Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver graphic novel The Dead Shall Rise is a canonical prequel to the classic action game

Variant cover for Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver – The Dead Shall Rise
(Image credit: Bit Bot Media)

It's been almost 30 years since Blood Omen, the gore-spattered first instalment of the Legacy of Kain video game franchise, wowed PS1 players. While that title was followed up by three official sequels – including the all-time-classic Soul Reaver – the action series has not received any new official content since 2003's Legacy of Kain: Defiance. (2013's planned multiplayer Nosgoth was a tangentially-related spin-off and never officially released.)

All that changes later this year with the publication of Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver – The Dead Shall Rise, an official prequel graphic novel by writers Joshua Viola and Angie Hodapp, artist Juan Samu, letterer Jeremiah Lambert, with covers by Dave Rapoza and Aaron Lovett, and additional art by Jonny Bush and Ninja Jo. 

The Dead Shall Rise is the first release from new multi-media company Bit Bot Media, and if all goes well, potentially the first in a series of Legacy of Kain releases. Developers Crystal Dynamics has provided creative direction for the book and promises that the book is considered a canonical part of the franchise and will contain "never-before-seen ideas and elements from unreleased Soul Reaver lore." 

Newsarama can exclusively reveal Magic: The Gathering artist Dave Rapoza's main cover in full below, as well as the news that the book will include concept art by Daniel Cabuco, who worked on both Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver and Soul Reaver 2, and was the Art Director for Legacy of Kain: Defiance.

Dave Rapoza's cover for Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver – The Dead Shall Rise

(Image credit: Bit Bot Media)

The Dead Shall Rise's story explores Soul Reaver protagonist Raziel’s past when he was still a human warrior, leading up to his transformation into Kain's vampire lieutenant. The graphic novel also promises to introduce new characters, including a vampire with connections to both Raziel and Kain. 

"Raziel's story spans centuries, offering rich material to explore," said co-writer Joshua Viola in a statement. "Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver – The Dead Shall Rise not only fills in the gaps but fleshes out his character in surprising ways, revealing what shaped him into the Raziel we know and love. We have lots of surprises in store beyond the graphic novel that will blow fans' minds."

"It was important to Josh and me to find, after 20 years, the right place and time to re-enter this world," added co-writer Angie Hodapp. "We wanted to find new stories about these characters that felt organic to the original canon – stories that would excite longtime fans of the games with plenty of familiar elements, while also inviting new fans to join in. With that in mind, and with the directive from Crystal Dynamics to introduce new characters while keeping our story lens tight on the known cast, Josh and I explored Raziel's past... specifically, his human past and the genesis of his wings in the days before Kain cast him into the Abyss."

There's no official publication date for Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver – The Dead Shall Rise just yet, but we'll be keeping an eye on this one and will be sure to update you when we know more. You can also find out more by signing up to the campaign's BackerKit page here and the project's Kickstarter page here.

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Will Salmon
Comics Editor

Will Salmon is the Comics Editor for GamesRadar/Newsarama. He has been writing about comics, film, TV, and music for more than 15 years, which is quite a long time if you stop and think about it. At Future he has previously launched scary movie magazine Horrorville, relaunched Comic Heroes, and has written for every issue of SFX magazine for over a decade. He sometimes feels very old, like Guy Pearce in Prometheus. His music writing has appeared in The Quietus, MOJO, Electronic Sound, Clash, and loads of other places and he runs the micro-label Modern Aviation, which puts out experimental music on cassette tape.