Tuesday, August 24, 2010

World of Warcraft Shadow Wing, vol. 1 The Dragons of Outland

Story by Richard A. Knaak with Art by Jae-Hwan Kim
Published by TokyoPop

Slugline: Watch out for falling dragons!

The demons that attacked Azeroth have been defeated and pursued back to their homeworld through a mystical gate.  Among the armies that followed them back to Outland are Tyri and Jorad, who have been seen before in the Warcraft titles.  Jorad is still desperate to prove himself as a paladin of the Light so he takes on an important mission to coordinate friendly forces but he is waylaid and rescued by Tyri.  Tyri, who is a blue dragon that can transform into an elf, has felt herself drawn to Outland by her magic.  Together they convince some of Outland’s inhabitants to help them solve the mystery of the strange Nether Dragons and what their connection to other dragons be.  Meanwhile, a Death Knght has learned how to seize control the Nether Dragons and is planning on using them to rule Outland.

The World of Warcraft manga have been reviewed previously (see links), some of which have been by the same same creative team but they earn their new low rating for the new reasons here.  This is because of how the story is told rather than the content or the style of the story.  Richard Knaak is better known as a novelist and it seems that most of the problems come from using a novel’s pacing in a manga.  Five or ten pages of text reads a lot slower than the same number of pages in a manga.  A character that changes their mind over five pages of text seems more natural, like they had a chance to cool off and think, while doing so in the same number of pages in a manga pages seems like a waste to have the first scene at all.  Once again, it seems that this title would appeal just to fans of World of Warcraft rather than a wider fantasy audience.

World of Warcraft Shadow Wing, vol. 1 The Dragons of Outland is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.

- Ferdinand

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