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Posts with tag comics

Know Your Lore: Med'an, Cho'gall and the Prophecy

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.

WARNING:
The following post contains spoilers for World of Warcraft: The Comic. Players who are currently reading through the comics or simply wish to avoid spoilers from the series should avoid this post.

We're taking a step back from Alliance politics this week in light of some new information from the 3.3.5 PTR. The servers have been laggy and somewhat unstable, but I've still been able to log on and play through a few things. One of those things is an interesting new quest chain available in Orgrimmar involving Doomsday Cultists who are suddenly making appearances in the Drag and talking about the end of the world as we know it.

The biggest thing that sparked my interest was mention of Cho'gall. Matthew Rossi did an excellent write-up of the Twilight's Hammer and their leader Cho'gall, but what struck my interest was that Cho'gall's presence in game may lead to more interplay between story lines from the Warcraft comic series and World of Warcraft itself. However, while I made the connection readily enough, there are plenty out there who haven't read the comics and have no idea who Cho'gall, Med'an or any of the other characters I've referenced in previous posts actually are.

In light of this, today we're going to be talking about the last half of the Warcraft comics series -- what happened in them, who was introduced, who died, what happened with Cho'gall, why Silithus was suddenly relevant again, and most of all, who the heck that Med'an kid is that I've been going on about. As I will be talking about these things in detail, this post is absolutely brim full of spoilers for the comics series; readers who are interested in picking up the comics and reading through them may want to veer away from this post.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

World of Warcraft: Shaman manga preview

Do you like World of Warcraft? Do you like comics and/or manga? If you answered yes to either question, then I highly recommend you check out the newest upcoming WoW manga by Tokyopop titled World of Warcraft: Shaman. Written by Paul Benjamin (Starcraft: Frontline) and drawn/inked by the ever-talented Roccio Zucchi (World of Warcraft: Death Knight), this will be the next installment of the WoW class-themed comics.

World of Warcraft: Shaman follows the epic tale of one Muln Earthfury, leader of the shamanistic group known as the Earthen Ring. Muln and his fellow shaman become concerned over time, as the elements they worked so closely with start becoming unresponsive and exceedingly violent. Just when it looks like all hope is lost, in comes Shotoa -- a mysterious tauren shaman who doesn't just work with the elements, but brutally forces them to do his bidding. Shotoa promises power and grandeur for the ancient organization, claiming that Muln has lost his power. He vows to lead his followers into a grand new era of shamanism, but Muln and his people must decide if Shotoa is honoring their traditions, or desecrating them.

I like the way this manga has a nice tie-in to the upcoming Cataclysm expansion. If Deathwing's arrival is going to force open several elemental planes, it makes a lot of sense that the resident spirits of Azeroth are going to be in upheaval. There is also very little known about Muln himself. All we know is that he leads the Earthen Ring. Other than that, he's kept a pretty low profile. We'll also get to meet Kettara Bloodthirst, his spunky-looking orc apprentice. Once again, Blizzard is using the idea of trans-media to their advantage and exploring major lore characters that otherwise would be overlooked in-game.

World of Warcraft: Shaman will be available in October 2010.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Comics

Death Knight manga is as good as it gets

The first of Tokyopop's class-themed manga hit the shelves early in December. World of Warcraft: Death Knight written by Dan Jolley and illustrated by Rocio Zucchi, the manga is a self-contained 166-page story detailing the life of a notable Death Knight, Thassarian, the first of the Lich King's rune-wielding champions to join the Alliance. I'm a huge fan of Tokyopop's comics made for the Warcraft universe and think that the Warcraft Legends series contain some of the best stories told about the Blizzard franchise.

The Death Knight manga kicks off a new direction in Tokyopop's Warcraft manga series, taking a break from short story compilations and focusing on a lore character representative of a specific class. The story of Thassarian, as previewed in October last year, explores the World of Warcraft in-depth through a biographical story that follows the hero's origins as a soldier of Lordaeron who falls and is raised as one of Arthas' minions. To make things simple, I'll give my thoughts on the book right before the break and explain it afterward -- it's a wonderful, well-written and beautifully illustrated comic that I highly recommend to any fan of Warcraft comics. It's good. Now that we've got that out of the way, let's dive into the meat of the manga after the break.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Lore, Death Knight, Comics

WoW.com's gift guide for 2009

It's that time of year again -- if you (like me) haven't gotten gifts for everyone on your list, it's time to start scrambling to find something nice to get under the tree this year. Fortunately, you don't have to worry about finding something good for the World of Warcraft fan in your life: we've got you covered there. In the gallery below, we've got a nice bunch of gift ideas for everything Warcraft, from the cheap to the expensive, from the silly to the practical, from in-game presents you can wrap with shiny paper, to out-of-game classics that you can... also wrap with shiny paper. If you need to give a gift to a WoW player this year, you'll find it below for sure.

