StarCraft II: Nature of the Beast is a nine issue comic series that was first published alongside the release of the War Chests after the conclusion of This Sacred Land. It features Donny Vermillion and Nova Terra, investigating the world of Tartarus, holding secrets of the late Emperor Arcturus Mengsk.
Based on a tip from a “fan,” disgraced news anchor and champion of despots Donny Vermillion chases a story that could resurrect his career—if he lives to tell it. His destination is a remote planet once controlled by the late Emperor Arcturus Mengsk, and he’s not the only one interested in its dangerous secrets. Vermillion crosses paths with former Dominion ghost Nova and her partner Reigel, who are conducting their own investigation of the mysterious world. Featuring characters and storylines from previous War Chest comics, “Nature of the Beast” tests the resolve and humanity of hero and shady reporter alike.
Donny Vermillion, disgraced for his continued support of Arcturus Mengsk and having left UNN, finished an episode of his show, "The Donny Vermillion Show," when he received a message from a fan of a big story. He took a freighter to the planet of Tartarus the edges of Dominion Space, accompanied by a xenophobic former jorium transporter. They found a massive defense network around the planet, and discover swarms of zerg on Tartarus's surface. However, as they approached, their transport is attacked by the defense network.
The pilot jettisoned Vermillion from an escape pod as his ship explodes, and he is sent plummeting toward the planet. Meanwhile, in the Griffin, Nova Terra and Reigel notice Donny's falling escape pod.
Nova and Reigel arrived on the infested surface, and Riegel convinced Nova they needed to save Vermillion. Meanwhile, Vermillion attempted to record the devastation on the planet, when he ran into scientist Evelyn Yoo and her son Jun-Ho Yoo. Evelyn pointed a gun at him and demanded they take his ship off world, to which he responded he had no ship. They were interrupted when a hydralisk attacked them, and Vermillion pushed Evelyn in an attempt to escape, but was cornered by the hydralisk. He was saved by a blast from Nova's hellfire shotgun, which killed the hydralisk. Reigel rescued Evelyn and Jun-Ho, and Evelyn punched Vermillion for abandoning her.
Nova and Reigel talked with Evelyn, who revealed she was a worker at the planet's jorium refinery when the zerg attacked. Nova told her that she would help Evelyn escape if she showed her where the jorium refinery was. Reigel was infuriated at Nova using civilians, and told her that he thought she had an obsession with her mission of finding jorium, which Nova dismissed. Reigel reluctantly agreed to follow her on her mission, and the group agreed to move on the refinery at dawn.
That night, Nova and Evelyn discussed jorium, as well as the observation that Jun-Ho was partially infested, and that his treatment only slowed the spread. That morning, they moved on the refinery, entering the hole the zerg had burst out of. As they entered, they discovered under the refinery was a training facility. Vermillion picked up a key card and opened a door, revealing a zerg queen. The group fled behind another door, which housed a large number of pods containing spectres.
Evelyn revealed the facility was a continuation of Project Shadowblade, creating spectres loyal to Arcturus Mengsk, but that the zerg they were using for training broke free. The group tried to barricade the door from the attacking queen, and debated releasing the spectres to fight the zerg, when a claw broke through and grabbed Donny Vermillion. Nova used the cryo-fluid of the spectre tanks to freeze the claw, freeing Donny. Reigel hacked the facility’s security, enabling him to call the Griffin to land on top of the facility.
Donny patched himself into the facility’s computer to make his report, while Nova and Reigel debated on the fate of the spectres, Nova insisting they should kill them while Reigel and Evelyn wanted to spare them. Meanwhile however, the queen rallied nearby zerg for an attack on the trapped group. Evelyn warned the group of the attack, and Nova ordered Reigel to terminate the spectres. However, Reigel instead trapped the rest of the group behind closed doors and released the spectres.
The spectres awoke confused, and Reigel had them follow him out. Nova contacted Reigel and confronted him on his betrayal, but as Reigel justified his actions, the spectres turned on him and knocked him out. The spectres met Donny on the top of the facility near the Griffin, and as the spectres tried to kill him, Donny pleaded that he could update them on the state of the Dominion since they were put in stasis, and they dragged him aboard the Griffin.
Meanwhile, inside, Nova encountered an unconscious Reigel, and the zerg broke through as the group tried to escape, and Evelyn took a grenade and ran into the oncoming swarm, asking them to save her son. She died in the detonation. As they reached the top, they realized the ‘’Griffin’’ was gone, and the refinery was surrounded by zerg. As they accepted their fate, a Daelaam void ray piloted by Matriarch Vorazun incinerated the nearby zerg, having been drawn to the planet by a distress signal.
