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Review: Dragon Age: Magekiller #1

Review: Dragon Age: Magekiller #1

December 16th, 2015 | by Kenny Coburn
Review: Dragon Age: Magekiller #1
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Disappointing

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Rating:
3
On December 16, 2015
Last modified:December 16, 2015

Summary:

Dragon Age: Magekiller #1 fails to create an exciting introduction by spending too much time on exposition and not enough time developing the world.

Based on the hit Bioware video game series, Dragon Age, Dragon Age: Magekiller by Dark Horse Comics dives deeper into the lore of Thedas by following two mage killers for hire, Tessa and Marius. Each, is a mercenary willing to fight back against the mages but, only if the price is right.

Synopsis:

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Marius and Tessa open their tale by hunting for a mage accused of committing blood magic. After successfully killing the mage, and rescuing the man she kidnapped, they find themselves back in their current residence in Hercinia. It is there, they are approached by a man claiming to need their help in Tevinter, where children are being sacrificed by mages. Despite Marius’ apprehension of returning to Tevinter – apparently it’s describe the place that made him who he is – he agrees to go and help. The two head to Tevinter, only to find out there is much more happening than they were initially led to believe.

Dragon Age Mage Killer Opening

Credit: Dark Horse Comics

Analysis:

Dragon Age: Magekiller #1 has a lot of potential to be a very interesting series. The problem with this first issue is that it spends far too much time on exposition, and not nearly enough time establishing the world and characters. The entire first half of the comic is dedicated to a battle with the nameless witch performing blood magic on a kidnapped man. The fight is well laid out and exciting but, it is hard to connect with because there is no background on why Marius and Tessa are there or who they actually are. The majority of the inner monologue focuses on the philosophy of magic and why these two mercenaries are fighting. The problem is, it becomes too focused on telling us about the world of Dragon Age instead of actually showing us more of that world.

It is a shame too. Once, the characters do actually begin speaking and interacting with each other it’s highly entertaining. The second half of the issue is a lot of fun. Tessa is the real highlight. She comes across as a very likable and fun character. The interactions between her and Marius are a delight. Marius is more of a silent and tough hero but, Tessa still has no problem getting under his skin. When the messenger from Tevinter arrives, we also finally get a glimpse of who Marius is. He is a man with a mysterious past and very little memory of where he’s from. This is not a wholly new idea but, in the world of Dragon Age, it could be a very interesting premise.

Dragon Age Mage Kille Helcinia

Credit: Dark Horse Comics

The large amount of time spent on the opening battle also leaves little time for the ending. This causes the final events to really fall flat. The story does not invest enough time into these characters, or the world, to make us care.

If you have not played the Dragon Age video games, there will be a lot of confusion on why people are hired to kill mages in the first place. The lore in the game is not always exactly easy to grasp either. Other than saying magic is cheating, the comic does not explain why they are being hunted. This lack of a proper enemy also hurts the ending because it is unclear who the reader should be rooting for.

Story continues below

Conversly, the artwork is strong throughout. The magic and weaponry in the opening battle look impactful and violent. The main character models are consistently strong throughout the tale as well. Some secondary and background characters do at times become smudged though. Also, the backgrounds do a great job of creating very interesting environments for these characters to interact with.

In the end, there’s not enough substance to the story to create a proper introduction to the Dragon Age world and mythos. There are pieces in place that could lead to a very good series but, as is, there is little in this introductory comic that makes it really stand out from the many other fantasy comics on stands today.

 

Kenny Coburn is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter:@kennyacoburn

Dragon Age: Magekiller #1
  • 3

Disappointing

Dragon Age: Magekiller #1 fails to create an exciting introduction by spending too much time on exposition and not enough time developing the world.

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