York Times bestselling author AJ Mendez and writer/actor Aimee Garcia!
Welcome back to Super-Articulate! We’re taking a momentary pause in my running catch-up with a few lines to take a look at the brand new Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms Drizzt & Guenhwyvar two-pack. The Exclusive set is still up for pre-order on Hasbro Pulse (specifically, here) for $39.99, and has a projected shipping date of December 18. We would like to thank Hasbro, as this set was provided free from them for the purposes of review. And since we have it in hand, let’s get to it.
Historical Note: The first thing that I want to say about this is: it’s about time. I’ve been looking forward to the notion of some of D&D’s big characters making it to figure form for years. Yes, I do indeed remember the LJN line fondly and have a number of them in a tub in the basement (that’s right; even with the pictures you’ve seen, I still have stuff that isn’t displayed. Fear me.).But as for the characters based on the novels, this is uncharted territory. I think it’s fair to say that the Drizzt and the Dragonlance crew are the most popular of all of these characters, but Drizzt certainly enjoys the single greatest cult of personality. If Hasbro is exploring D&D in the upscale 6” figure style, he’s absolutely the logical first choice.
It also makes a lot of sense for Hasbro to tap into this audience. They own the property, they know that there are a lot of crossover fans of this material and figure lines they already have, and they have the craftspersons to make it worth while. While I was never the most intense or devoted gamer, I got into it a long time ago (photographic evidence presented), and I’m quite excited to see what else they might come up with in this way.
Literary Note: If you aren’t familiar with Drizzt Do’Urden, here’s a bit of background. D&D originators TSR successfully launched Dragonlance in 1984 as both a new campaign setting AND a series of novels. Ed Greenwood had created his Realms setting in the ‘60s, and it was introduced into D&D as the Forgotten Realms in 1987. That same year, the Realms hit novels with Darkwalker on Moonshae. The publisher decided to dig into another area of the Realms for a new series, and writer R.A. Salvatore elected to set a trilogy in Icewind Dale. In the first book, The Crystal Shard, readers met Drizzt as a supporting character. The ranger soon became wildly popular, playing against the typical presentation of Drow (Dark Elves) as bad guys, instead of becoming an honorable badass with internal conflicts. Drizzt has appeared in 36 books as of this writing.
The Figures: Hasbro rolled a nat 20, kids. First off, the packaging is terrific. It’s got great art including a town backdrop that you could remove and use. There are also cards included depicting familiar D&D monsters, like a Beholder. And Hasbro saw fit to include an oversized 20-sided die. (Assuming that Hasbro makes more D&D figures, and I hope they do, they should include different types of die with each figure offering).
As for the figures themselves, this is some terrific work. Let’s look at Guenhwyvar first. Guenhwyvar is the magic panther that first appears in Homeland from 1990, the first book of The Dark Elf Trilogy. The panther was originally summoned a statuette, which is included as an accessory. The creative team did a nice job of sculpting Guenhwyvar; there are multiple points of articulation on the body, allowing for different poses of the legs and feet, and the tail moves as well. There’s some mobility in the head, and a hinged jaw for open-mouth poses. You see in the photos that there are hairlines sculpted in, showing as a solid attention to detail. This is a great companion for the Drizzt figure.
As for the Drizzt sculpt itself, it’s extremely well done. The figure comes with additional hands and one additional head (the attached head is more of an angry or battle expression; the second is more relaxed, even sardonic). Drizzt’s outfit and armor have a great detail of detail and subtle color. The cape is solid but not so rigid that you can’t pose the figure within it. The figure also comes with his necklace that depicts Mielikki, the goddess of rangers.
Two major accessories are Twinkle and Icingdeath, Drizzt’s scimitars. They look great and were clearly sculpted so that fans could tell them apart, given the different hilts. The swords were also made to work with two other accessories, which are sculpted enchantments that slide down over the two blades. That makes them look, well, awesome.
Altogether, this is a tremendous effort on the part of Hasbro. Everything about the set, from the box art to the accessories to the figures themselves, looks top-notch. If this turns out to be a one-shot deal, I understand. But I hope that this set opens the way for many more D&D characters to make their way to collector shelves. Anything else would be, frankly, cold.
First off, a bit of a confession. I love the Dungeons & Dragons comics that IDW Publishing has put out and because of that, I jumped at the opportunity to check out the debut ot the latest mini-series, Dungeons & Dragons: At The Spine Of The World #1. I was a bit down on the fact that it wasn’t going to be another series starring Minsc and it was not going to be written by Jim Zub. For the last few years, he’s written the adventures of one of D & D’s best characters. But, I still love D&D and I thought the non-Zub story A Darkened Wish was exciting.
At The Spine Of The World, so far, is a tale thick in chardalyn, a magical rock of high power, and the mining expedition at the Spine Of The World go berserk on their travel to Ten Towns and more-or-less wipe each other out. A member of the Uthgardt clan sworn to protect the mountain comes across the wagon dogs. As they come back to the wreckage of the wagons, a Remorhaz breaks through everything, looking to finish what’s left of the expedition. From there, it’s a trip to Ten Towns and more trouble, courtesy of the chardalyn.
Part of the fun of these books is seeing what locals or beasts are being used in the story. Getting a town set in Icewind Dale is awesome enough. I’m sure with the Icewind Dale: Rime Of The Frostmaiden campaign being fairly new, it may have been a no-brainer for series writers Aimee Garcia and AJ Mendez to put something together that placed a party within Icewind Dale. They’ve put together a very exciting story with the first issue that feels like a random encounter in a campaign.
My favorite moments with the art was due to the battle. Martin Coccolo’s art was eye-catching in this issue. I loved how the fight between the main characters and the Remorhaz went down. I feel like Coccolo’s detail in his art reminds me a bit of both Andy and Adam Kubert and I mean that as a compliment. He implements a good amount of character detail but nothing too heavy. I wasn’t as impressed with the art when it was a variety of characters just standing around talking. The colors by KatrinaMae Hao were very vibrant. I especially thought the snowy mountain scenes had great color. The 1:25 cover was really superb and well worth checking out.
I love the world that Dungeons & Dragons encompasses and IDW Publishing continues to do right by the properties with their comics. Dungeons & Dragons: At The Spine Of The World #1 has me excited for more issues. There’s something for everyone with these kind of stories and they put a spotlight on folks from all sorts of fantasy walks of life. At The Spine Of The World explodes with a rush of adventure from the get-go and is just the sort of tale any hardened fan of fantasy can enjoy.
Story: Aimee Garcia and AJ Mendez Art: Martin Coccolo Color: Katrina Mae Hao Letterer: Neil Uyetake Edits: Megan Brown and David Hedgecock Story: 7.5 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.5
IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
(W) AJ Mendez, Aimee Garcia (A/CA) Martin Coccolo In Shops: Nov 11, 2020 SRP: $3.99
A never-ending winter’s night is slowly driving an isolated town in the depths of Icewind Dale to the brink of insanity. To save them all, a perilous journey awaits a band of adventurers as they battle a furious icy god and uncover the plot of an ancient primordial evil!
Based on the massively popular game and featuring a cast of brand-new characters written by New York Times bestselling author AJ Mendez plus writer and actor Aimee Garcia!