The Joining was the first issue (followed by a prequel, Passages) of the cancelled Myst: The Book of Black Ships comic book series. Released by Dark Horse Comics in August 1997 and originally intended be continued in at least 3 more issues, the comic was quickly given the axe by Cyan as they felt the comics lacked quality as well as continuity with the games themselves. The Joining was written by Chris Ulm and drawn by Doug Wheatley.
After a written monologue by Atrus summing up the events of The Book of Atrus for those as yet unfamiliar with the background of the Myst series, The Joining followed the early exploits of Sirrus and Achenar as they began their steady betrayal of their father. After venturing into the open seas of the Mechanical Age, they spend several weeks in the company of the Black Ship's Ebony Cardinal, learning all sorts of pointlessly wicked things and slowly becoming the murderous boys we know them to be in their later incarnations. They do eventually return home to Atrus and Catherine, though it's clear at this point that they have no intention of staying. The book ends on the scene of Achenar linking back into Mechanical, offering up what seems to be a linking book to The Cardinal... His new "father."
The comic has become widely dismissed as apocryphal by both Cyan and the fandom at large, with the primary offense being the switching of the boys' characters. Achenar is tall, calculating and intellectual, while Sirrus is presented as thicker, more timid and harboring a taste for blood – though the opposite is true in the games. Upon the publisher's refusal to fix this mistake, Cyan cancelled their contract and thus prevented the publishing of The Betrayal, which was to be the second in the four-issue miniseries.
Despite this, many Myst fans purchased the comic right when it came out, and it is now considered an essential item by many collectors.