Jorad and Tyri were last seen at the end of the Sunwell Trilogy, saying goodbye to Anveena and Kalecgos as they parted and went their separate ways. Jorad was being given a ride back to confront Arthas by Tyrygosa, who intended to drop him off and then report back to Malygos with the events surrounding Anveena and the Sunwell. The beginning of Dragons of Outland tells a different story however; apparently Jorad was unable to defeat Arthas (no small surprise), and rejoined the paladins of the Silver Hand in an effort to redeem himself from previous transgressions. Tyrygosa ... well it's never really stated whether or not she made it back to Malygos. Instead, she joined the high elf contingent of the army and traveled through the Dark Portal with everyone else, intent on something strange she sensed on the other side.
The rest of the manga follows their travels on the other side of the portal in Outland, with specific regards given to the Netherwing Dragonflight that originated there. The artwork for the manga is stunning, and exactly what I'd expect out of Jae-Hwan Kim -- the backgrounds and illustrations of familiar areas of Outland are outstanding, and the attention to detail and shading is simply amazing. He is without a doubt the best manga artist they've got on staff, and it's reflected on every page and in every panel.
Given that Richard Knaak wrote both books, I am baffled at the lack of any sort of cohesive timeline continuity. It may be that this will be directly addressed with the second book, due out in October according to the bookstore I purchased the manga at, but for now it just leaves me largely confused. Another issue with the book is the characterization of the netherwing -- they are presented as children, barely able to speak coherently and with little in the way of intelligence, but the nether dragons we've seen in Shadowmoon Valley and Shattrath are obviously intelligent creatures. Again, this may be cleared up in the second issue -- but honestly I don't expect a novel I paid for to do nothing but raise questions with no real answers given at all.
Another issue is with the plot itself -- a character is introduced named Ragnok Bloodreaver. Little is shown of his past, but he is imprisoning the netherwing and conquering the Dragonmaw orcs that are holding them hostage in order to defeat Illidan and become the "leader of Outland." I'm not quite sure how this fits in with the storyline involving the Dragonmaw and the captivity of the netherwing that we've seen in game -- again, there just seems to be a disparity with the timeline, and that really leads to the largest complaint I have about the book -- the timing of its release.
What I was hoping for was a continuation of Jorad and Tyri's adventures with the netherwing as presented in Burning Crusade, leading up to what would hopefully be some sort of explanation as to Malygos' involvement with the netherwing, something that was hinted at but never fully delved into at a Blizzcon lore panel in 2007. What I purchased was a decent enough book, but it feels much more like something I should have picked up just before, or just after Burning Crusade's release, when the material was more relevant. This just doesn't feel like a "new" book to me at all.
Unfortunately Knaak does little to clear up confusion; while the book is absent of the massive amounts of prologue present with every Sunwell manga, it's clear that Knaak's "knack" as it were is for the art of description -- something that is easily done in a novel, but with a comic, the book is carried by dialogue for the most part. Knaak's strong suit isn't really in dialogue, so the book itself is a little disjointed in places, the action seemingly leaping from one place to another with no cohesive moments to connect it. That combined with the choice of font for narration dialogue often had me re-reading pages simply so I could follow what was going on, which is not something that should happen with a comic -- the dialogue and art should work seamlessly together to present the story, and a font should never, never be so difficult to read that it interferes with basic comprehension.
I'd still recommend that fans of the Sunwell Trilogy should give Dragons of Outland a read; in many ways it's far superior to the adventures of Anveena and Kalecgos. Knaak has streamlined his writing considerably between then and now, and Jae-Hwan Kim has done nothing but improve with his art. For those that haven't read the Sunwell Trilogy, if you are really interested in the lore and the material go ahead and pick it up. Otherwise, you may want to give this one a pass -- unless there is far more introduced in the next volume, this manga is clearly out of date.