So I am going to plead complete ignorance about the video game when I first bought and read this book. That having been said, the fact that there is ancillary material for a book does not mean that it has to be a crap book. And just to be clear, this is not a crap book. It has some issues (pun intended) but it is not by any means bad, it just fulfills the needs of being marketing material for a larger product which in this case means that it could have been better but the publisher, DC Comics does not seem to have been solely interested in making a good book, they were also interested in fulfilling other needs which happen to include cashing a check from the marketing company of the comic book. OK, enough about my gripes about comic books acting as marketing material for books and other material – that’s a completely different blog post. Let’s talk about the book.
The writing is smart, it has some twists of perspective and content that show that the writer knows comics and storytelling. The line work in the art is very good, if the layouts are a bit traditional and expected. There is one transition in time/place that happens mid-page that bothers me but we can leave that here. I will also say that there were some nice details including one bloody palm print that made me appreciate what I was reading.
Even before I knew that the book was marketing material for a video game, I felt like I was being pushed through what could have been several stories. It felt like too much was being squeezed into a single book – they were breaking a key rule that my college writing professor could not say enough – “Show, don’t tell.” In the end, they were relying heavily on archetypes, something that can be expected with writing in the comic book industry. I just felt like they crossed over several stories that might have made interesting books by themselves. And maybe that was the point, they want me to read this and go buy the video game. So – did it serve its purpose? Sure. I now know that a Diablo video game exists. Will I buy it? Maybe. But first, I have to finish Dragon Age and the Fable games.