World of Warcraft: Dark Riders returns fans to the dark world of Duskwood of the Eastern Kingdoms. Players familiar with the territory will remember the numerous quests involving the mysterious Dark Riders thanks to NPC Sven Yorgen. The quest line features similarities to the folklore of Sleepy Hollow with the typical Blizzard twists. In the all-new graphic novel, Mike Costa creates additional backstory to the mysterious group tied to the Scythe of Elune, worgenism, Karlain and secondary characters Mardigan and Revil Kost.
Duskwood and its Halloween-esque setting is has been replaced by ages of lore for most World of Warcraft players. Because of this, writer Costa spends a large portion of the graphic novel reintroducing readers to the storied area while expanding upon the relationship of the disciplined Karlain, his son Mardigan that was quickly accused of murder and the revenge-set priest Revil Kost.
Between Costa and artist Neil Googe, the duo creating amazing panels. From basic panel progression to the sense of emotion conveyed in facial expressions to the gorey, grisly action scenes Dark Riders impresses. The artwork isn’t the clean kind. Instead it features hard lines, muted colors and numerous panels lacking much detail. This isn’t a derogatory statement. The colors and use of shady fit well within the dark confines of Duskwood. The sometimes sparse panels seem well planned, enabling readers to focus on key details akin to a forensic investigating and his trusty flashlight.
Overall, Dark Riders is little more than the canceled Alliance-based WoW comic that should have been out during the Cataclysm. The story is intriguing but far from the lore we’re currently dealing with. Sure, we’ve backstory on one of the leaders of Dalaran, but Dark Riders did not add much of interest. Dark Riders falls short of Ashbringer, the tomes surrounding Varian Wyrnn and Curse of the Worgen. Pick it up if you’re a die-hard lore junky, otherwise it’s skippable.