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Posts with tag Warcraft-Comics

Know Your Lore: The vengeance of Vindicator Maraad

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

We don't exactly know a lot about Vindicator Maraad, despite the fact that he is one of the first draenei we ever saw, one of the featured characters in the original trailer for Burning Crusade. What small pieces we've seen of the Vindicator have been largely isolated to comics and short stories, capped with a small appearance in game that was never really expanded upon. For a character with a background like Maraad, it's almost a pity that he hasn't been properly utilized until now.

Lords of War aired its final episode earlier this week, featuring Maraad and more of his story -- a tragic tale of an era we've only really read about, but never actually seen. The brutality of Shattrath's slaughter was hard to watch, but harder to watch was Maraad's struggle -- a struggle shared by the remainder of the draenei race on Azeroth. But if Maraad is seeking vengeance, retribution, or vindication on Draenor, he may be sorely disappointed.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore, Warlords of Draenor

Know Your Lore: Vindicator Maraad

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

He isn't a faction leader. He isn't an important NPC, he doesn't offer any quests. He doesn't even offer any flavor text if you happen to click on him -- he simply stands aboard the Skybreaker, letting other NPCs do all the grunt work of handing out quests and tasks for players. He didn't make an appearance in Cataclysm, nor was he anywhere to be found in Mists of Pandaria. To those who simply play World of Warcraft, completing quests and moving on, he is a nobody -- a peculiar NPC that happens to have a name, standing silent and without any apparent purpose at all.

Yet despite not actually appearing in the expansion, he was the draenei paladin featured in the cinematic for The Burning Crusade. He has his own impressive, deluxe action figure from the DC Unlimited series. And it was revealed at BlizzCon that he will play a major role in the Warlords expansion -- one of a few draenei mentioned specifically by name. So just who is Vindicator Maraad, and why does he rate all this attention?

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Enter to win World of Warcraft: Bloodsworn

Enter to win World of Warcraft Bloodsworn
Patch days full of new content to play are always good, but why don't we make this patch day just a little bit better? We've got not one, but two copies of World of Warcraft: Bloodsworn to give away, and today seems like the best day to do it! This brand-new graphic novel from DC Comics follows the adventures of a motley group of individuals brought together under the banner of the Horde. Written by Doug Wagner and featuring artwork by Jheremy Raapack, the book clocks in at a solid 152 pages jammed full of action.

Thanks to Blizzard Entertainment, we've got a couple of these graphic novels to give away. Take a look at our spoiler-free review if you'd like more information on the graphic novel -- while the events in the story take place shortly after Cataclysm, the book is very much worth the read and an even better addition to your bookshelf.

Interested? To enter for a chance to win, leave a comment on this post before 11:59 p.m. ET, Tuesday, September 17, 2013. You must be 18 years of age or older and a legal resident of the United States or Canada (excluding Quebec). You can only enter once. Two winners will be chosen at random and we will contact you via whatever method you've used to comment. Official rules here.


Filed under: Blizzard, Contests

Bloodsworn graphic novel now available

Bloodsworn
Lore fans will likely be happy to hear that Bloodsworn, the companion graphic novel to Dark Riders, is now available. While Dark Riders, released earlier this year, told the story of the eponymous Dark Riders we met through quests in Darkshire, Bloodsworn is the tale of a small band of disparate Horde warriors determined to prove their worth to their new warchief: Garrosh Hellscream.

Yes, the graphic novel requires going back in time just a tad; it's set shortly after the start of Cataclysm, and as our own Anne Stickney pointed out in her review it invites a bit of wistful nostalgia as a result. Depending on your perspective you may or may not enjoy that aspect of it. Nonetheless, if you're a fan of Blizzard's ancillary products, it's certainly worth checking out. You can grab it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the Blizzard Store.

