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‘Mass Effect: Discovery #1’ – Advance Comic Book Review

Tie-in comics are generally kind of hit or miss, and that especially goes when they’re tied to video games, a medium that generally allows for so much more expansive lore than any other medium can give. That goes even more so for games like the Mass Effect franchise, which is a huge, expansive universe that the games only scratch the surface of, in most single titles. As the video game series has gone on, we’ve learned a great deal, and that is usually gained through huge, eighty-hour playthroughs that take us on massive and beautiful journeys.

But that being said, the Mass Effect tie-in series have been pretty good, and Mass Effect: Discovery is no exception. Focusing on the era of the second series within the franchise, Andromeda, Discovery puts the lens on the Andromeda Initiative, and the shady dealings that went with their founding and expansion. It seems in the early goings of the Initiative, many were skeptical of its purpose, which was said to be to explore further reaches of space and spread the species of the Milky Way into the unexplored universe.

Enter Tiran Kandros, a familiar face for those who have explored Andromeda. He’s an ancillary character that is met pretty early in the game on the main hub of the game’s landscape. Now, we get to see the man in action as he goes undercover to find out about the true motives of the Andromeda Initiative, and to find a scientist who may have made a pretty shocking discovery.

Written by John Dombrow and Jeremy Barlow, this looks to be a short but expansive series, giving us further background into the vast world of Mass Effect. Barlow’s a writer that’s been in my personal zeitgeist for a long time now, and one I greatly respect. He and Dombrow are already doing a great job of building up the tension on an event that we already kind of see through but know little about when we are first thrust into their purview inside the game. With some great care, which they seem to be applying, this looks to be a great glimpse into the world that came before, and what led to what we’ve already seen.

Gabriel Guzman and Michael Atiyeh handle the art duties on this series, and they do a pretty brilliant job. While the style follows what could be considered a “house style” for Dark Horse, it looks great. The characters are well represented and do a terrific job of doing the world justice. That’s a tough thing to do when you’re trying to emulate a vast and diverse world, but so far, so good.

I absolutely adore the Mass Effect franchise, and seeing some work inside that world in another medium is a great thing to see. While not all tie-in series work well, this one is on its way to being one of the rare finds in this genre. Dark Horse has a good track record of doing justice to video game-based comics, and thankfully, their work inside the Mass Effect universe is no different.


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