The Diablo III 2012 wall calendar is full of absolutely amazing artwork. The artists didn’t hold back on making the characters look heroic, making the demons look horrific, or making the creatures look monstrous. The truth of this is obvious when you take a look at the artwork that has been selected for the month of February. It is a rather lifelike depiction of a monster that made me wonder “Dear God, what is that thing?”
It appears to be humanoid, which is somehow more disturbing than if it were some less recognizable shape. This creature has a male looking torso, and two human-like, muscular, arms. The arms are deathly pale, which contrasts sharply with the … tattoos, for lack of a better term … that cover the creatures lower arms, wrists, and hands. It almost looks like it is wearing turquoise colored fingerless gloves. The hands end in fingers that resemble talons. Each has a long, sharp, nail on the end. Well, except for the finger that has a portion of it missing.
It isn’t easy to tell if the head of this creature is encased in some sort of thick, metal, plate-like armor, or if that is really what its head looks like. If it has any eyes, those are covered by the “helmet”. Rows of razor sharp teeth are exposed in the creature’s open mouth. It makes me think of “Chatterer” from the Hellraiser movies. One can almost hear it shrieking.
“Mr. February” might be wearing some sort of pants, that appear to be held on to his body by a series of claw shaped staples. Or, maybe that is just how his hideous body is shaped? Also, I’m not sure if a creature that lacks legs, and whose body ends in what looks like a lizard’s tail, can actually wear pants anyway. This creature is carrying at least five human skulls along with him. Each skull is tied at his waist by a thick, red, rope. If you had any doubt that our “Mr. February” was not your friend, those grizzly trophies should quickly clarify things.
What in hell is this nightmarish creature? I decided to try and find out. The first thing I learned is that this particular piece of artwork came from the mind of an artist named Brom. If you are unfamiliar with Brom, take a moment to go check out some of the artwork on his website. He has a style all his own.
According to the Diablo III Wiki, this particular painting is called “Tomb Viper”, and it is hanging in the Blizzard Campus Gallery. I also learned that Blizzard released screenshots of this painting as a reward for bringing the Diablo III Facebook page to 700,000 “likes”. This happened on March 23, 2011.
At the 2009 Blizzcon, there was a demo released of the Monk. At that time, the Monk was the much anticipated, newly revealed, character class for Diablo III. Somewhere in the gameplay portion of the video, (at around 3:40) you can see the Monk destroy several Tomb Vipers. Clearly, the very creepy looking “Mr. February” is a monster called a Tomb Viper.
Personally, I love that Blizzard selected this particular piece of artwork for the month of February. Valentine’s Day is in February, and I am not a fan of that holiday. It would be really difficult to find artwork that is less “Valentine-y” than Brom’s Tomb Viper!