Nine days later on the void ray, Nova and Reigel still fumed over Reigel’s betrayal, while Jun-Ho’s infestation had spread to advanced stages, forcing him to be restrained. Cures were attempted, but Jun-Ho was in advanced infestation. Both Nova and Reigel agreed they needed to keep Jun-Ho alive however, despite Vorazun’s protests. Meanwhile, captured by the spectres, Donny overheard the spectres have doubts regarding Emperor Mengsk’s mission, but was discovered, and when he backtalked the spectre leader One, Donny was physically attacked by the spectres.
On the bridge of Vorazun’s void ray, the Matriarch called Nova and Reigel, stating her intention to hunt the spectres, and that she saw much of the Nerazim in them and hoped she could help them bridge the gap between their peoples. Nova, remembering Donny was on the ship, suggested a plan, Vorazun and Nova would psionically reach out to Donny and influence him to broadcast his location. The plan succeeded, and the group was able to locate the spectres at a small mining outpost. On the journey over, Nova committed herself to killing the spectres in spite of Reigel’s pleading to try diplomacy, and Vorazun came to attempt to talk her out of a reckless path.
Nova boarded a warp prism, only briefly noticing one more figure enter the prism. Meanwhile at the mining town, the spectres noticed the protoss force coming, and immediately attempted to kill Donny for betraying them. Back on the ship, Reigel noticed Jun-Ho escaped, and rushed to the surface to warn the force that he had likely gone down with them.
Jun-Ho, maintaining some element of free will, saw Donny under attack by the spectres, and rushed to his defense, but Six knifed him, killing the infested boy. Nova and several dark templar moved in, and the two forces stood face to face. The two sides engaged in a melee, with one spectre being killed and one spectre losing their arm. As the fight began to turn against Nova, she warned that the void ray was above them ready to kill them all if they failed, which allowed Nova time to try diplomacy. In revealing to them that they were more than the weapon they saw themselves as, Nova realized that she too had become shaped by her training and thought only as a weapon. In spite of One’s protests, the other spectres saw Nova’s point, and not willing to die for a dead emperor, all five surviving spectres laid down their arms to join her.
The group retrieved Donny, who was morning Jun-Ho’s death, and met with Vorazun. Vorazun agreed to help the spectres recover from their terrazine addiction, and offered Nova and Reigel a chance to come with them to similarly recover. Nova accepted as an opportunity to evolve from being a weapon, but Reigel declined, stating he wished to do some good for the sector his own way for a time.
Back on Korhal, Donny Vermillion once again broadcasted his pro-Mengsk stories, but reflecting on the events of Tartarus, decided to report more positively on “Heroes of the Dominion.” Later as he sorted through footage, he found one of Reigel helping rescue civilians.
On Aiur, Nova and the spectres had been working on maintaining their inner balance at an ancient protoss temple, when the Griffin landed nearby, Reigel exiting. Vorazun prodded Nova to confront and forgive her old friend, and she approached the ship.
The first three issues of Nature of the Beast were released on Battle.net as part of the War Chest program. After the War Chest program was ended, the future issues were released only as part of StarCraft II: Nature of the Beast: The Complete Collection, and concluded with a short story by Alex Acks.
- 06-11-2020, Brian Alexander LinkedIn, LinkedIn.com, 06-11-2020
- Brian Alexander (w), Carlos Rodríguez (i) and Sandra Molina (c). (June 11, 2020). StarCraft II: Nature of the Beast: Part 1. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Nature of the Beast: Part 1 Accessed 2020-06-11.
- 08-15-2019, War Chest 6, Blizzard Entertainment, 06-11-2020
- Brian Alexander (w), Carlos Rodríguez (i) and Sandra Molina (c). (July 9, 2020). StarCraft II: Nature of the Beast: Part 2. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Nature of the Beast: Part 2 Accessed 2020-07-11.
- Brian Alexander (w), Carlos Rodríguez (i) and Sandra Molina (c). (July 27, 2020). StarCraft II: Nature of the Beast: Part 3. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Nature of the Beast: Part 3 Accessed 2020-08-06.
- Brian Alexander, Akex Acks (w), Carlos Rodríguez (i) and Sandra Molina (c). (April 2, 2022). StarCraft II: Nature of the Beast - The Complete Collection. Blizzard Entertainment. ISBN 978-1950366866