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The WoW comic leading into Cataclysm (spoilers)

Michael Sacco

The Wrath storyline factored heavily into the official WoW comics, albeit slightly late, and continues to do so with the release of the upcoming Thassarian manga. And now it looks like it's headed on a collision course with the storyline to Cataclysm! Ogre-turned-Liefeldian-monstrosity Cho'gall recites a prophecy in the latest issue related heavily to the Old Gods, Mary Sue shamagadin Med'an, and the Elemental Planes. BlizzPlanet has a pretty good writeup of what the prophecy could mean and its consequences down the road, but I'll give you a brief summary here, too.

Of course, I'll toss it after the jump for those inclined to avoid spoilers. Ready?

Cho'gall, empowered by C'Thun, says that when the child of three worlds, Med'an, becomes "of Light" -- dies, in the vernacular -- then the barrier between the Elemental Planes and terrestrial Azeroth will shatter and they'll begin to merge. Well, we certainly know that the merger (or, more fittingly, hostile takeover) happens, so it stands to reason that Med'an will die. I figured Deathwing just did it himself, but I guess there's more to it. It could also lend credence to the rumor that Thrall becomes the new Guardian of Tirisfal, despite Med'an's recent infusion of Guardian power.

Let me get on my soapbox for just a minute here.

To be frank, I like the concept of Med'an -- a mixed-breed in a world where the most we usually get are the result of Rhonin's apparently irresistible charms to elven women -- but the execution of the character has been just awful so far. A character that can use every kind of magic. who happens to be the son of two Warcraft II heroes! How wonderful. That certainly makes everyone else obsolete.

So, no, I wouldn't mourn the loss of Med'an in the way he's been presented so far, especially if it means that someone whose character has been completely assassinated in Wrath -- our favorite Son of Durotan -- can come back to the forefront and be an actual leader... even if it's not just for the Horde anymore.

But this is a consistent issue with the WoW comic, in my opinion -- uneven characterization, exclusive storylines that aren't really that engaging to begin with but still affect the game world, and new characters that act like we've known them forever. Add to that the increasingly unattractive art in the book, like Garrosh's tiny, tiny head and "shoulders" that make up roughly half his body -- I know I already used the word Liefeldian, but I really want to use it again -- and it equals out to sizable difficulty in enjoying the series at all, either in art or story. But the comic is also the only way to experience these storylines in the expanded universe.

So here's what Blizzard can do for us: Avoid confining important storylines to just the comics or novels. We encountered this with Sartharion and the Obsidian Sanctum -- players actually did have a legitimate reason for killing him, but most players have no idea what that reason is. And that's because it was contained in Night of the Dragon, a novel, and never once mentioned in-game. Not in a quest, not in gossip text, nothing. And any player who doesn't read the comics has no idea why Varian Wrynn is back as King of Stormwind or why he's so angry at the Horde. All we need is something in the game.

For Cataclysm, there's so much fantastic backstory behind Deathwing and the Cataclysm itself that it'd be a true shame to have a huge driving force behind it stuck in comic book land. Let's hope that Blizzard feels the same way.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it. Nothing will be the same. In's Guide to Cataclysm you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion. From Goblins and Worgens to Mastery and Guild changes, it's all there for your cataclysmic enjoyment.

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