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[ 03/November/2010 ]
StarCraft: Ghost Academy Manga Style Comic

Inevitably kidnapped by the Zerg, impossible to rescue, the metamorphosis of Terran Ghost Lieutenant Sarah Louise Kerrigan into the new queen of the swarm, the Queen of Blades, is more an event of fate rather than simple chance. Within the StarCraft Universe it is something that had to happen, and once her transformation is complete and the Overmind believes her just a new powerful minion, we know that there is no going back.

Kerrigan was a very powerful psychic, an incredible capable Ghost. We know a little more about her in the short story Uprising, which is included in the collection The StarCraft Archive: An Anthology, but even with it we know there is so much more about her that we will probably never know of. It is because of this that I believe the character November Anabella "Nova" Terra, better known just as Nova, has started to gain so much presence within the game's lore.

In a way Nova is, or is going to be, everything Kerrigan can't be anymore. And through her we might be able to get a better, deeper glimpse at the past, or a possible past, of how Sarah came to be. The link isn't established expressly but I believe it's there. Nova is also a very powerful psychic, a very capable Ghost, a rebel, a survivor, too much likeness to be just coincidental.

As a character evolution Nova has its own complicated past. She was meant to be the player's avatar in a Splinter Cell inspired game based in the StarCraft franchise, approriately titled StarCraft: Ghost. The game even went as far as to offer a few teaser trailers and even a video which was presented as the beginning of the story itself, but for some reason its development got halted and the character got put in cryo.

This was meant to be the opening cinematic of StarCraft: Ghost.

For some reason, maybe the one described at the start of this article or perhaps just in order not to leave a piece of lore hanging, Nova and the plot of its game appeared in a novel suspiciously titlted StarCraft Ghost: Nova (by Keith R.A. DeCandido, 320 pages, published by Simon & Schuster 22, January 2007). Now she is back as the main character of her own series. In any other context we would have to agree that her agent is very good.

StarCraft: Ghost Academy is a comic book series in manga format that introduces us to the life of Nova as she starts her Ghost training. Rescued from the streets she is taken to the Academy so she can learn to cope and control her abilities as well as use them against the enemies of the Terran Dominion. Written by Keith R.A. DeCandido, the same author of the novel, and brought to life by Fernando Heinz Furukawa.

Visually the comic book is very good although just in black and white as is the norm with its manga format by Tokyopop. The style of the drawings is fluid, sexy, and with enough depth but without attempting to qualify as extremely realistic. Size is comparable to a paperback book, a little less than A5, which makes it easier to transport and put away in backpacks and messenger bags. Being around 196 pages I would say it has more content than an equivalent more standard comic book issue which makes its price quite acceptable. Lucky for us although its manga style it reads like a normal western comic book.

The series is an ongoing project and being a comic book I saw no need to describe each tome so I'll just aggregate short overviews of each as they appear and I get to read them.

Volume 1

An introduction of the context, the setting, the Academy and Nova's Ghost Team, designation Team Blue (Lio Travski, Kath Toom, Gabriel Tosh, Aal Cistler). The story isn't particularly great but it is ok. The idea of Ghosts working in teams sounds a little tangential to the known lore, and our experience as gamers, but it isn't something to get too shocked about. We get to know a little more about each of the characters including Nova's past. There is a tome-plot as well as many lose ends that are left untied for the continuation of the adventure, it is a series after all.

StarCraft: Ghost Academy 1.
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