The Diablo III 2012 wall calender contains some seriously epic looking artwork. The quality of it has impressed me so much that I have decided to see if I could learn more about it. This blog is a continuation of the series I am doing about the artwork that is featured for each month in this year’s calendar.
March brings us a fierce, imposing, character. This is a large, bulky, male human whose facial expression makes it clear that he is not to be trifled with. That serious, and lethal, look is framed by plenty of dark grey hair that retains traces of its original light brown color.
His hair is shoulder length, and free flowing. Yet, someone has taken the time to put his beard into a series of braids. At the center, under his scowling mouth, is a portion of his beard that is unbraided, but still secured. The organic shape of his hair contrasts strongly with the linear scars around his eye and over part of his mouth. The scars do not end there. He isn’t wearing a shirt, and you can see several more scars that look as though they were made by a large, sharp, weapon, (and that have healed long ago).
He is wearing armor that has been secured by a thick chain that goes over his shoulder. There is a face decorating the center of the armor, and it, too, is grimacing at you. In one hand, he holds a double-bladed axe. On his back, you can see the hilts of three more weapons. If I had to guess, I would say that those are swords, and that one of them might be large enough to be a two-handed weapon. His other hand is empty, but clenched into a fist.
Obviously, this seasoned and battle-ready warrior is a Barbarian. I did some digging, but haven’t been able to find anything that would indicate that this particular Barbarian is supposed to be a specific, recognizable, character from Diablo lore. Instead, he seems be the representative of the male Barbarian class in Diablo III.
Before I finish discussing the artwork for March, I want to explain that the image you see of the Barbarian at the top of this page is not, exactly, the same as the one in the artwork for March. The only difference between the two is in how the image was cropped. The Barbarian in the calendar was not as tightly cropped, which lets you see more of him. Not all of him, though, because the calendar artwork cuts him off at the knees.
The Barbarian image you see here, and in the calendar, was once released on the Diablo Facebook page. This happened in May of 2010, along with a few other pieces of Diablo III artwork. I went to the Diablo III Facebook page as I was writing this blog, but the image of “Mr. March” is not there now.
Going back to the artwork in the calendar, it seems that the Barbarian has been superimposed over a background that includes a gold colored sky, and a city that looks to have been built directly into a mountainside. This is the city of Ureh.
Ureh is also called The City of Lights. It was first mentioned in The Kingdom of Shadows, which was written by Richard A. Knaak in 2002. I’m not going to do a complete book review within this blog about the calendar art, so, suffice it to say that Ureh was a very significant location in that story.
At one point, the city of Ureh was something that Blizzard planned on including into the Diablo III game. In 2009, Jay Wilson said in an interview that they had decided to remove Ureh from the game as a setting, in an effort to try and get the game out sooner.
There is something else interesting about the artwork for March. Flip over the calendar, and take a look at the back cover. You will be able to find the Barbarian. However, the art on the back of the calendar shows him from head to toe, and not cropped like he is in the March artwork. The art on the back also shows more of the city or Ureh. I’ve no idea what prompted Blizzard to make changes between the art on the back of the calender, and the art that is featured for the month of March inside the calendar.