For a prequel comic that had its one major plot point deliberately rendered worthless by Mass Effect 2’s promotional previews, you’ll be lucky if anything in Mass Effect: Redemption keeps you guessing for long.
Written by Mass Effect 2’s lead writer, Mac Walter, the story here follows Liara (a blue Asari female with biotic abilities) who is on a mission to recover the remains of Commander Shepard’s body. She travels to the Omega station to meet Feron, an information trader who claims to know the whereabouts of Shepard’s body. No sooner has Liara arrived on the space station when she finds herself the target of mercenaries, as the Shadow Broker, pro-human group Cerberus and the reclusive xenophobes, the Collectors, fight over their human cargo.
At four issues, Mass Effect: Redemption was never going to be the next Scott Pilgrim, but you would expect it to at least provide a brief entertaining run-around. While there’s plenty of buffing and double-crossing, its story arc is predictable and the payoff is, of course, an invitation to find out more by playing Mass Effect 2. But, Feron’s agenda adds some deceit to the plot, and finding out more about him and his part in events is the series’ strongest point.
Art-wise, the miniseries wears its origin’s colours, but would benefit from an even more pronounced, less bright art style. Omar Francia has represented the world of Mass Effect in the same colourful, dirt free way that so many of Dark Horse’s sci-fi comics are. And something about the way he draws some of the aliens and their facial expressions just doesn’t seem right proportionally at times.
Mass Effect: Redemption is a mediocre effort for a franchise that has already spawned a rich expanded universe. I almost wish they had just made the comic’s events playable in the game. Then maybe they could have spent time making a more unexpected comic and left the search and rescue mission to the player.