Kerrigan – Hope and Vengeance #0 by Cameron Dayton – Comic Review [Eroldren]

Kerrigan - H&V - Zoddd

Eroldren reviews Blizzard Entertainment’s first foray into digital comics with a free one-off Heart of the Swarm comic.

“Rather a fascinating account which illustrates for us Sarah Kerrigan’s backstory, misfortune and vengeance through an eyeful setup.” – The Founding Fields

After reading tweets here-and-there that where teasing people that we should anticipate for an exciting week in StarCraft storytelling, it’s now out and ready. And it’s entirely free on Comixology and various other online retailers. If you played all the StarCraft games like myself or have no real clue who is Sarah Kerrigan, this comic is just the thing here to help prepare the stage for newcomers and campaign players alike as the forthcoming  release date for Heart of the Swarm draws closer to March 12th.

No single human being has been more inseparably tied to the twisted destinies of the terran, protoss, and zerg races than Sarah Kerrigan. She has risen from the ranks of soldier and revel to become the unstoppable Queen of Blades, supreme ruler over a race of bloodthirsty aliens. But know she has fallen from her seat of power and been taken in by those who wish to separate the woman from the monster–a task which may be more difficult than it was to dethrone her.

Take a look inside the mind of one of the greatest villains in gaming history and prepare yourself for StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm with this explosive new comic from Blizzard Entertainment, Kerrigan: Hope and Vengeance.

Immediately it should be clear that Zoddd’s artwork in the interior pages that gives you the first impression a comic book. As for myself, I felt swept away by this new striking aesthetic style verse the work we’ve already seen in the War Pig and Frontline series. Particularly it was the first two environments that got to me but the rest were largely great pieces  themselves which help convey the visual parts of the story. But if anything, the one that did irked me art-wise would’ve been those oversized portrayal of zerglings… I don’t know what was quite happening there.

Secondly, Cameron Dayton the author here tells us this comic is by through a series of flashbacks being recollected by Sarah Kerrigan in a conflicted manner. While the latter part  still a “new” concept that I find both fascinating yet somewhat a disappointing reinterpretation of Sarah Kerrigan time while as the Queen of Blades. Kerrigan, the “Queen of Blades” turned out insteadactually a hostile alien persona which had hijacked and repressed the mind of the real Kerrigan when the Overmind decided to infested the abandoned ghost. In one hand it had taken away some meaning to those atrocities and deception she committed throughout Brood War and turn into somewhat hollow badass villain moments whilst our real Kerrigan “no longer accountable” for her devastating crimes against the people of the Koprulu Sector. However in the other hand, it’s also understandable twist that the real Sarah Kerrigan, the terran at the heart of the matter wasn’t the type of person, let alone ever being in control  over her own life.

Although the story contest we’re shown in Hope and Vengeance amounted to 8 pages worth of material verse what a full-blown comic issue notably sits around 36  pages, all that packed detail inside was enough to get the general point across: Who is Sarah Kerrigan?

Lore enthusiasts of the StarCraft universe should be perked by this new entry as we see some of the established fiction and backstory of the expanded universe interweaves throughout these pages in small but eluded ways. Sure we see a fair share of familiar lore from the previous games being retold this time through Kerrigan’s unheard POV,  we finally see do TarKossia, her homeworld, her parents, the psionic incident that caught the Ghost Academy’s attention and a few extra highlights into her perspective as a Confederate ghost operative. Alongside all of that, Hope and Vengeance corresponds with Flashpoint as a neat follow-up story that features Valerian Mengsk. (Also, there’s a neat and easy homage to Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind if you can spot it.)

However, in a slight downside for the people who are still wondering why Kerrigan is in this mysterious lab facility, this story doesn’t brush upon that part of the timeline transition between Wings of Liberty’s ending and the start Heart of the Swarm. That’s story material which Blizzard tasked Christie Golden to explore instead with the Flashpoint novel which also help bridged together the two games.

On a final notice, don’t hang onto hope that we’ll be getting ourselves a comic miniseries despite Kerrigan – Hope and Vengeance being numbered as a #0 issue. Even I had a little kindled interest for one before I went out my way to confirm whether this was truly a standalone title or perhaps the start of some amazing new miniseries. Alas it was not meant to be. However, if fans receive this well other projects like one this can deemed as a worthwhile route of storytelling which we can expect plenty to appear for StarCraft and Blizzard’s other two big franchises – Warcraft and Diablo – further down the road. Spread the word around!

I’ve never been a big comic book guy; however, I enjoyed what I saw here and I definitely won’t mind seeing again more comic tie-ins for StarCraft told through this media format. There’s so, so very much potential in this universe that I’m dreaming about right now and it’s only getting bigger with each game.

Overall Verdict: 8.5/10

Eroldren

Eroldren, a SFF follower of both tie-in media and original works, enjoys rereading books frequently. So be warned, he might bring out sometimes his share of older and heavy duty titles alongside the newcomers.

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