Filed under: News items, Lore

Review of World of Warcraft: Bloodsworn

Review of World of Warcraft Bloodsworn
Much like its counterpart Dark Riders, World of Warcraft: Bloodsworn is long, long overdue. Luckily, those that have been waiting for the new graphic novel from writer Doug Wagner don't have long to wait -- Bloodsworn will be released next Tuesday, August 27. While Dark Riders tackled some of the Alliance characters introduced in the 2009 special issue of the Warcraft comic series, Bloodsworn tackles the Horde characters introduced in the final edition.

Although Dark Riders dove headfirst into familiar waters for those that follow Warcraft lore, Bloodsworn takes a different road entirely, giving us a behind the scenes glimpse of Garrosh's Horde. Taking place shortly after Cataclysm, Bloodsworn follows the tale of several different Horde characters, brought together and united to investigate and uncover the motives and actions of a seemingly new breed of centaur that are intent on wiping the Horde from the face of Azeroth.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore

Chronological novel, short story and comic guide updates

Chronological novel, short story and comic guide updates
If you've wanted to get caught up on the Warcraft print material, but didn't know where to start, we have a guide for you -- and it's been caught up to date. WoW Insider's Chronological Guide covers all novels, comics, manga and short stories, but presents them not in publication order, but in the order they appear in the Warcraft timeline -- which means you can start from the beginning of Azeroth's history and read your way through the years.

For reference purposes, the print material has been grouped with the game and expansion in which it takes place, making it even easier to get caught up. All works that take place over multiple points in the timeline have been listed with multiple entries and notated with mention of where they appear. At the moment, we're all caught up through Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde and the latest WoW short story, The Blank Scroll. Whether you're wondering when that book you just read actually took place, or you're just wanting to get a start on Azeroth's lore, the chronological guide will help you out.

Filed under: Blizzard, Lore, Comics

Enter to win World of Warcraft: Dark Riders

Enter to win World of Warcraft Dark Riders
Have you ever wondered just what's up with the Dark Riders of Deadwind Pass? Now's your chance to find out. We've got not one, but two hardcover copies of World of Warcraft: Dark Riders to give away. The latest graphic novel to hit the shelves courtesy of DC Comics, Dark Riders is written by Mike Costa and features some amazing art by Neil Googe. It's 144 pages of Alliance entertainment, filling in the gaps in the story of the mysterious Scythe of Elune, as well as the mystery of the Dark Riders themselves.

Thanks to Blizzard Entertainment, we've got a couple of these graphic novels to give away. Take a look at our spoiler-free review if you'd like more information on the graphic novel -- it's a amazingly well-done book, well-deserving of a spot on the bookshelf.

To enter for a chance to win, leave a comment on this post before 11:59 p.m. ET, Wednesday, June 26, 2013. You must be 18 years of age or older and a legal resident of the United States or Canada (excluding Quebec). You can only enter once. Two winners will be chosen at random and we will contact you via whatever method you've used to comment. Official rules here.

Filed under: Blizzard, Contests

Review of World of Warcraft: Dark Riders

Review of World of Warcraft Dark Riders
Before I even begin, I'm going to state the one thing that's been on my mind, and likely the mind of anyone else waiting for this particular title: It's about time. World of Warcraft: Dark Riders is the offshoot of the World of Warcraft comic series, specifically, the characters introduced in the 2009 special issue of the series written by Mike Costa. Yes, we have been waiting for this graphic novel for four years now. Was it worth the wait? Absolutely.

Costa continues the tale started in that special issue and takes the reins of Dark Riders, skillfully weaving together one of those stories that isn't so much dependent on current game lore. In fact, it really doesn't address current game events at all. Instead, it takes the bold step of filling the gap between events that played out in WoW itself -- the disappearance of the Scythe of Elune from Duskwood and its sudden reappearance in Gilneas. And if that weren't enough, there's a wild trip through Karazhan and the questionable origin of the Dark Riders themselves, explained for the first time.

