December has come and gone and with it, the release of the World of Warcraft #2 comic book. At 23 pages issue #2 is slightly longer than issue #1. Simonson is still at the helm and he has the same artistic team.
When we last saw Croc-Bait and his friends, they were in a dire situation. Both Broll and Valeera had been defeated and our amnesic protagonist was facing a hulking Orc Blade Master. Quite the cliffhanger and you really couldn't wait to get the next issue and see what would happen next.
I guess I'm not surprising anybody when I say that Croc-Bait wins, but there's something to be said about the considerable ease with which he dispatched his foe. Croc-Bait earns the blades of his Orcish foe and we're treated to another short flashback that seems to indicate that Croc-bait was once in the Stormwind Military.
Then it's off to Dire Maul, where the Ogre Arena champions are introduced. From there, it's all about some short fight scenes, where we see that Rehgar's team, while successful, is not a crowd pleaser. Predictably, our three heroes meet up with the Ogre Champions, and defeat them. Once again, Croc-Bait pretty much wins it all. He's damn near slowed down by his partners and even earns the name "Lo'Gosh" from the crowd (Ghost Wolf in orcish) for his great agility and speed. He is crowned the Dire Maul Champion.
The story ends with Rehgar talking to another Gladiator Stable owner, A female Tauren, who buys Valeera from him. Rehgar's final remarks are that his team is going to Thunder Bluff, where he wishes to add more power to his line up.
For starters, thumbs up for including a Tauren female in there, and not trying to turn her into a super sexy or cute character as mangas/comic often do...she looks pretty much exactly like Tauren female in the game and she's wearing a halter top, not a sight for sore eyes.
That being said, I did not find this issue as good as the first one...
For starter, there's the recurring angle of Croc-Bait/Lo'gosh just plowing through his adversaries as if they're nothing. He's not only a former soldier who lost his memories...he's shaping up to be nigh invincible. While I suppose the concept of a badass hero who not only never loses, but all but humiliates his opponents with his incredible skill might appeal to some, I find it hard to root for what appears to be an untouchable character. I do hope that his incredible martial skill will be worked into the story, and that he won't be such a good fighter just "because".
And the second point is the dismissal of Valeena. The only female character and pretty much the center of the few comical moments so far, she's simply traded off to another team. Here's hoping she'll come back down the road. Meanwhile, I guess the story will now include a lot less butt-shot and cleavage, which might hurt the teenage readership. No seriously, the team was just starting to gel together, and they're now taken apart for no obvious reasons...aside from the fact that it seems the author wants to add a Tauren to his line up. Don't get me wrong, Taurens are cool and all, but this is a pretty weak way to change things.
In short, the story this time around is pretty predictable. The cliffhanger that ended issue #1 is resolved in a rather boring way and the ending is pretty anticlimactic. It's obvious that Simonson is trying to move his characters where he wants them to be in order for the story to truly start, but this issue felt much more like a plot device than the first one and was a much less enjoyable read.