Mass Effect comics are really great, and Discovery is no exception. So far, this extended look into Mass Effect: Andromeda has allowed readers to get the one thing players of the games will likely never see: more exploration into this world. With Tiran Kandros investigating the Andromeda Initiative and what he believes to be the shady dealings of its founder, Jien Garson, he’s begun to find a common thread: a Quarian scientist named Shio’leth that seems to be the link between what he believes to be the real impetus behind the Inititative and the good its claiming to try to do.
So far, it’s gotten Kandros shot at, questioned, and attacked by the mysterious Agent Zeta, a biotics and anger-fueled Salarian who has his own issues with this brilliant Quarian. Kandros and his associate, Luna Shanks, have – through their quest to both escape Zeta and get Shio’leth to safety while trying to uncover the Initiative’s motives – found themselves on Omega, a setting that will be very familiar to those familiar with Mass Effect lore. This familiarity rears its head once again as we get to see a familiar face, another aspect of this comic that has given fans something that the game never really gave. Aggressive Asari Aria T’Loak does what she does best, which is get in people’s faces and demand they bend to their whim. While this doesn’t quite happen here, she’s a welcome face in this series, and their trip to Omega lends some serious results, some of which aren’t exactly welcome news for Shanks and Kandros.
Jeremy Barlow and John Dombrow are both terrific writers, and this has been a fun series to read thus far. I love seeing these familiar worlds and getting a new take on them. While it’s more of an ancillary tale, it’s good to see more Mass Effect in the world somewhere.
The art team of Gabriel Guzman and Michael Atiyeh have done a great job, as well, getting this series just right visually. The colors are especially brilliant, as the bright, rich colors of biotics, gunfire, and strange worlds have been captured very well.
There’s just one thing that makes this series a bit hard to read: the state of the Mass Effect franchise. While it’s not fair to judge this series based on what has happened to the franchise as a whole, it’s hard not to, because while this series is giving a quality look at the world before the Andromeda Initiative, the current state of the franchise (that state being that it’s basically in indefinite hiatus) makes this a bit of a tough book to get into. As much as I want to love this, and it’s worth loving as an addition to this universe, knowing it’s the only thing we’re getting to see outside of the basic single-player story of Mass Effect: Andromeda is severely disappointing. The tie-ins to the previous installments of the game were welcome additions to a rich history, while this series has the unfortunate fate of being a good grape in a dying vine. It’s not right, but it’s true, and while I’m absolutely going to keep reading this – and enjoying it – that pall is going to be hard to ignore.