Last week, on July 25, 2012 Dark Horse Comics released the third comic in the “Mass Effect: Homeworlds” series and there was no way we would miss out on the chance to review this comic book series that continues to expand the “Mass Effect” universe.
Here is a little bit of history on “Mass Effect”, it is a series of video games from BioWare and published by EA for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The game follows Commander Shepard and his band of soldiers as they attempt to prevent an invasion by and ancient race called the Reapers, which would result in the deaths of every intelligent species in the galaxy.
“Homeworlds” is a series of comics that follows the adventures of some of Commander Shepard’s companions. These are all short stories that take place away from the main mission and offer insight into the party members that gamers wouldn’t know of otherwise.
Fair warning; big spoilers coming if you have never played the “Mass Effect” games.
Issue number three focuses on fan favorite Garrus Vakarian, a Turian that served as a member of C-Sec, the Citadel’s security force, before encountering Commander Shepard and joining his team in the first game. The comic begins with a young Garrus being taught how to shoot by his father, and failing miserably (kind of a surprise when you see how lethal he is in the game). After a short speech on adulthood the comic then fast forwards and sees Garrus struggling to deal with playing by C-Sec’s rules as criminals continue to get away with their crimes on the Citadel.
The main story is focused on the events between “Mass Effect 2”, after Shepard and the Normandy fall, when Garrus leaves C-Sec officially and heads to Omega to deal with the gangs personally. Garrus forms a team and taking on the name of Archangel begins to hit the gangs and disrupting their operations, but eventually the gangs unite to fight back and betrayal costs Garrus more than he ever anticipated.
What makes “Mass Effect: Homeworlds” such an entertaining series is that you get to learn more about some of the characters that you see so much during Shepard’s journey. In the games you hear a little about key moments in the companion’s past but the comics give readers new information about the reasons that they fight as well as why they may have changed between games. This is especially true for Garrus who ends up coming off like a “Batman” like tough guy after you find him once again on Omega, which happens to also be where the comic finishes off.
Visually the comic has a good look, the humans do look a little bit odd but the alien races, especially the Turians, are very detailed, one of the best looking moments in the comic involved a Vorcha paying at the hands of Garrus for his attempt to rob an elderly couple. The fight scenes look great and have a bit of blood and gore but nothing extreme. The text is large and easy to read and everything has a good flow, sounding like you would expect the characters to.
The comic comes with two different covers, the Anthony Palumbo cover, which looks closer to the video game version of Garrus, and the Mike Hawthorne variant cover, which looks more like comic book art. Of the two I kind of prefer the Mike Hawthorne version, just because it felt like there was a little more detail and it is a comic book not an art book, which is what the Anthony Palumbo cover looks like.
All-in-all “Mass Effect: Homeworlds” is an entertaining comic series with plenty of action as well as story, this is especially true for those that have played through the games as they already have an understanding of the main characters. Garrus became such a popular character as the game’s story progressed so even if gamers weren’t happy with the first issue, which focused on James Vega, fans of the series will definitely be pleased with this issue.
If you enjoyed “Dragon Age: The Silent Grove” or you enjoy reading more about the “Mass Effect” series then you can’t miss out on “Mass Effect: Homeworlds”.
Mass Effect: Homeworlds #3
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writers: Mac Walters, John Dombrow, Jeremy Barlow
Artist: Garry Brown
Colorist: Michael Atiyeh
Number of Pages: 32
Release Date: July 25, 2012
(A digital version of “Mass Effect: Homeworlds” #3 was provided by Dark Horse Comics.)
If you would like to purchase any of the “Mass Effect” video games for PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 locally here are the listings for some of the game stores in the Las Cruces and Albuquerque areas.
Game Stop 2633
1455 HICKORY DR
Las Cruces, NM 88005
550 Walton Blvd.
Las Cruces, NM 88001
Game Stop 2294
4411 SAN MATEO BLVD NE
Albuquerque, NM 87109
Game Stop 1638
330 Eubank NE
Albuquerque, NM 87123