And if you happen to be a Warcraft player, faced with the annual awkward question of "What do you want me to give you this year?", just feel free to drop this link surreptitiously as a reply, maybe even with a hint or two towards a specific item. We've included links to everything and kept it easy to understand even for someone who hasn't visited Azeroth before. That's our gift to you. Happy holidays, and good gift hunting!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Guides, Galleries, Fan art

Sneak peek at World of Warcraft comic No. 24

BlizzPlanet reports that Wildstorm has released a preview of the latest World of Warcraft comic which will set the stage for the finale of the current story arc.

The summary of the issue is kind of spoiler-ish for those who haven't read everything yet, so we've posted the full review after the break.

And if you don't want to know such things, don't read! Interesting stuff though...

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Lore, Comics

World of Warcraft comic splits into Horde and Alliance

Just like the Primal Ooze from Un'goro Crater -- except less slimy and without bones sticking out of it -- the World of Warcraft comic has split into two distinct books. Just as promised, the series from Wildstorm will now also feature Horde characters in addition to an Alliance story. BlizzPlanet reports that the two titles, dubbed World of Warcraft: Horde and World of Warcraft: Alliance, will kick off on January 6 and 20, respectively. While the Horde comic starts off at Issue No. 1, the Alliance comic is starts at No. 26, seemingly picking up where the original series, which showcased Alliance faction leader Varian Wrynn, left off.

This should be great news for all comic fans, particularly Horde players, who haven't had representation in Wildstorm's take on the game world. World of Warcraft: Horde follows the story of an orc hunter named Malgar and his tauren ally -- presumably an enhancement Shaman from the cover art -- Ironhoof, which probably means they'll fight over the same loot. Written by Doug Wagner and drawn by Batgirl artist Pop Mahn, the story focuses on "the harsher side of Kalimdor". We presume that means Barrens chat.

On the other side of the spectrum, World of Warcraft: Alliance follows the father and son tandem of Karlain and Mardigan, a Mage and Warrior who don't quite get along. I mean, if you were some scholarly ectomorph, you probably would be disappointed in your doofus, jock son. Written by Hawksmoor's Mike Costa and drawn by brit Neil Googe, the series promises "murder, a mysterious quest for a powerful artifact, and some fist-pounding action!" It's just what the doctor ordered. And by doctor I mean your mom. The one who wears army boots.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Comics

Sneak peek at Tokyopop's Death Knight manga


Not long after Tokyopop announced its 2010 schedule, which actually includes a late 2009 release, BlizzPlanet unveiled scans from the first chapter of Dan Jolley and Rocio Zucchi's World of Warcraft: Death Knight. The story features Thassarian, an NPC first encountered in Ebon Hold and later in the Alliance airship flying above Icecrown. Jolley delves deeper into Thassarian's past, telling his history as a human Alliance soldier with dreams of rising through the ranks but who eventually becomes ensnared under the Lich King's employ.

Intended to give insight into the different World of Warcraft classes, the Death Knight manga is the first of a series of class-focused full-length stories. Rocio Zucchi is a 22-year old Argentinian female manga artist, and her work on this book is simply sensational, if the first pages are any indication. Jolley employs a lot of flashbacks in the preview, and Zucci handles the storytelling transitions deftly. The book hits the shelves on December 1, 2009, and if you enjoyed Tokyopop's take on the World of Warcraft universe, Death Knight looks to be an equally entertaining read.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight, Comics

Tokyopop announces 2010 schedule for Warcraft manga


If you're a fan of Tokyopop's take on the World of Warcraft -- I know I certainly am -- then you should be excited to know that the line-up for 2010 has been announced. The first series from Tokyopop was the Sunwell trilogy, written by Richard Knaak and drawn expertly by Kim Jae-Hwan. It dealt with the events of the Sunwell and featured characters prominent in the game such as Kalecgos and Anveena Teague. The second series was called World of Warcraft: Legends, a recently concluded five-volume affair that uniquely told various stories of Azeroth's lesser-known folks.

