Dark Horse has a pretty great track record with licensed works, especially ones based on videogames. Most recently, they worked with Mac Walters and BioWare to create a line of comics based off of Mass Effect. To say those comics have been good would be a gross understatement. They have frankly been stellar, and there are multiple reasons for how enjoyable they have been.
Dark Horse is dedicated to preserving the integrity and expanding the scope of the game’s universe, and as such, they chose Mac Walters, the lead writer for Mass Effect 2 and 3, to write the comics. They have also used major characters from the games in order to expand the actual story of the games. In doing these things, Dark Horse has allowed the comics to really feel as if they are a part of the universe of the game, and not just unimportant side stories. They tell stories that enhance Mass Effect, adding to the gameplay, while never detracting from the story.
At the Dark Horse/Bioware panel for Mass Effect at New York Comic Con on Saturday afternoon, they brought up some surprise guests: Creative Director for the Dragon Age series Mike Laidlaw and David Gaiter, the lead writer for Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II. Gaiter will be following in Walters’ footsteps and making the transition from game writer to comic book writer.
This is actually very cool news, as the story, characters and universe of the Dragon Age games are as broad and detailed as those in the Mass Effect games. The first picture we saw, which you see above, shows Alistair of Dragon Age: Origins, and Isabela and Varric of Dragon Age II. By choosing major characters to focus on and allowing the lead writer to essentially write them as they are, this collaboration should hopefully be able to live up to the standard set not only by the Mass Effect comics, but also the standard set by the Dragon Age games, where regardless of your thoughts on the gameplay, the characters were all fantastic.
What we have been able to learn about the plot is that the sarcastic trio will travel to the Spanish influenced land of Antiva, where they will have to confront Alistair’s past and presumably a dragon or two. We dont know which Alistair will show up, whether it be king Alistair or another Alistair. How Gaiter and Dark Horse address this, which was one of the biggest choices in Dragon Age: Origins, should prove very interesting and something to look forward to. As for the art, we did not get to see much of Chad Hardin’s art, but judging from the vivid image that was presented at the Bioware panel, the characters will be faithfully done. Hardin seems to have the characters pinned down, and even though my impression is based off of a single piece of artwork, the characters seem to have retained their essence in their postures.
There doesn’t seem to be much to worry about with the new Dragon Age comics coming out. Having the lead writer for the series really worked for the Mass Effect comics, and with Gaiter’s excitement for writing a comic and Hardin’s clear view of the characters, this comic should be yet another awesome thing for any Bioware fan to look forward to while they wait for more Dragon Age content.