The World of Warcraft Vol. 1 is the perfect solution for those among the 10.5 million World of Warcraft fans who have missed out the World of Warcraft ongoing comic series by Wildstorm.

The World of Warcraft Vol. 1 compiles the first arc written by Walter Simonson (legendary writer of Mighty Thor and Orion among other works), penciled by french artist Ludo Lullabi and inked by Sandra Hope. A great collection of issues # 1-7 with a few extras.

When you grab this book, you are filled with awe.  On the front you have the World of Warcraft game logo at the top, with issue# 1 cover by Samwise Didier (Blizzard Senior Art Director). On the back, you have legendary Jim Lee’s issue# 1 cover with the Wildstorm logo.

Now here is something many fans out there will love to hear.  The World of Warcraft Vol. 1 is a solid hardcover. It will last you years without wearing off. The two covers I mentioned are printed on a very special paper that serves as a wrapping to the book. Yeah, you can remove the wrapping. If you wish to frame it, there you go. If you ever meet Walter Simonson, Jim Lee, Ludo Lullabi, Samwise, or Sandra Hope you would want to get this signed by them. Walter Simonson and Jim Lee were at the New York Comic Con this year. You will probably get ahold of them in one of these Cons. While you might find Samwise at BlizzCon, the Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals, and GCDC.

Back to previewing this book, I will just unwrap the cover as I write. The flips on both sides of the wrapping have a colored image of a dwarf on a pose resting his arms on an axe handle, with the axe top on the ground. The opening side of the wrapping tells the summary of the first arc:

“A human warrior washes up on the shores of Durotar, with no recollection as to who he is, or how he arrived there.  The man is thrust into the thick of battle immediately, and his prize for evading certain death at the teeth of a hungry crocodile is conscription into the gladiator force of orc shaman Rehgar Earthfury.  His first quest is not so simple; with no memory, he must rely on his fighting instincts to stay alive, as he searches for his true identity!

He’s aided in his quest by unlikely allies:  Broll Bearmantle—a shape-changing night elf bound to Rehgar’s service—and Valeera Sanguinar—a blood elf whose childlike form conceals a cunning mind and lust for recognition. This unlikely trio will try to uncover the secrets of Lo’Gosh’s past, but they must first rely on his instinctive prowess in combat if they are to survive their first challenge: the arena at Dire Maul!”

On the opposite flip is written the previous and upcoming works of Walter Simonson, Ludo Lullabi and Sandra Hope.

Now that the wrapping has been removed, I am facing the naked book. On the front you can see the World of Warcraft game logo; and the non-colored variant cover (UK version) by Ludo Lullabi outlined in gold foil. The hardcover gives the appearance to be crafted with a thick and strong leather material.

As I open the book, the first page, and the back of the front cover are made of the same material. A washed-out paper usually seen in professional resumes or greeting cards. Resembles old-map scroll paper. Pretty neat. On this paper is printed concept art sketches by Ludo Lullabi: an orc, tauren, undead, infernal, Alliance Footman, Ironforge outdoor, a dwarf, a night elf rogue, a troll, and Dwarves on rams marching to battle.

Flipping the page, I see the same Ludo Lullabi artwork (the one outlined in gold foil on the book cover’s leather surface). This time fully colored. Followed by the credits page, and an exclusive Foreword of two pages (two columns each) written by no less than Chris Metzen (Blizzard VP of Creative Design), commonly known as the loremaker of the Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo franchises.

It was great to find out the Blizzcon 2007 exclusive issue# 0 (Prologue) printed within the World of Warcraft Vol. 1 Hardcover. This issue# 0 was an exclusive to BlizzCon 2007 attendees. In total, you get eight chapters (including the prologue chapter). Each chapter shows the variant cover and normal cover in full color.

I recommend getting this book collection. Perfect as a gift to someone who is a lore fan. This is the story of Varian Wrynn, King of Stormwind—which picks up right after the Missing Diplomat quest series. Varian Wrynn will play an important role in the Alliance front against the Lich King in Northrend—in the upcoming World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King MMO expansion. This book serves as backstory. Get your hands on it while supplies last.