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Reviews in Brief: World of Warcraft: Death Knight by Dan Jolley and Rocio Zucchi

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As someone who knows nada about the massive World of Warcraft game franchise, I was mainly looking for one thing from Tokyopop’s latest graphic novel World of Warcraft: Death Knight: a simple coherent sword-and-sorcery fantasy that wouldn’t require a heavy dose of supplemental reading for me to get the basic story. This I did get, from solid comics pro Dan Jolley and Argentinian artist Rocio Zucchi: a prequel to lord-knows-what about a young would-be warrior named Thassarian, who's killed by a nefarious type named the Lich King and transformed into an undead warrior slave. In thrall to the wicked King, Thassarian slays his own mother, but before the book’s finish we know he’ll break away and take arms against the rotter.

In other words, WoW: Death Knight provides a quick, no nonsense back story to a major figure in a popular multi-player online role-playing game. As such, it may carry more emotional resonance to those readers actively invested in the game, but for an outsider, Jolley’s script comes across flat and characterless. Even the death of Thassarian’s mom doesn’t carry much weight since we don’t know much about her in the first place — in the immortal words of Homer Simpson, “It’s just a bunch of stuff that happened.”

Zucchi’s art is at times more expressive than the cliche characters deserve, though once her figures become the pupil-less undead, she has her work cut out for her. Would love to see what she can do in a comic not so hamstrung by the contrived requirements of a game-playing rule book, though.

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About Bill Sherman

Bill Sherman is a Books editor for Blogcritics. With his lovely wife Rebecca Fox, he has co-authored a light-hearted fat acceptance romance entitled Measure By Measure.
  • Haydn Tomas

    I have been not so lucky to have read the books and comics involving the world of warcraft. Being one that really went head first into the game without thinking..

    The Death Knight in game is one of those classes that does get overlooked being that they actually begin at a much higher level than everyone else, my guess is that players tend not to play them as it feels like a cop out as you have not done the full run of the game and not put the work in!

    With that said my guess is if players in WoW took some time out and did a bit of reading up on their chosen classes in game then it would help them to understand and perhaps even perform better.

    The Death knight is a heavyweight but does get alot of stick from other players.

    Thank you for reminding us that there is some backdrop to the game and players should get educated. we tend to choose our class dependant on our personality. I am sure there is a Death Knight in some of us.