For 2010, Tokyopop plans to kick off class-based stories starting with the popular Death Knight, featuring Thassarian, the first Death Knight to rejoin the Alliance. According to BlizzPlanet, this full-volume comic written by Dan Jolley and drawn by Rocio Zucchi is slated for December 2010 although they probably mean this coming December, 2009. This will be followed by World of Warcraft: Mage, written by Richard Knaak and drawn by an as-yet-unrevealed artist, which will be available on June 7, 2010. Would Knaak + Mage mean more Rhonin? I certainly hope not -- I think we've just about had enough of the super-heroic, time-traveling, ultra-powerful Mage who actually taught Illidan Stormrage how to use magic (don't ask). Rhonin is kind of like the Chuck Norris of Mages.

The most curious of the three volumes is World of Warcraft: Shaman, which is due for a "late 2010" release. Blizzard works closely with Tokyopop for all its manga, and all the stories are considered canon (Trag Highmountain even made it into the game). The Shaman book is rumored to be Cataclysm-related, although it's a good bet that the game's third expansion will be out by late 2010. There is no official word yet on who will write or draw the comic, but I personally enjoyed Tokyopop Warcraft editor Troy Lewter's stories in Legends so much that I look forward to him writing a full-volume comic. How about Carlos Olivares for the art? I appreciated his unique, almost whimsical style in Legends. He also draws wonderful Goblins, whom as we all know can roll Shamans in the next expansion. As always, stay tuned to WoW.com as we bring you the latest on Tokyopop's Warcraft manga.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Comics

WoW Rookie: Reading about Warcraft

New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the basics of a good start in the World of Warcraft. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic, and be sure to visit the WoW.com WoW Rookie Guide for links to all our tips, tricks and how-to's.

Even if you're not a roleplayer, it's almost impossible not to find yourself swept up by some aspect of the hundreds of compelling stories tucked into the World of Warcraft. The question is, how can you dig deeper? Where do you find more? The answer: Books ... Manga ... Comics ... RPGs .... Page after page after page of glorious lore. Blizzard approves the storylines and lore included in the Warcraft and World of Warcraft line of novels, although you won't find a straight and clear progression across the whole line. Not every story and character crosses over from books to game (and vice versa).

Besides the Warcraft novels, WoW-starved readers can chew through enough manga, roleplaying game books and gaming guides to sate any lore feeding frenzy. The best part? You enjoy +Lore bonuses to your online play experience. Even the RPG books add color to the overall picture. Follow us beyond the break for a basic reading outline to escort you down Warcraft's path of lore.

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Filed under: Features, The Burning Crusade, Lore, WoW Rookie, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm

Horde-centric comic launching in 2010


So much for fears of audiences not relating to "non-human" heroes. After a successful run featuring the travails of tailored-for-badassness Alliance leader Varian Wrynn, Wildstorm studios announced during the San Diego Comic Con 2009 that the World of Warcraft comic will be splitting into two titles after Issue #25. The issue will conclude the current story arc and will trigger events that will lead to the spinoff of a Horde-centric World of Warcraft comic slated to launch in January, 2010.

Although BlizzPlanet reports that there were little details beyond that - they point to an earlier interview they did with Walt Simonson who dodged the question about such a title - there'll likely be more information in the coming weeks. In particular, players and comic fans alike should prepare for significant announcements regarding this and other projects during BlizzCon. A title featuring the Horde should quell one of the biggest criticisms levied against the comic, and should be a refreshing change of pace.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Comics

The Daily Quest: Best in slot


We here at WoW.com are on a Daily Quest to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere.

Filed under: Druid, Add-Ons, Jewelcrafting, Death Knight, Comics, The Daily Quest

Breakfast Topic: What would you like to see in a WoW comic?


I've been getting back into comics lately, thanks largely to the World of Warcraft. My most recent purchases were the trade paperbacks of Wildstorm's World of Warcraft series and Ashbringer, as well as Tokyopop's Warcraft Legends manga. Since I couldn't get my fix of Hong Kong manhua without actually going to Hong Kong (which makes it kind of hard to keep up with weekly titles like Amazing Weapons 4...), it was a bit easier to head over to our local shops and get some Western comics. What better subject than my favorite game, right?

