For some Dungeons & Dragons fans who were looking for more adventure beyond their table, IDW Publishing comic books about it since 2010. The series has been published in a somewhat irregular fashion with a couple of different writers taking up the helm. But the ones that really caught media attention the past few years were the ones written by Jim Zub, whose stories kicked off in late 2014 and has had a hand in nearly every D&D comic since. Including the massively popular Rick and Morty crossover back in 2019 with Patrick Rothfuss. Recently, IDW released what we're guessing is the first graphic novel collection of Zub's work on the franchise with Days Of Endless Adventure. We were lucky enough to receive a physical copy of the book to check out and review it for you.
So let's start with the basics in that this is no average collection as it boasts 376 pages of content. The book spans three complete adventures written by Zub with some fine artistic talent behind it. The first collection is Legends Of Baldur's Gate with art from Max Dunbar, the second is Shadows Of The Vampire drawn up by Nelson Daniel, and the third is Frost Giant's Fury with artwork by Netho Diaz. Each one is a five-issue-mini-series which spans from October 2014 to July 2017. So you're getting 15 issues total with nearly three years worth of storytelling. Each set serves a very specific purpose in the canon of the characters you're introduced to. The first set brings about proper introductions and forming up the party of characters and dealing with a crisis, the second set gives you a familiar villain to Dungeons & Dragons lore, and the third, quite frankly, goes off the rails on purpose with an insane adventure that few mortals would ever dare tread into.
While keeping the review spoiler-free, Legends Of Baldur's Gate does in five issues what most comics can't accomplish in a year. Which is establishing characters that you enjoy and want to see have great success without playing up to any one specific class or character trope. It does come with the advantage of having the popular D&D character Minsc and his hamster sidekick Boo from the Baldur's Gate series of adventures, novels, and video games included in the mix, but we feel like he's more or less there to give old-school fans of the game a familiar face rather than just lumping five characters together who have no reason to be there. You get a little taste of everything in this first round of books, including a dragon, and a chance for everyone to show off what they're great at while having a little bit of internal conflict and showmanship. It's honestly one of the better comic books you could give to a first-timer if you want to expose them to the world of D&D.
Shadows Of The Vampire is probably our favorite of the bunch as it introduces you to one of the longest-running villains in the game, Strahd von Zarovich from the Ravenloft adventures. If you haven't caught on to the title yet, Strahd is the vampire of all vampires in this world, and with him comes the usual array of horror, darkness, bloodshed, and standing guard in the middle of the night so you don't join his army of darkness. If you're into horror or just the ever-present danger that comes with certain kinds of storytelling, this is the one for you. The final set of books is Frost Giant's Fury, which to be blunt, is where they throw you into the deep end of Dungeons & Dragons lore and possibilities. As you can see from the photo below, a sight few adventuring parties would like to see, with a dozen Frost Giants looking down on you ready to slaughter. After the last adventure, this is the one that really tests the party and everything they've gone through while in some of the coldest places with danger at every turn. Oh, and did we mention a twist at the end?
It wouldn't be a proper graphic novel collection without some bonus material included. Between every issue, you see the cover artwork framed in a new black and gold presentation along the borders. The back of the book features a mix of official artwork from Dungeons & Dragons' various adventure books and promotional material, as well as alternative artwork for certain scenes and even a few sketches of the characters as you can see the work that went into making them come to life. You also get character sheets for all five of the main party characters including Delina, Krydle, Minsc, Nerys, and Shandie. Not to mention the awesome cover art from artist Hydro74, who also made an alternative cover in the back of the book.
Dungeons & Dragons: Days Of Endless Adventure is one of the better adventure comics out there, as you're given a concise and thrilling set of stories in a world that's easy to get into. Zub did an amazing job of making this series easy to get into and hook you for the long-haul. While also, for the most part, pleasing past and current D&D fans by holding true to a universe he clearly knows well and understands. Not to mention having some talented artists to work with who knew exactly what to go for and brought these adventures to life, each in their own way over all three mini-series. We will concede, it probably isn't for every fantasy reader out there. If you're looking for your traditional knight in shining armor slaying a dragon while picking up treasure, this isn't your kind of series. We highly recommend it if you're looking for an adventure story that doesn't quite follow the norm but doesn't completely go off the rails either. Its a slice of something different that doesn't read like other adventure comics out there, which fits perfectly with the motif of the tabletop RPG franchise it's based on. The collection currently seels for $30 physical and $23 for a digital PDF.