World of Warcraft #3 begins where the previous issue ended and it is a much stronger offering, addressing a lot of the problems of the series and promising a lot more than mere gladiatorial play.
Simmonson addresses the issue of Valeera, who had been sold to another Gladiator Team on the last page of issue #2. None of the gladiators are happy about that, and they swear to find each other again. Valeera doesn't lose any time. She quickly escapes and goes on her way to Thunder Bluff to find her friends.
Meanwhile, Broll and the newly renamed Lo'Gosh make their way to Thunder Bluff, where Broll hopes that a trip to the pool of vision will allows Lo'Gosh to remember his past. Rehgar is intercepted by Magatha Grimtotem, who hopes to convince him to train some of her clan members rather than picking Tauren warriors loyal to Cairne. Magatha's power play extends to the pool of vision where a nasty surprise awaits both Broll and Lo'Gosh.
Broll and Lo'Gosh (well, mostly Lo'Gosh) take care of the trouble at the pool of vision and earn what they were looking for - a glimpse of their past. Lo'gosh learns he has a daughter and people who need him, so he decides that it's more than time for him to regain his freedom. Rehgar and the gladiator then meet Hamuul Runetotem who eventually helps Lo'Gosh and Broll escape – and they do so with style, flying away on a Hippogryph.
Valeera gets to Thunder Bluff right as our duo escapes, and she's hot on their track. We see that Lo'gosh is being spied upon by mysterious humans, who are trying to get him taken out via the Stormwind Assassin Guild. The story ends this time with Lo'Gosh falling to what seems to an early grave under the baleful eyes of his would be assassins.
I liked this issue a lot more than the previous one. For one thing, we're moving beyond the rather cliche gladiator storyline and the plot is thickening. A race through Azeroth, dodging assassins and Rehgar's guards while Lo'Gosh tries to remember his past is certainly a lot more involving than watching Lo'Gosh decimate opponents in the pit.
One of my problems with issue #2 was also the apparent dismissal of Valeera. It felt pretty unjustified. However it was made clear very early that Valeera isn't going anywhere and that she's going to keep having a strong presence in the story. Looking back on it, it almost feels like issue #2 ended too soon. Valeera's storyline would have started much stronger if it had been the focus of the early part of this issue, rather than cut in half.
It was also nice to see some character development for Rhegar. His reaction to Lo'Gosh and Broll's escape showed that he has the wisdom that is the hallmark of the shaman...I have to say that it felt weird to have a shaman be a slave handler, but the few words he exchanged with Hamuul somehow managed to make it feel right.
In short, this issue is a much stronger offering then issue #2 and made me excited about what's coming next month. Here's hoping it's an indication that the comic has finally hit its stride and that thing will keep going up from here.