Warriors: The Rise of Scourge in COLOR

Warriors: The Rise of Scourge follows one of the original villains of the series (you guessed it), Scourge (SPOILERS AHEAD). It starts with Scourge’s origin when he was only a small kittypet named Tiny, bullied by his siblings to the point of running away from home. Then, an encounter with the “forest cats,” aka ThunderClan, causes Tiny to hold a long-standing grudge against Tigerpaw, later Tigerstar. Scourge rules the Twolegplace with blood and fear, from a tiny kit to a grown (albeit small) cat, waiting for his chance to get revenge against the tabby warrior that scarred him as a kit. His tooth and claw studded color and reinforced claws strike fear into every cat except Tigerstar. Yet, the manga and graphic novel both end on the same page, when Scourge kills Tigerstar. Though Firestar ultimately kills Scourge in the battle against BloodClan in The Prophecies Begin: The Darkest Hour, this is the succinct end to Scourge’s revenge story.


This reprint was published this year on March 12th and the original manga published in 2008. Even though Erin Hunter created the story, it was written by Dan Jolley and the art was by Bettina M. Kurkoski. The manga is all in black, white, and gray, the typical manga style, as was all of the original Warriors manga stories. In the last several years, with the rise in popularity of graphic novels, the Erin Hunter team has started going back and turning these manga into graphic novels, including color. Scourge’s story is the latest of that, with the coloring by Danielle Weires.

For the most part, I think the coloring of the story is successful. It’s always fun to see the cats’ designs represented in color instead of black and white. Even though Scourge is a mostly black cat himself, he’s shown more boldly in color, especially his icy-blue eyes. Scourge’s mutinous expressions when he’s only a tiny (wink) kit are to die for, both in black and white and in color. The treatment from his siblings and the babying treatment his mother gives him are stark in color as well; it lends a sort of intensity to the situation. There’s a lot of life colored into the forest landscapes specifically. The vibrancy of the grass and trees makes those sections fun, and they also have more details, like smaller sprigs of grass and more lines in the trees, than in the black-and-white version.

They made some interesting changes regarding coloring backgrounds though. In the original format, when a background wasn’t fully drawn out and was just a block of color, they included comic-book-style markings and lines to give it dimension. In the colored version, it is either in an ombré style or a blank block of color. I find this to be a strange change, considering they added clouds or extra features to other backgrounds. I wish they had kept the comic-style details so it wasn’t only cats floating in a blank space. Something that didn’t change was the strange shading style of the manga version. Whenever a cat’s legs or parts of their body were in the “background” of the body, they shaded it completely in black. In the manga version, it made some sense because it didn’t look as off-putting. However, in color, it looks too aggressively black and sort of lazy.

Otherwise, I quite enjoyed seeing the design changes they made from the original manga to the graphic novel. They simplified and cleaned up some of the cat’s striping, as well as corrected some designs to make them more canon-accurate. For example, Thistleclaw’s previous design was not accurate to his description in the books, since he is a striped tabby. In the new colored edition, he’s correctly identifiable as a tabby. You are also able to see how Tigerpaw/star’s stripes are less like a blanket on his back and more refined. Weirdly enough, they randomly changed some of the background character designs, like the cats Tiny talks to on the fence when he first runs away. Yet, one of my favorite design changes occurs with some of the background BloodClan lackeys; the cat gets heterochromia, one blue and one yellow eye. It’s a subtle shift, but an interesting difference.

Lastly, I will say that I loved seeing a new design for Jake as well. Jake’s bright ginger fur and tabby markings were changed from the blank canvas in the original. Jake is the father to both Firestar and Scourge, making them half-brothers, and has always resembled Firestar more than Scourge. Seeing that represented in the graphic novel was a lovely addition. Although neither of them knew it in their lifetimes, it is poetic to see two cats whose lives parallel each other and end up at such different points.

Buy Warriors: The Rise of Scourge graphic novel on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. If you want the original in black and white, you can purchase it on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

About Hailey Watkins

Hailey is a self-proclaimed bookworm and writer. While she loves to read fantasy or slice-of-life the most, their heart belongs truly to the Warrior cats book series. She has collected and read all of the books in the nearly 100-book-long (and counting) series. She's also a fan of reading Webtoons, graphic novels, and manga, as well as watching anime. When they're not writing about fandom, their day job is as a substitute teacher.

View all posts by Hailey Watkins

2 Comments on “Warriors: The Rise of Scourge in COLOR”

  1. AMAZING FIRE FANTASTIC ARTICLE AS ALWAYS!!! some of the changes were a bit too jarring for me and honestly im partial to the original but YAY RISE OF SCOURGE!! can say i agree on appreciating them changing up the designs to be more canon compliant for sure!! and absolutely the gradient backgrounds ruin it a bit :’) but tbf this person probably didn’t have much time to do anything cool!! just sucks that corners had to be cut to begin with :’) rip blanket stripes you will be missed </3 they were cute and coherent </3 /pos /lh

    1. Some of the changes are pretty jarring! I’m glad you agree with most of my points :)). For what it’s worth, I think the person did a phenomenal job with the assumed deadline!! Thank you as always, friend <3.

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