The Mass Effect series has thusfar excelled at creating a universe full of morally ambiguous characters with hidden agendas and complex relationships galore. Every character has an angle and is looking for something to gain. Expanding on the video game mythos is the new comic series, Mass Effect Foundation. Is the rampant backstabbery in this tale entertaining? More importantly, is it good?
Mass Effect Foundation #1 (Dark Horse Comics)
“Deep” and “dark” are the central themes throughout the comic’s twist-laden script, and are reinforced by Omar Francia’s shade-heavy artistic style. Every shadow in this comic bleeds ink all over the page, in a good way. The fighting is fast, brutal, and a little awkward from some odd motion lines. Characters involved in skirmishes are quick to trade slashes and take damage to get the kill. The body language during the main character’s approach to the target also seemed to move fast from place to place as well as from disguise to disguise. It all communicates a strong sense of urgency and speed very well, but the art style suffers from some awkward posing and almost computer generated models:
The story, written by Mac Walters, lead writer for Mass Effect 2 & 3 as well as many Mass Effect comics, revolves around an assassin/secret agent-type lady looking for a high ranking Cerberus’ neck to cut. The main character goes unnamed for the full length of the feature. She proves her domineering personality by stomping a nearby ne’er-do-well into the recently hewn mine floor. She evokes themes of shady dealings with The Shadow Broker both by being a spy assassin, and by directly mentioning one of The Shadow Broker’s main accountants. The bad guy is fun to hate and even has a nifty Enter the Dragon claw weapon to spice up the hand to hand action. The story even does a good job of training a slight dislike for the main character to keep you interested in her motives and how her story evolves. The only thing lacking here is that there isn’t a single omni tool in the whole comic.
- Fits well into game universe
- Solid writing
- Fast paced, low downtime
- Plenty of plot twists
- Omar Francia’s art fits the theme well
- Awkward posing during fights makes action hard to follow
- No Krogans
- Several cliches
- No omni tools
Is It Good?
This title does a good job of weaving itself into Mass Effect game universe by using the game’s second best story feature, the espionage and unexpected twists built into the hardships of space life.
The very best feature of the Mass Effect universe will always be the Krogan, but alas this comic is exclusively human. This title has certainly piqued my interests and I will be looking forward to exploring the depths of this universe.