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Old 12-01-2018, 04:17 PM
DarkAngel DarkAngel is offline

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Darkmoon Card: Maelstrom Orphea Commentary

I happened to notice there's been higher-than-usual viewership on the Fan Works subforum this week. Since it's been a while since I posted a Dispatch, I wondered if someone had posted a belated endorsement. Then I found out the new Heroes of the Storm comic had been released some time before. Well, that was embarrassing. I really should say something about that, shouldn't I?

First, I should preface what I'm about to say by reminding everyone that writing for comics is hard -- really, really hard. The confines are very tight, and it's all too easy for oversights to occur. In particular, it's easy to forget the reader doesn't have access to the factual information that prose narration provides. Just why, for example, does stabbing that pedestal with a corrupted crystal close the portal to the Dark Nexus? Or consider Neeve. We first see her in partial silhouette on page 3, but that may or may not be her. She just appears -- totally free -- on page 5.

On the other hand, Orphea also presents an excellent use of visuals to imply information without directly stating it. Most notably, it was never said that the Raven Lord had converted his family's cavernous, subterranean crypt into a prison for the entities he pulled from the Dark Nexus in his experiments. Nor were we told that Orphea's mystery box was in fact one of the ancestors' ossuaries. But it's there in the pictures, if you look.

Unfortunately, I couldn't help but feel the latter revelation took some of the magic out of the story. There are some things -- especially creepy things -- that are better left unexplained. When you have the ultimate Creepy Crate, it has to be handled as either a running joke ("What's IN that box?!"), or be given the dark twist that it's slowly corrupting her like Venom. That way, as her Pride, Doubt, Fear, Despair, Anger, Hatred, and Violence grow, she gains more control of her power and loses control of herself. It was just so much more fun to imagine some mall-rat princess is carrying around the Heart of Y'Shaarj without knowing what it is.

One thing we did gain, though, was a path for Orphea's story to continue. Having vanished years earlier, her mother injects all sorts of new unknowns into the equation. Who was she? Where did she go? Back where she came from? Where was that? And how did the wiki come up with names for both parents without citing a source?

I'll be watching for answers.
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