Sword of Justice Issue Two

The second (of five) issues of the Diablo III comic, Sword of Justice went on sale recently, and here’s Blizzard’s news item about it.

The Dreadlands are being corrupted by madness, causing its victims to open their flesh and lash out at friend and foe alike. Jacob, a young fugitive from the city of Staalbreak, may be Sanctuary’s only hope to stop this plague before it consumes or destroys mankind. His destiny is bound to a mysterious sword and the woman who watches over it, but his own troubled soul may keep him from embracing its true power in time.

here’s Blizzard’s news itemI’ve managed to lay hands on the first two issues, and have written up a short synopsis of the plot of both, with special attention paid to anything that directly relates to the world state/lore/plot of Diablo III. You can see those, plus some of the key pages from each issue, on the DiabloWikiSword of Justice wiki article. The articles are spoilery for the comic’s plot (which is pretty bland thus far, through two issues), but the info about D3 itself is pretty minimal, so you can read it without fear.

An interesting tidbit from Issue two, which you can see in the three sample images below; the story in issue two ends with Jacob and the female Wizard Shanar teleporting to the Black Marsh, near the Forgotten Tower of D2 fame. That’s curious, since that area was mentioned by Aaron Williams, the comic’s author, in .

IGN: How much freedom did you have as far as developing the story? Was it an intentional decision to distance the book from the characters and locales of the games?

Williams: I had quite a lot of freedom, so long as I didn’t contradict or run into game content that Diablo III was going to establish. That is, I had to make sure my wizard character, Shanar, used the spells at her disposal in the game, especially in combat. I also had a scene that was going to take place at the Forgotten Tower, but that area is, shall we say, “spoken for” and we didn’t want to either spoil it or have the player think, “but this comic says two people came here and trashed the place already. How come it’s not a smoking crater?” This wasn’t as restrictive as it sounds, really, as most of the story takes place in an unexplored area of the Dreadlands.

As you see in the images below, they are at the Forgotten Tower in thef Black Marsh, but apparently not for long. I’m more interested in the mention of that area as “spoken for” by the D3 plot. Neither the Forgotten Tower or the Countess of Blood are seen in the datamined areas of Act One, but there must be a return visit in Diablo III… at some point?

an interview from last year

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10 thoughts on “Sword of Justice Issue Two

  1. I wonder if a non-Diablo fan could get interested in those comics. Will the lore restrictions kill its creativity?
    Will it end up like some of the less well written D&D Forgotten Realms books that are done in the style of a traveling party finding random disconnected subquests/encounters that D&D nerds might like (that’s how you play pen/paper & computer D&D based games afterall), but is actually a form of bad writing (and tedious reading when, says, you realize the 15 pages you’ve just read will have no lasting effect on the story)?
    Will that weird D3 logo turn people off?
    Will the backstory require too much explanation? Can the backstory stand on its own in a non-game medium? Or is supervillan-type demons trying to conquer the world just too cliché/overdone (probably not)?

    • I think a non fan could enjoy these comics, a very brief overview of the background lore was given in the first couple of pages of issue #1.
      People may be confused by the D3 logo though, since the first 2 issues made no mention of Diablo at all 🙂

      • Yes the logo doesn’t quite fit artistically with the cover and that “3” screams of “here be game nerds” (assuming people know it’s a 3).
        It could be seriously off-putting to some readers since I’ve noticed on some games-made-into novels the quality isn’t always there and they have a reputation for being made only for players. But this comic does look good.
        I could be wrong I’m not an expert and I think a lot of fiction books I read are badly written so…. yeah I need to find better books or take some prozac or something…

  2. The comic sound a little too melodramatic to me.

    Oh, and look, it’s bashiok on that last page asking for the blood of the fans. 

  3. I’m sorry, but I really try to find this interesting – but hard as I try, I simply can’t, won’t and don’t give a fuck about these comics.

  4. I am only concerned that Diablo will become like WoW where half the stori isn’t happening in the game but in game related media, like comics and novels. So, if someone (like me, for example), doesn’t want to waste money on such things, I am kept in a dark about the story and it comes to the point where there are characters and events that I have no idea about, and I played the game, fully.

    • I imagine that would totally suck for the writers/artists creating these medias – having MBA marketing dept.-types telling them “no, you can’t do that, that’s not in the lore/would mess up the game story/doesn’t fit with the Diablo 3 brand image” every time they get an original idea…

      • Welcome to Lucasfilm licensing. The worst thing to ever happen to Star Wars was George Lucas’s involvement. He ruined some pretty cool stuff when he went and defecated out the prequel trilogy.

        • Yeah, I’m a wannabe-author, I’ve written my mandatory partial manuscript of utter newbie garbage and read up on technique/theory. What amazes me is how bad Anakin’s character was built… anybody without any training in screenwriting can see after seeing all the Star Wars movies and reflecting on Darth Vader’s character how badly designed Anakin was. Anakin and Vader have completely opposite personalities ffs!
          How hard would it have been to make Anakin into… a pragmatic, protective, good intentioned but cold, retribution-seeking, ends-justify-the-means character that was slowly turned evil by circumstances. This is basic Writing 101 stuff here – Vader and Anakin,s personalities don’t match. Vader was a guy you imagined yourself looking up to hadn’t he been so evil and so fond of force-chokes, Anakin wasn’t.

          Even if you ignore Vader for a moment Anakin is made to look like a whiny, immature asshat. How can we develop sympathy or understanding for that whiny man-child? This is over and above the other flaws in the movies i.e. those highlighted by that Red Letter Media guy…

          Apparently Lucas had to rush the scripts and was surrounded by yes-men. That was what killed the prequels, bad rushed writing with no constructive feedback. Lucas should have known good writing is the foundation of everything else and can’t be rushed. How can anybody who knows anything about writing not realize that going into production before even writing your first draft = bad idea…
          Hell, Lucas can’t even write good dialogue and couldn’t even setup a believable romance. He could have if he’d actually spent time polishing his script and if the other higher-ups told him the truth. I can’t believe Prequel Lucas 2.0 was the same guy as Original Lucas 1.0

  5. Question for our English friends. Can you buy the digital copies of American comic books the same day it comes out in America? B/c I got this issue (paper copy) weeks ago. I’ve heard lots of lament about British comic fans stuck waiting for months for stuff, but w/ Marvel/DC jumping on the digital model, I wonder if that’s still a problem.

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