Upcoming Diablo Publications

This post is going to take a look at all the upcoming Diablo publications in print. While we knew the existence of all these titles already, we learned a great deal of new information from the Blizzard Publishing panel during this year's BlizzCon.

This post is not going to cover all of the publications presented in the panel, since some of them were World of Warcraft and Starcraft II novels and comics.

Book of Cain

A mock-up copy of the book.
Click for full size.
We've known for this release for quite some time already. Planned for a December 13 2011 release, the book is in essence an illustrated sourcebook cataloging history, characters, lands, mythology, both codifying and cleaning up the history of the Diablo franchise and unveiling new details about it. It's planned to act as a common stepping stone to understand the greatly extended lore of Diablo III, which will hopefully shed some light on events of the past games. The book will have lots of Cain's first person journal entries, and his comments and thoughts on several events and topics. We'll basically get as far inside into Cain's head as we have ever.

Basically, Cain has these theories that the apocalypse is imminent and has been trying to codify all his knowledge to try to save humanity. Cain thinks that the last lords of Burning
The Book of Cain open.
Click for a readable image.
Hells are up to some shenanigans and the mortal world will involuntarily partake in their plans.

And if that wasn't enough of a sales pitch to the lore nerds amongst us, the book is going to have continuity with the upcoming game. And as such it won't necessarily be lore for lore's sake, but instead work to create an even richer backdrop for the game. Of course, you won't need to read this to understand the game, and not everyone is in love with Diablo lore, it's also perfectly okay to just like bashing some demon skulls in. But for the lore buffs among us, this will be nothing short of a must-have.

Some of the first pages are readable on the publisher's website. They are also transcribed and featured here on our forums.

Many topics touched in the book were also featured in the Lore panel. In the near future, Phrozendragon is going to post a lore write-up on the lore ramifications so thereby I'll skip them in this post.

The Order

Author Nate Kenyon.
The Order is the name for their upcoming Diablo novel, which we found about recently. It's still scheduled for a March 2012 publication.

We know little so far about the story. It's going to leech into Diablo III story, so unlike many previous Diablo books, this one won't seem as distant from the in-game events. We also know that the story is going to be focused on Cain. That's about all we know of its contents, besides the fact that according to its author Nate Kenyon, it's going to be a "a big, long epic book with lots of epic battles."

It's going to be darker, leaner and grittier and it's intended to sort of restart the Diablo franchise in novel form with post-Diablo III storylines. The author has written lot of dark sci-fi and horror before, and he hinted that this book is going to incorporate a lot of horror themes into it.

Sword of Justice

Issue 1# cover.
Click to see the full slide presented.
The final Diablo publication is Sword of Justice, a comic done in collaboration with DC Comics which we learned about recently. It'll first run as a limited series of 5 issues and later be released as a hardcover graphic novel. The first issue is going to be out in November 23. The story will be written by Aaron Willians and artwork is being done by Joseph Lacroix and coloring by Dave Stewart.

Story-wise it takes place between Lord of Destruction's end and Diablo III's beginning. The events start immediately after the events at the end of the Diablo II expansion pack, where Tyrael is forced to destroy the Worldstone corrupted by Baal.

In the initial setting of the story, Tyrael immediately vanished right after the Worldstone was destroyed, but his sword remained at the scene. The story continue's by a mortal finding Tyrael's sword, and the mortal becoming an avatar of justice in sanctuary.

Here's the official story summary:

Official Blizzard Quote:

From the world and legends of Sanctuary, the setting for the award-winning Diablo video game, comes the tale of a hero's birth. Jacob has fled from his homelands in the north, hunted by his kinsmen for the crime of murder.

Led by the visions of an ancient prophet, pursued by his childhood friend, Jacob finds his destiny in a desert cave at the foot of a mountain carved in two by the sword of an archangel-- Tyrael. But will Jacob be able to claim the sword that could save his people, if not the world, before he's brought to 'justice?'"

This is all the current Diablo publications in the horizon, but I can fairly confidently say that they won't be the last ones. With the imminent release of the game, we'll probably be flooded with even further novels taking place in its world during 2012.


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