Just When I had Given Up Hope
After the last issue of Mass Effect Homeworlds, I was hesitant to read another issue. Then next thing you know I have this gem crossing my desk. In this issue we witness the backstory of a Mass Effect favorite: Garrus Valkarian.
The best thing about this issue is that it is not a rehash of what a person, wanting to dive deeper into the Mass Effect universe, wants to see. It helps if the reader is familiar with the Mass Effect video game franchise, but the series starts off during the first act of Mass Effect II where we have Garrus holding back entire troughs of hired guns single handedly, but Garrus is on his last legs, and he beings to look back on his life. The story then segways into a series of flashbacks which each have their own unique impact, and they are handled so well that it kept me turning the page.
I really can't complain about this issue too much, but if I did have one complaint it's the same as it is with a lot of licensed content: if you're not familiar with the source material you can (and often will) get lost. This issue covers a good bit of material that a reader will have only known if they had played the Mass Effect video games. In doing this it keeps other readers who don't necessarily want or can't play the games from becoming interested in the character, or from feeling the same level of connection that those who have played the games have. This issue doesn't have that problem as much, but it still has it to a certain level. Unfortunately it's enough to where it would keep others from enjoying it as much as it should be, because Garrus is a brilliantly crafted character, and this issue delves deeper into him, so to keep readers from experiencing that same level of appreciation that will only be available to some is criminal.
In the end though, this issue was an amazing read, and I after reading this I had an even stronger appreciation for Garrus, even though he is already a favorite of mine. I would almost recommend that readers who are not familiar with Mass Effect to give it a try, because this comic is pretty brilliant with it's imagery. Even if you aren't familiar with Mass Effect you can still feel the emotion in each and every panel from Garrus arguments with his father to his deeds as "Archangel". The only thing that keeps this issue from a perfect score is that I know others will not be able to appreciate it as much if they aren't familiar with the Mass Effect video games. Until Dark Horse/EA/Bioware/whoever is able to bridge the gap between those who have played the game and those who have not, this issue serves as the example of how all Mass Effect comics should be.