Mass Effect: Redemption no. 2 impressions, thoughts

Dark Horse Comics’ second comic in the Mass Effect: Redemption series is on store shelves now, weeks after you’ve obliterated all the content in Mass Effect 2. Scripted by the game’s lead writer, John Jackson Miller, and obviously endorsed by the game’s developer, this is something you should look at, right?

What the Hell is This Thing?

Picking up where the last Redemption probably left off, this comic focuses on the blue-skinned Asari, Liara T’Soni, and her attempts to locate Shepard’s body after The Normandy takes one — no several — to the gut from The Collectors.

You’ll notice that Liara isn’t the sweet and innocent scientist that she was in the original Mass Effect. In fact, she’s something of a maniac, a killer who doesn’t mind making a scene or getting into physical altercations. In this comic, you’ll see her knock around a fidgety Krell the most, while finding time to brutalize other galactic scum between crucial plot panes.

Perhaps the most compelling part of this comic is her meeting with Aria, who does indeed have critical information and strangely enough, offers it without a price.

The Word

It Smells Like Mass Effect

If you like Mass Effect fiction, you might like this. I can’t say that I often wondered about how Cerberus managed to retrieve Shepard’s corpse, but this does fill in a plot hole that ME2 hurdles over. Plus, it gives you a little slice of insight into Liara’s life since the catastrophic loss of the Normandy and the Commander.

It Doesn’t Look like Mass Effect

The art might not win you over. The style is too extreme for my tastes. Bodies and faces have an Aeon Flux kind of look, elongated and lean with viciously over-emphasized features. I much prefer the soft features of characters and the rich colors presented in the games than what is presented in this Redemption comic.

And People Sure Don’t Act Like They Did In Mass Effect

Even though a writer for ME 2 wrote the script, these characters don’t feel right. For example, at the beginning of the comic, Miranda says, “Put your bumpy heads together. I’m sure you’ll come up with something!” That doesn’t sound like my Miranda. And neither does Liara — she’s too wicked and too vengeful. In the game, she seems much more subdued about her issues with the Shadow Broker.

Putting the Book Down

Mass Effect: Redemption  no. 2 didn’t win me over as a fan of the game, nor as a casual reader of Mass Effect fiction. I do see bright spots in the overarching narrative in Redemption, but I would have to see all of the comics together to know if I could dig it or not.

Brad BradNicholson