World of Warcraft: Ashbringer
by Micky Neilson (author), Tony Washington (illustrator), and Ludo Lullabi (illustrator)
Published: June 9, 2009
Genres: Comics / Fantasy / World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft: Ashbringer follows the path of the Mograine family after Alexandros Mograine discovers the dark specimen that will be forged into the Ashbringer sword, as the ultimate weapon against the Scourge.
I've read about the legendary sword Ashbringer through Wowwiki and I've seen the fate of the Mograine family in the Death Knight quest chain, but I'd never had the pleasure of reading about it in a book before. In addition to the Mograine family, we also find out the dark secrets behind the Scarlet Monastery, and how it came to be corrupted.
If you're curious about the Death Knight quest chain in which we see the story of Tirion, Darion Mograine, and the Ashbringer, here's the clip:
As for the comic itself, it's a decent story; I enjoyed learning the background of Alexandros Mograine as well as the descent of the Scarlet Crusade into zealotry. Flashbacks to the tragic birth of Darion help the reader uncover insights into the motivations of the Alexandros and his sons due to their pasts, which revolve around the death of Elena, Alexandros's wife and the mother of Renault and Darion - and how these memories become entangled in the war against the Scourge and Burning Legion.
I would have loved the Ashbringer to show what happens to Taelan, the son of Tirion Fordring who is in the Scarlet Monastery, but the story of the Mograine family ends before we get to see Taelan's destiny unfold
The artwork is breathtaking in terms of colors and landscape. Although it has been a long time since I've stepped into Azeroth, the art takes me back in memories of the plaguelands, with its reddish hues and all. The artists' rendition of the dwarves is the best I've encountered so far in terms of WoW comics. Granted, most of my experiences with WoW comics have mostly been with the mangas, in which dwarves look oddly...slender. The dwarves in World of Warcraft: Ashbringer look more similar to the way they do in game - sturdy, stout, and blocky. The elves, on the other hand, look like buff humans with huge ears. I suppose that here we err on the side of too much muscle (for the elves), while in the mangas we tend to see too little (for the dwarves). Overall, the style is cartoony in a manner reminiscent of WoW, and just as immersive as the game, except when it comes to our unusually muscular and stout elf.
The story of the Ashbringer is important to WoW lore, especially if you are interested in lore dealing with Wrath of the Lich King material.
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