Andraste’s Knickerweasels! The new Dragon Age comic isn’t written by David Gaider? And has no familiar characters? And it kills mages?! (Why yes, of course I sided with the Mages in Dragon Age II, who didn’t?!) Magekiller had some pretty high standards to live up to as far as Dragon Age comics are concerned. The Silent Grove, Those Who Speak and Until We Sleep fed us Dragon Age Super Fans stories with characters we knew and loved, all spoken through the voice of David Gaider, one of the lead writers of the video game series. Not to mention Gaider authored novels within Dragon Age that rivaled those of Varric Tethras (I jest! No one writes better than our beloved Varric). I’m happy to say after reading issue one, none of my initial concerns ended up being a problem. Greg Rucka rocked this comic. It is a solid first issue. Praise the Maker!
Let’s start with our characters, Tessa and Marius, our magekillers. Tessa is a sarcastic and roguish mercenary who’ll do anything for money, unless her partner Marius says otherwise. In Dragon Age, Tessa’s nature has to contend with rogue favorites like Zevran, Isabela, and Sera, but she is funny and quick-witted and fiercely loyal to Marius, all things that make her a strong main character so far. Marius, meanwhile, doesn’t talk much in this first issue, but his personality is far from a flat. Silent, stoic and dare I say…a bit broody? This is a recipe for a fascinating character that I look forward to getting to know.
The story itself pulls you in right away and immediately feels like a Dragon Age tale. The writing is clever, with a few forgivable cliché phrases easily overlooked by the action-packed intro. It covers enough character development to peak your interest in our new heroes and leaves you wanting more. In comparison to Chad Hardin’s art in the Gaider comics, the artwork of Carmen Carnero is a great transition. From page one, I instantly felt as though I had jumped into a Dragon Age comic, from the outfits, to the spells and even the setting which takes place parts of Thedas we have yet to traverse!
Now for you novices, if you haven’t read any other Dragon Age comics or even if you (gasp!) haven’t played the games, there is enough exposition to keep you entertained and shouldn’t be too lost. It helps that the characters and setting are new to the series as well. But seriously…play Dragon Age…it’s amazing.
Was I worried this comic was going to be an Orson Scott Card comic debacle? A little bit. Did Greg Rucka do us Dragon Age fans proud? So far, yes! And this is coming from someone who insisted that Fenris is the only magekiller she will ever love. I can’t wait for the next issue!