Dark Horse’s third volume of Warcraft lore brings fans a comprehensive history of Blizzard’s fantasy universe. It’s deep, it’s loaded with detail, and it’s got some of the coolest Warcraft artwork you’re likely to see anywhere.
World of Warcraft
Is there a more classic and iconic video game fantasy property than Warcraft? Sure Dungeons and Dragons and the Warhammer worlds are older at this point, but in terms of video games specifically, is Warcraft the most storied?
There’s a good argument to be made that it is. Blizzard created a constantly evolving world of orcs, elves, and dragons that’s been rolling since the 90s, and it looks like it’s not likely to go away any time soon. World of Warcraft is still a beast after all. No, it’s not as big as it might have been at its height, but it’s still mighty popular. Shockingly so, I’d say.
Despite all that though, there is not a ton of “stuff” surrounding the franchise. There’s some for sure, but even with the flop of a movie, there’s been a definite dearth of action figures (good action figures) and books made available.
Bucking that trend though, is Dark Horse. The publisher has a book that’s the third in a series from them, and shines like a dwarven forge.
The history of Azeroth, with a few pictures for good measure
First things first- this is not an art book in any way. I was under the assumption it was, but that could not be more wrong. Instead, World of Warcraft Chronicle Volume 3 reads more like an historical text. The book chronicles the history of Blizzard’s universe, and does so pretty completely. OH and yes, I mean to say universe there specifically. I never realized just how much sci-fi is melded in with the fantasy elements of Warcraft till I read through it all in one place. Man is this cool stuff.
Before I get any deeper though, I should point out that I am not a fan of this franchise past Warcraft III. So with that in mind, this book became particularly nice for me. The tome covers everything up to and right on through that last single-player focused title in the series. But then it also digs deep into World of Warcraft, which again is particularly nice for me since I have little to no knowledge about the happenings in that game. (spoiler: a lot happened)
I should add too, that even though I was a huge fan of the original Warcraft and its two sequels, it’s really neat to read its narratives fleshed out in written form. Of course, this book gets much deeper than the games ever did in terms of storyline. It’s kid of novel-like in that way, as Blizzard’s Chris Metzen, Matt Burns, and Robert Brooks have combined to pen this volume. Together they offer up an exciting story that I feel comfortable saying will grab fantasy fans and not let go till the last page.
Highlighting all that fictional history is a set of fantastic artworks. The imagery might not be plentiful, but what there is packs a punch. As you can see from the double-page spreads here, the art is lavish and loaded with brilliant colors.
I’m reviewing the digital edition here, but I honestly am planning on picking up the physical one as well. everything combines so well in this book, that if you’re a Warcraft fan, it’s kind of a must have. I like it that much, and it really is that much fun to read.
World of Warcraft Chronicle Volume 3
Release date: March 27th, 2018
Format: Hardcover book
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Written by: Chris Metzen, Matt Burns, and Robert Brooks
Designed by: David Nestelle