While I enjoyed Ashbringer, I take a great liking to Warcraft Legends because it explores the other aspects or characters of Azeroth. The ongoing series can focus on well-known guys like Varian Wrynn, but Warcraft Legends are cool side-stories of the unknown guys. That opens up a world of potential. We could see stories about those NPCs we always see all over the place. Maybe we can get a comic about Cro Threadstrong and find out why he hates the fruit vendor so much. How about stories about the wandering "named" NPCs in Dalaran? Minigob Manabonk, maybe?

On the flip side, how about when the characters in the comic stories suddenly make their way into the game? We know Broll Bearmantle and Valeera Sanguinar have their roots in toys and comics, and players can now meet them in WoW. This whole idea of comics as an extension of the game's story is really cool, and I hope Wildstorm and Tokyopop keep putting out great comics and characters. Is there anything in particular about the World of Warcraft that you'd like to see in comic form? A favorite character? A particular period or special event? Share your thoughts!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Lore, Comics

Ashbringer TPB is pretty legendary


It was with a mix of anticipation and apprehension that I wrote about the Ashbringer Trade Paperback by Wildstorm which collects all four issues of the limited series. After all, I wasn't entirely impressed with the regular series featuring Varian Wrynn but thoroughly enjoyed Tokyopop's Warcraft Legends manga, so while I was decided upon getting Ashbringer, I had moderately low expectations.

The good thing about having low expectations is that it's hard to get disappointed. It turns out, however, that I didn't have to set my expectations so low... the Ashbringer comics are a very good read from start to finish, particularly for readers who play World of Warcraft. In fact, that might be its one caveat -- the Ashbringer limited series is a decent read for the average reader but truly shines for players, who are familiar with the story and recognize the characters.

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Filed under: Fan stuff, Lore, Comics

Ashbringer TPB out now

I haven't been a big fan of the whole Alliance-centric direction of the Wildstorm World of Warcraft comics, and I picked up the whole Varian Wrynn saga mostly out of a completist impulse rather than actual concern for the story or its characters. I also thought Ludo Lullabi had better samples of art on his personal site than what he showed in the comic, so when I found out the next story arc was going to be pencilled by Jon Buran, I wasn't too concerned. Buran is doing tremendous work so far. Of course, we all soon learned why Lullabi left the book -- he was tasked with illustrating the Ashbringer story.

The good news is that the Ashbringer comics which follow the story of the legendary blade showcase some of Lullabi's best work yet (with assists from Tony Washington). This owes largely to the spectacular coloring, done Painter-style by either Lullabi himself or an uncredited colorist. The painted covers by Chris Robinson add a sense of awe and wonder to the series, and each issue of the four-parter is rich with lore because it was written by Blizzard's own Micky Neilson. Even better news is that DC Comics has collected the mini-series in a hardcover edition available at your friendly neighborhood comic shop for $19.99. So soon after picking up Warcraft Legends, I think I'll need to make a little more space on my shelves...

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Lore, Comics

Why Varian Wrynn is a fool (and why it may not matter)


For a while now I've been mulling over points raised by Daniel in his much-discussed article, "Why Varian Wrynn Is Right," and we've received a number of requests to address the issue from the Horde's point of view. Well...this article isn't going to do that. It started off that way, and then I realized that Varian's personal issues and the Horde's approach to the problem are really two entirely separate matters. At some point in the future, I'd like to examine the Horde's take on the newly-resurgent antagonism between the factions, because it's not something I can adequately address here without turning this into a 10,000-word tract.

Today, we're going to deal almost exclusively with Varian and his share of responsibility for the current mess. I'm a little ambivalent over Blizzard's decision to include most of the backstory and explanations for Varian's behavior in a comic series, because I think it's one of the factors that's resulted the character's being poorly received by most players. Choosing to include so much of his characterization out of the game in a product most players will never read necessarily impacts how Varian's motives are going to be evaluated. If all you've got to go on is what you see of the king from ingame events...he doesn't look so great. This isn't a defense of Varian so much as a commentary on the somewhat inconsistent approach to his character that's resulted. I haven't read each of the comics, but I'm familiar with the storyline, and this article doesn't assume that you need to have read the out-of-game books or comics in order to follow the argument.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Features, Lore, NPCs, Wrath of the Lich King, Rumors

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