Exploring The World of Dishonored In The Wyrmwood Deceit

With Dishonored 2’s release in 2016, there was a resurgence in interest in the franchise, and part of that resurgence included a novel (The Corroded Man) and a new comic series released by Titan Comics, the first volume being The Wyrmwood Deceit.

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==The Pitch==

Set about 12 years after the events of Dishonored, Corvo is continuing his role not only as Royal Protector, but also Royal Spymaster. Dunwall is having various issues with an influx of armaments and other objects, like Bone Charms. Corvo has also begun the search for an apprentice to take over for him, testing members of the City Guard between fulfilling his duties and trying to solve the mystery of his nephew’s sudden appearance.

==What You Get==

This volume contains the first six issues of the Dishonored comic, with additional images, including alternate covers, drawing boards, maps (with calendars), and more.

==The Good==

The artwork is well done and, like the game, utilizes color in a wise way. While a number of events take place at night, the color palette is not lacking.  Even with all of the colors, the art still makes a number of nods to the original game with regards to costuming, darker tones, and the general grit.

Story-wise, the tale is intriguing, albeit not exceedingly originally. Without spoiling anything (it’s really hard to write a good review for this without spoilers, honestly), there story consists of revenge, family, and the need to pass down knowledge. It’s a logical step for the story, and it is a fitting way to expand the information of the setting.

And it blends with the way mechanics worked in the game rather nicely.
And it blends with the way mechanics worked in the game rather nicely.

The biggest draw of this comic, honestly, is how it is so well tied with the source material. Artistically, it makes a number of nods to the art style, down to the color palettes, but it also follows the details of the locations, costumes, and equipment. Dunwall feels alive in the comic, down to the details of the buildings, the character appearances, and even the story elements. It’s a great tie-in with the game, and as there is so much more to explore in the setting, this is a great first step.

==The Bad==

One of the biggest issues I have with comics revolves around the two-page panels. This comic uses a number of these, and unlike some other comics, the flow is an issue and makes it difficult to read, being one of the biggest downfalls of this book.

This is actually one of the better 2-page spreads, but it has clear panel breaks. Not all of them do.
This is actually one of the better 2-page spreads, but it has clear panel breaks. Not all of them do.

A personal pet peeve is the usage of cliffhanger endings. While they are sometimes fitting, this one was just too…open, perhaps? We have a character at near death rescued by a character that was believed missing or dead (and possibly without powers if alive), and the house is on fire/exploding (and the house makes an appearance a year later in the timeline, albeit damaged yet still livable). It feels like sloppy writing like we would see with the older Star Wars/Star Trek novels (no one knew who was writing what into the storyline), and I’m feeling it was a sloppy usage of a cliffhanger.

I’m also a bit ambivalent on some of the writing. Corvo seems obsessed in a way that’s rather odd and feels slightly uncharacteristic, to the point he doesn’t plan ahead at all, nor does he act with a level head. Considering the story of the first game had him plan ahead while trying to rescue his daughter and avenge his lover, it’s odd that he’d act this erratically.

==The Verdict==

Overall, I think Dishonored: The Wyrmwood Deceit deserves four stars.

Rating 4 Stars

The comic is intriguing, decently written, and has nice artwork. While there are a few issues with pacing, the comic is well worth the read for fans of the franchise.

Dishonored: The Wyrmwood Deceit is available at Amazon and other book retailers at an MSRP of $16.99.

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