Issue: Mass Effect: Invasion #2
Release Date: November 16, 2011
Story: Mac Walters
Script: John Jackson Miller
Art: Omar Francia
Colors: Michael Atiyeh
Letters: Michael Heisler
Cover A: Massimo Carnevale
Cover B: Paul Renaud
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
I have made it no secret that Mass Effect is one of my favorite video game series of all time; indeed, Mass Effect’s perfectly-tuned mix of drama, action and sci-fi storylines has contributed to make one of the most compelling RPG series of this generation. But how exactly do these elements — so flawlessly executed in their virtual counterpart — translate into comic form? Quite well, in fact, for, as Invasion’s second issue demonstrated, one need only carry over Mass Effect’s trademark style — that is, its diversified blend of action and diplomacy — to create a comic that is, for the most part, faithful to its source material.
At the start of issue two, we witness that Aria remains in the very same predicament in which we left her in the comic’s debut: attempting to fend off a horde of enemies descending upon Omega. By the end of the issue, however, she somehow manages to find herself on the other end of the Omega 4 Relay; apparently, Aria’s ship is readily-equipped with a Reaper IFF, something that had to be scavenged by the player in Mass Effect 2. But the exact particulars of how (or, rather, why) Aria charged through the relay are not important to discuss in this review; that is for the reader to uncover. Nevertheless, it is necessary to point out that, aside from some rough bits here and there, the set pieces which issue two features are downright exciting: from a brief skirmish in space to an elaborate shoot-out on an almost-deserted planet, Invasion’s second issue certainly knows how to engage the reader with a variety of well-choreographed segments. These sequences are all supported by excellent artwork courtesy of Omar Francia, all of which — save for a few uninspired choices — serves to accentuate the comic’s pervasive intensity.
Fortunately, the issue is long enough to feature ample breaks in this action, and it is at these points where see the story progress in a mostly satisfying — if entirely predictable — manner. Indeed, while many pieces are shifted and Aria’s fate uncertain by the end of issue two, these circumstances (and, truthfully, their ultimate outcomes) are not unexpected. With that said, however, I do take solace knowing that, in the next release, Aria will have overcome her quandary in the slickest — and most violent — fashion possible. After all, as the issue’s subtitle so eloquently states, “nobody &!#%$ with Aria.”
And this is why I am so fervently looking forward to Invasion’s penultimate issue, one which should serve not only to progress the story, but, perhaps even more so, allow Aria to retake her rightful place as the dominant force in Invasion’s universe.
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars