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Warcraft: Death Knight

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Warcraft: Death Knight

Warcraft: Death Knight

© 2009 Blizzard Entertainment

The Bottom Line

Warcraft: Death Knight is based on the best-selling Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMPORG), World of Warcraft. It tells the story of Thassarian, a warrior who becomes a Death Knight under the control of the Lich King, and his journey to be freed from the king's grasp.

This action-packed fantasy-adventure fills in the back-story on one of Warcraft’s lesser-known characters. Great character designs and action sequences bring this one-off story to life. WoW players will find a lot to love here, but those unfamiliar with the Warcraft universe may feel left out in the cold.

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Pros

  • Offers a strong character-driven story
  • Great art by an up and coming artist that shows great depth and solid action sequences
  • Solid background story on a key character in the Warcraft universe
  • Warcraft players will love it, as it sets up the in-game story for the newest content in-game
  • Develops a character that many Warcraft players may not be heavily invested in

Cons

  • Story could have used another volume or two for more development of some of the minor characters
  • Non-Warcraft fans may not get as much out of this story
  • Retells many key events most Warcraft players may have already experienced
  • To "finish" the story, you’ll have to play World of Warcraft, which is a heavy time investment

Description

Guide Review - Warcraft: Death Knight

Warcraft: Death Knight is based on World of Warcraft, a PC-based MMORPG. Players choose from a variety of players and classes to play as, including the Death Knight.

Death Knights are the newest class in the game and are considered a “hero” class, because they start off at a higher level than a normal character. Death Knights have strong undead powers, can summon ghouls and gargoyles, and wield melee weapons. World of Warcraft players that have created a Death Knight character are already familiar with Thassarian, as this character is pivotal to the quests that are played out through the beginning area. The climactic end of that quest line, where the Death Knights become the Knights of the Ebon Blade and are their own entity free from the control of the Lich King is shown in this manga, with a strong emphasis on Thassarian.

Jolley makes us care about Thassarian and gives us reason to care when the Lich King turns him into a Death Knight. Thassarian's redemption is great as well, and we can feel his pain as he walks through Stormwind while being confronted by angry citizens who hurl objects and insults at him.

Zucchi's character designs and action sequences are really solid. It's no easy task to bring this story to life, while still being able to create a unique look for the Warcraft world. The transformation we see in Thassarian as we see him evolve from a young man to a ragged, war-torn, glowing-eyed Death Knight tells just as much about the pain he is going through as the words Dan Jolley puts down.

The story is strong as well, as Jolley adapts the already established story from Wrath of the Lich King into this book. He does an amazing job adding in new story points, while making it still feel a part of the Warcraft story. There is a sequence where he is attacking a Blood Elf encampment and one of the Elf’s, Koltira, is turned into a Death Knight as well and Thassarian and him become good friends, even after they get free from the Lich King.

For Warcraft fans, this is an easy decision to make. If you’re really into the lore of the universe, there is no reason to pass over this. While it's not as solid as The Sunwell Trilogy, Death Knight fits well into TokyoPop's Warcraft manga series and the Warcraft canon, overall.

For non-Warcraft fans, Death Knight may be a bit harder to pick up. It’s a mostly self-contained story, but you can get much more out of it if you’re familiar with the Warcraft storyline. Unfortunately, the ending is left open, and the story will be concluded online, within World of Warcraft. On the upside, Death Knight is only a one-shot volume, which makes it a nice introduction into what Warcraft is all about. If you’ve been curious about Warcraft, this is a great chance to check it out.

Jimmy Blocksom is a freelance games, anime and manga blogger. He has been playing World of Warcraft since it launched and plays his level 80 Night Elf Rogue.

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