The comic is based off the fictional World of Warcraft is a massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG), which currently boasts over eight million (that’s right, million) subscribers. A result of which is that it’s hard to find anyone that hasn’t heard of it. They have released merchandise in just about every form imaginable, and then they thought of one more, comics.
People Behind this new form of WoW
This new form of World of Warcraft is brought to you by Walter Simonson (official website unfound, if anyone has a link for it let me know), who has been around for a long time, some of you may know him as the writer of Thor from 1983-1987, or for the Fantastic Four from 1989-1991. The penciler, Ludo Lullabi, and this appears to be his first foray into the comic book world. The inker, Sandra Hope has worked extensively with DC comics, and does an exceptional job here as well. World of Warcraft is published by Wildstorm Comics.
The story is set after the time of World of Warcraft, and there is an unstable peace between the horde and the alliance. While it looks like it had the potential to get interesting, starts out as the very old and tired ‘Warrior who doesn’t remember his past and had an upstanding sense of honor,’ and if you’d believe it, his parents died in a tragic fire when he was a child and he’s had to fend for himself all his life. If you have played almost any story based (non-sandbox) fantasy RPG in the past 10 years, you know what I’m talking about. They press it as far as to explain to the reader that he likely has amnesia, and it is done in a very convoluted way. That said, the characters are likeable, albeit very stereotypical. The main character, whose name has not yet been discovered, a function of his amnesia no doubt, does present himself as a very likeable reluctant hero. The story opens with our main character defending himself from a crocolisk, and he is captured and forced to become a gladiator. His new friends, a blood elf by the name of Valeera Sanguinar, and a wise night elf druid, named Broll Bearmantle, no depth of character is really revealed in this issue, but the blood elf and the night elf are subject to frequent quarreling, keeping with the World of Warcraft lore. This first installment of the story chronicles the start of their training as gladiators to compete in the arena of Dire Maul. It concludes with a fairly fulfilling fight scene and a cliffhanger, pretty bread and butter for a first issue hook.
Quality of Art
Ludo Lullabi, has an interesting art style that I find myself partial to. It’s a sort of eastern-western fusion. His artwork imbues a sense of motion into the pages. Combining this with cross-panel or out-of-panel artwork, gives the comic a sense of urgency that moves keeps the reader moving where the writing may fall short. The art is somewhat reminiscent of Humberto Ramos, in that the proportions are often not precise or consistant, although this is accepted as being intentional and part of the artistic design even though some may not agree with it, and the characters are outlined heavily. Ludo also makes good use of foreground and background, really bringing the reader into the story. His best work is done on the blood elf female, Valeera Sanguinar, and the main character, whose name is yet unrevealed, but is often referred to as pinkskin. The overall quality of the art is very good, but it does feel as though some sections were rushed, and that others were laboriously created, however the rushed sections are few.
The Big Question: Is It Worth Buying?
While not the most well written comic available out there, it does have some merits that would appeal to all readers, although admittedly it is geared more towards those who play and have played World of Warcraft, and enjoy the lore surrounding it. It keeps to this lore fairly strongly, although some likely debate this, all must concede that it is accurate in it’s portrayal of the different roles and places. It’s worth picking up and reading for a few issues, but if you don’t find yourself getting into it, I would say don’t bother forcing it, it’s nothing you’ll be talking about in a few years; place your hard earned money elsewhere. Still on the fence? More information on the can be found at the WoWwiki site.