Comic Publishers

January 6, 2010

Dark Horse Reviews: Mass Effect: Redemption #1

Publisher: Dark Horse
Writers: Mac Walters & John Jackson Miller
Artist: Omar Francia
Cover: Daryl Mandryk

If you were planning on playing Mass Effect 2 later this month — or hell, even if you weren’t — Mass Effect: Redemption is a must read. Fans of the game have anxiously awaited to soak in more of Mass Effect’s compelling universe of characters, and newer fans will be pleasantly surprised with a new Sci-Fi story that has a classic feel. The story kicks off with Dr. Liara T’soni — a.k.a. the galaxy’s hottest blue alien chick — on the hunt for Commander Shepard, the human main protagonist of the video games. We quickly see that T’soni is not a to be pushed around after demonstrating her Biotic abilities, a kind of telekinesis power used by manipulating energy, on some less than reputable mercenaries.

T’soni soon meets Feron, an alien informant, who may have a lead on Shepard. But T’soni isn’t the only one after Shepard. T’soni and Feron are attacked by the Blue Suns, a “private security” group who have a few questions about the Commander, but are rescued by Cerberus, a pro human organization. T’soni and Feron are brought on board Cerberus’s covnoy where the group leader, the Illusive Man, offers to work together with T’soni to find Shepard; he’s being hunted by the Shadow Broker and the Collectors, a group of enigmatic space traders, but what do they want with Shepard?

Mac Walters and John Jackson Miller are quite the duo. Walters is head writer of the Mass Effect series, and Miller has writing experience with franchises like Star Wars; the two have crafted an epic with all the action, mystery and weird aliens of a true sci-fi classic. We’re taken to a part of the universe we haven’t explored, and are shown funny life forms like the Elcor who have to actually describe their emotions, because they have no visible way of expressing them. The action and exposition are paced well throughout, and anyone not familiar with the Mass Effect series won’t be too lost, as Walters and Miller do a decent job of explaining when necessary.

Omar Francia is another name sci-i fans will recognize, and are already familiar with his work on Star Wars Legacy and his twisted and scary (The Shadow Broker I found particularly eerie), yet sometimes elegant and sexy character designs. Francia brings his environments and characters to life with gritty and oily textures and bombastic expressions. This guy is a major leaguer.

I was honestly not expecting to enjoy this issue as much as I did. Sometimes when a video game expands into the comic book medium the results can be hit and miss; but Dark Horse really knows what they’re doing, and I’ll look forward to picking this series up regularly as I’m playing through Mass Effect 2!

Andrew Hurst



  1. InfiniteSpeech

    Being that I’ve never played Mass Effect will that in any way lessen my reading experience? And does this take place between the two games or is it an expansion of the 2nd Mass Effect due out soon?

  2. Noooot reading this until I pick it up tomorrow and read the issue for myself! Huge fan of the first game, have the second on pre-order and can’t wait.

  3. billy

    I really can’t get into games based on stories or movies(or vice-versa). I never understood why. I mean, I like games based on WWII(Call of Duty, Medal of Honor) but stuff like this just doesn’t get me interested in the game itself.

  4. Kristin

    Billy, did you misword that, or are you misunderstanding? The comic is based on the game, not the other way around.
    The game came first, and it spawned some novels, and this comic.
    I don’t think it’s initial intent is to get you interested in the game; rather, it’s for people who like the games and want more story. Or maybe for people who played the first, and are on the fence about the sequel. It’s sort of a bonus if it draws in new players.

  5. Kristin

    Nice, except for some weird art on a couple pages, and an alien species that doesn’t even appear in the game unless you bought DLC, and another race I’ve never heard of is a major character. Hooray!
    And also the fact that it takes place in between the two games, but ME2 comes out at the end of this month, months before the end of the mini-series.
    Oh, and an absurd ad to actual comic pages ratio.

  6. InfiniteSpeech

    I’ve been seeing the commercials for this game and it looks great and I’ve heard nothing but good things about the book so I might just try ’em both out

  7. […] 2 hit major game consoles, and to celebrate, Dark Horse announced that their comic book tie-in Mass Effect: Redemption will be hitting the iPhone. Written by Mass Effect 2 lead writer, Mac Walters, scripted by John […]

  8. […] expected a slow start in Mass Effect: Redemption#1, but it was a surprisingly engaging issue. However issue #2 would be the one to slow things down a […]

  9. […] this year Dark Horse released a comic book tie-in to hit video game Mass Effect in Mass Effect: Redemption, now the story continues in Mass Effect 2: Lair of the Shadow Broker and Dark Horse has released a […]

  10. […] looking at a new comic based on a video game. Valve’s mega popular Left 4 Dead series joins Mass Effect, God of War, Resident Evil, and many other video game properties as the latest game to be adapted […]

  11. […] Mass Effect: Redemption […]

  12. […] Mass Effect series by Dark Horse are legitimately awesome sci-fi stories. If you missed out on Mass Effect: Redemption, then shame on you! You won’t have to have read Redemption to follow this new epic, but […]

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