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Interview: Mass Effect: Evolution
by Sara 'Babs' Lima on
We chat with writer John Jackson Miller about the new upcoming mini series from Dark Horse!
Considering that the release of the Mass Effect: Evolution comic from Dark Horse is merely two weeks away, we thought you guys might enjoy a heads up on what to expect from the upcoming mini series. We caught up with Mass Effect: Evolution writer John Jackson Miller to ask him what readers and fans of the franchise can expect from the new comic, and find out how it relates to the popular video game. What we got was some very cool insight into the Mass Effect universe and just exactly how this mini series fits in with the game's storyline.
Comic Vine: What is it like writing a comic based on a video game?
John Jackson Miller: Mass Effect is a special project that Dark Horse started working on the year before last. We started with a mini series called Mass Effect: Redemption and I was the scripter for that as well. The plotter of the books was Mac Walters, who is the lead designer for BioWare which produces the Mass Effect games. The idea was to make sure that whatever we did was completely in sync with whatever they have coming up in the games. That is pretty much the way it's worked; Mac has brought us the concepts and ideas for what should happen in the series, and then we go from there.
CV: Obviously you had a hand in the Mass Effect: Redemption comic from last year, so is this new series, Mass Effect: Evolution a continuation of that series?
== TEASER ==
JJM: Redemption takes place between the first two video games. It told the story of what happened to Commander Shephard's body- Shephard was presumed dead. Anyway, that story took place as a prequel to Mass Effect 2. Mass Effect: Evolution takes place years before the first game during what is known as the "First Contact War." This is the war that broke out between the humans and the Turians. The Turians are one of the other races in the game. The idea behind it is that we get the origin story for The Illusive Man who is a power broker in the second game. He runs an organization called Cerberus which is a kind of shady outfit that is a human supremacist organization. They believe in humanity's rights over the rights of other species.
I think what it's really about is the protection of humanity against external forces. The Illusive Man in the Mass Effect: Evolution comic series is not yet that character that we see in the games; he is still the figure that we later in that he is a really smart guy. We find him with a small team of people who are "true believers" like he is. They share the belief that it's a dangerous galaxy and they have to do something to look out for humanity. He inserts himself into the First Contact War in the first issue. I don't want to give too much away, but I feel the series is appropriately titled "Evolution" because he is transformed in a number of ways by the events in the series.
We do delve into the questions of whether or not these species could and should be treated equally, and if there are forces out there in the galaxy that want to set us up against one another. [We beg the question] What is the bigger picture. People who have played the video game know that there are The Reapers and these various other forces out there in the dark that think nothing of getting hold of other species and manipulating these species into serving them. Mac has been there through all of this, and we were very fortunate to have back Omar Francia who was the artist in our first series. I think the covers are really great, too. We have variant covers for each of the four issues by Joe Quinones and also by Massimo Carnevale. So I am very excited about it. The first storyline we did, Mass Effect: Redemption, sold out. I think there's a definite interest in learning more about these characters.
CV: Would you say this is a good jumping-on point for new readers?
JJM: Yeah I think so, because when you're looking at Mass Effect: Evolution, nothing else in the Mass Effect universe has happened yet. We are set long before the first game, so we introduce many issues for the first time. If you are someone who has played the game, then you will probably get a different level of enjoyment out of it because you'll be aware of something that happens in the future. I've been through this before; we did a fifty issue mini series of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and I was the writer for that entire series and was set several years before the BioWare video game of the same name.
CV: Are there any other upcoming projects you are working on that you would like to mention?
JJM: Yes, I am also writing another series for Dark Horse called Star Wars: Knight Errant and that is simultaneously a comic as well as a novel from Del Rey. The comic will be released on January 25th. The artist on the comic is Ivan Rodriguez, and there will be no artist for the novel [laughs].
If you like what you read, and you loved the Mass Effect video game; then be sure to hit your local comic shop on January 19th, 2011 for the release of Mass Effect: Evolution. Will you be picking up this new series?