But that's really just the tip of the iceberg here.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore

New World of Warcraft: Bloodsworn teaser images

New World of Warcraft Bloodstorm teaser images
Once upon a time, World of Warcraft had its very own comic series. The series ended in 2009 with a special one-shot issue that shared a tantalizing glimpse of more comics to come. Since then, the world of WoW comics has been by and large silent, except for rumors of two graphic novel projects. The first, Dark Riders, is slated for release this May. And now we have some new information and images to share from the other project that has until now been under wraps -- World of Warcraft: Bloodsworn. Along with some exclusive images from the graphic novel, Blizzard has shared with us a summary of the story.
As the Cataclysm rips through Azeroth, Warchief Garrosh Hellscream orders the best warriors of the Horde to come forward and serve in a new army, lest their foes in the Alliance sense weakness and attack. We meet these warriors as they come forward - from very different lands, backgrounds, traditions...Will they be able to overcome their deep differences and work together to serve the Horde, especially when challenged by a powerful, unfamiliar race claiming to be the real rulers of Azeroth?
From both the summary and the amount of time its been in development, it looks as though Bloodsworn takes place prior to Mists of Pandaria. While we likely won't see any of our pandaren pals, getting a closer look at the Horde and Hellscream's war machine during the tumultuous events of Cataclysm is apt to be fascinating. And what's up with that powerful, unfamiliar race? Ordinarily I'd say mogu, but I doubt we're dealing with Mists content.

World of Warcraft: Bloodsworn is now available for pre-order on Amazon for the low price of $14.28. Although Amazon currently has the release date for the graphic novel listed as August 13, 2013, please note that release dates may change. And if you'd like a further glimpse of what's in store, take a look at our gallery for an exclusive sneak-peek of the graphic novel.


Filed under: News items, Lore

StarCraft: Kerrigan -- Hope and Vengeance free on Comixology

StarCraft Kerrigan  Hope and Vengeance free on Comixology
This week, we had patch 5.2 to contend with, but next week it's all about the launch of StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm for plenty of players. Blizzard has been slowly releasing promotional material for the new game, including a new cinematic and a pretty fascinating viral advertising campaign called Project Blackstone, which is still being updated as the time ticks down to Heart of the Swarm's launch. And now we have another piece -- a comic about Kerrigan and a glimpse at what she's been through that takes place at some point after she was rescued at the end of Wings of Liberty.

Kerrigan -- Hope and Vengeance #0 is a relatively short comic, but the art and writing is top-notch. And here's the kicker -- it's absolutely free. You don't have to pay for the comic, you simply plunk it in your cart, checkout and read. The comic is a fairly brisk 8 pages, but with a story by Cameron Dayton and some really stunning art by Zoddd, not to mention the absence of a price tag, this is a nice treat for StarCraft fans.

To my knowledge, this is the first time Blizzard's ever offered a free digital comic of this scope. And it does make one wonder.

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Filed under: Blizzard, News items, StarCraft 2

Know Your Lore: Top 10 lore developments of 2012, part 1

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

2012 was a bit of an odd year for World of Warcraft. While yes, we did see the successful launch of Mists of Pandaria, that didn't happen until September. Prior to that? There was a whole lot of nothing in game. Patch 4.3 came out in November of 2011, which meant that players had nothing new or exciting to look at for nine months -- an astonishingly long period of time. So why bother doing a top 10 lore developments for 2012, you may ask?

Because the moment Mists of Pandaria hit live servers, we were inundated with so many different lore developments, changes and tweaks that there is more than enough material for this list. Oddly enough, although we definitely spent far more time this year entrenched in Cataclysm, it already feels like there's been more time spent in Pandaria overall. And the changes made to lore development between Cataclysm and Mists are something we should pay attention to, because they spell the beginnings of a very bright future for further Warcraft lore.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Blizzard headed to New York Comic Con

Blizzard releases New York Comic Con schedule
If you're headed to New York Comic Con this week, keep your eyes peeled for Blizzard. Blizzard Entertainment will have both panels and signings at NYCC this year, including a publishing panel with Blizzard Publishing Lead Micky Neilson, Lead Quest Designer Dave Kosak, and author Michael Stackpole. During the panel, they'll be revealing the next World of Warcraft novel, which should be the Vol'jin story mentioned during the AMA on Reddit last month. Judging from his presence at the panel, it's likely this is the story Stackpole will be writing.

You can catch the panel Saturday, October 13 from 2:45-3:45pm in Room 1A14 at the Javits Center in New York. There will also be a panel from UDON on Friday, October 12 from 7:45-8:45pm in Room 1A06. The UDON panel will be giving a scoop on a future collaboration between Blizzard and UDON, a Blizzard-themed tribute art book and contest. And if you're looking to get your copy of Pearl of Pandaria signed by the author and artist, you can find Micky Neilson and Sean "Cheeks" Galloway at the IDC Booth, #1238, on Friday from 12-1pm.

Blizzard will also have a presence at a ton of booths around the convention center, everything from Mega Bloks to comics and publishing. For the full list of scheduled events and booths, head the official website.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

World of Warcraft: Dark Riders now available for preorder

World of Warcraft Dark Riders now available for preorder ANY
Once upon a time, there was a Warcraft comic series. It ended in 2009 with a special issue that featured an entirely new cast of characters, both Alliance and Horde. The premise was that the series would continue on with two individual comics, one Alliance-themed, and one Horde. This shifted over the years into two graphic novels -- World of Warcraft: Blood Sworn for the Horde and World of Warcraft: Dark Riders for the Alliance.

While we've heard nothing more about Blood Sworn other than it's in development, Blizzplanet has some new news for those waiting eagerly for Dark Riders. You can now preorder Dark Riders on Amazon.com for $21.04, and it has a release date set for May 7, 2013. This 144-page hardcover graphic novel from DC Comics features an all-new story by Michael Costa, better known for his work on Transformers, and artwork by the talented Neil Googe.

Dark Riders revolves around the story of the Scythe of Elune and, more importantly, the mysterious Dark Riders of Deadwind Pass, who have been mentioned more than once in quests but never really delved into. The title characters for the book are not your usual Warcraft heroes. They're adventurers like us -- ordinary Azeroth folk who have been plunged into extraordinary situations. It's been a long time coming, but I'm looking forward to finally having this one in my hands.

Filed under: News items, Lore

Breakfast Topic: Are there some things you wish weren't canon?

Image
I liked the Warcraft comics, for the most part. Keep in mind that I say this as someone with 18 boxes of various DC and independently published comics in my closet. That said, I like comic books -- superheroes are pretty awesome. Superhero comics generally have an in-your-face quality to them, the characters are larger than life, and the stories are ridiculously complicated. In a way, it's kinda like a soap opera, only on paper with less weeping and more kicking butt. So the Warcraft comics fit quite nicely into that niche of superhero comic, in my opinion. The stories were pretty epic, there was always something going on, and the characters were larger than life.

But oh, how I wish Med'an did not exist in official canon. It's one thing to have an overpowered character in a comic book introduced for some sort of overarching epic tale; it's another thing altogether to try and shoehorn that character into a franchise full of characters that have a small spark of reality to them. Don't get me wrong -- there were plenty of things I loved about the comics series that were taken into canon. The split-personality Varian was a really intriguing element that has been pushed into what ultimately I see as a really unique way of developing his character beyond random king #3 or #4.

Med'an, on the other hand, has no redeeming emotional aspect; he's just a flat-out superhero. He doesn't appear to have any weaknesses whatsoever, and his introduction threw a wrench into Garona's character that I didn't particularly care for, not to mention Medivh's. His arrival seemed like it was solely for the purpose of telling a good superhero comic story, with no real root in Warcraft. And the fact that he's the hybrid of three races all from different planets is just a little too over the top from the standpoint of simple biology.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Sunday Morning Funnies: Testing

Sunday Morning Funnies is your weekly list of WoW-related web comics.

What's on the list this week? A birth, a pretty powerful telescope, some unusual daycare inmates, some very creative roleplay, a zealous quest giver and ... well, you'll just have to read for yourselves.

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Filed under: Sunday Morning Funnies

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