Hey guys, my name is Brave Tomato, and I’m here with a very special post.
Remember when I told you all that I was going to get the print version of Mystery of the Map’s graphic novel in my post about when it was just released? Well, I had gotten it and re-read it a few weeks ago. In case you’re wondering why I waited so long to tell you guys about this novel, it’s because I wanted to give a fair shot to the novel’s sales. After all, the novel is a source of revenue for the Creators, and money is needed to fund the game.
This post is here to highlight the differences between the original online version that was posted last year, and the newly updated printed version. I’ll tell you right off the bat that the plot is the same as well as the circumstances. However, there are a few differences that sometimes enhance or affect the graphic novel in other ways.
Be wary of spoilers ahead! If you haven’t bought the book, yet are able to, I recommend you buy it for yourself – it’ll support the Creators!
Minor Edited/New Dialogue
I’m going to start with the minor stuff, and get to the major stuff later in this post. To start, there are some panels where dialogue is either edited or entirely new. The selection of dialogue I have here may not have major significance, but it’s still interesting to say nonetheless. Here are a few examples. (The original online version will be on the left side, while the new print version is on the right side. Click on the pictures for a better view!)
Minor Updated Art/Layout Changes
Although they’re quite rarer, there are some instances where the layout or actions of characters are different than before. It’s likely this would be the case to make some scenes more effective upon their print release. However, strangely enough, there is one aspect where the panel is less detailed. Maybe it’s due to the printing size.
Divided into Chapters
Another aspect of the printed graphic novel is the fact that it’s divided into chapters. They range from “Prologue to Chapter 10”. I’ll have to say though that they’re kinda awkwardly and unevenly divided. I’ll tell you where each “chapter” starts, though.
Prologue: Where else but the very beginning.
Chapter 1: When Octavian and the kids first arrive at Poptropica
Chapter 2: When Octavian cuts loose from his crashed hot air balloon
Chapter 3 : Where Embed the “Viking” gets knocked out
Chapter 4: When the kids arrive at the fortress
Chapter 5: When the Vikings notice the kids in the fortress
Chapter 6: When the kids are locked in the cage
Chapter 7: When they escape the cage
Chapter 8: When they’re on the river
Chapter 9: When the Vikings slide after the kids on the river
Chapter 10: When the kids stop Octavian
Erik the Red to Jarl Thorvaldsson
This is a minor but recurring detail within the graphic novel. In the original version, both the Vikings and the kids refer to the leader as Erik the Red. In the print version, however, the Vikings now call him by his real name, Jarl Thorvaldsson, likely to keep in line with the fact that “Erik the Red” was a historical nickname.
Okay, this next one is the major one. Theorists, prepare your thinking caps! Because we’re about to get deeper.
You’re probably looking at this and thinking “Who the heck is Embed?” or if you do know, “How do you know his name, anyway?” Well, his name wasn’t ever in the graphic novel, but his name was in the limited time MotM themed Photo Booth!
Yeah, it’s that guy who Octavian knocked out and stole the Viking disguise from. First thing that comes to mind: Embed is quite a bizarre and unfitting name for an old timey Viking. But there might be a reason for that. Let’s take a look at a few MotM pages.
Page 24 has the most significant change between the print and online with alterations. Between the online and print versions, there is a major difference with how Embed acted when Octavian was revealed:
While the old version has him act more oblivious, the new version of the page reveals even more of a hint that Embed knows who Octavian is and what he’d be after. His freaked out reaction when Octavian finally shows himself and the shouting of “YOU!” says it all.
Embed, as you may already know, reappears closer to the end when he’s rescued by Oliver, Mya, and Jorge. There are quite some alterations to indicate that Embed is more than he says he is here on page 77.
Aside from Embed being minus a shirt here now, the main difference here is how the words are spoken here by Embed. He knows exactly where Octavian is as if he would know his exact movements. He makes the connection between the map and what would be Octavian’s plan. Most importantly, yet again indicating that he knew him, he says that Octavian “has returned”. I’ll get more into a theory in the next and final part of this post coming right up.
The Lost Expedition Teaser
(In case you have not seen my post about the second graphic novel in the series, here it is.)
At the very end of the graphic novel, with the picture of the kids going off in the distance to their next adventure, there is a little teaser for the second book. The description is slightly different from the Amazon page summary of the book. Here’s the book description in the first graphic novel:
With Octavian hot on their heels, Mya, Oliver, and Jorge search for a way home from Poptropica using the help of their magical map. Soon, another threat emerges: a secret society whose mission is to prevent outsiders from meddling with the islands of Poptropica. As danger closes in from all sides, the kids find themselves stranded aboard a lost Arctic expedition. Will they ever find a way home, or have their hopes for escape been put on ice?
Not too much new is revealed but we…kinda know now why this Society wants to banish them from Poptropica. But then again… if all the kids wanted to do was go home, then why are they avoiding the secret society who wants to exile them, which woul get them out of Poptropica? If I have to guess, then it’s because either (a) the kids got too wrapped up in trying to stop Octavian from doing whatever he’s doing, or (b) the place the society wants to take them to instead… isn’t the trio’s home.
Either way, I somehow feel this connection between Octavian, Embed, and this secret society. What I have up next is kind of a combination of different theories (partially influenced by HPuterpop) in which I would predict what the connection between the three is. Now, I’m not going to guarantee I’ll be right- but I’ll share anyways. Maybe more spoilers ahead?:
Embed had been clearly established as knowing Octavian and what kind of person he is. It could be because they’ve known each other once upon a time as fellow Poptropicans and adventurers. I want to think the relationship is as mentor (Embed) and student (Octavian). They could very well be part of that secret society that guards the islands and knows its secrets.
However, Octavian was starting to become more ruthless in his schemes, and when he went too far (aka what Octavian’s current goal would be), the society caught him and banished him to Oliver, Jorge and Mya’s world. Seeking for the perfect opportunity for the weather to strike right and the perfect time and direction, he (and his unwilling passengers) therefore returned – Octavian having been from banishment.
Octavian and Embed both mentioned about when “it” would be time. This could mean that whatever Octavian has planned, he doesn’t have forever to achieve it. Either way, whether I’m right or wrong, it’s still a theory nonetheless.
Anyways, that’s about it! There are some more edited dialogue and moments throughout the novel, but I don’t want to give everything away. What have you found in your copy of the book? What do you think is next for our heroes? Feel free to comment your thoughts!