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Mass Effect: Foundation #4 [Dark Horse Comics] Review

Posted on October 20, 2013 AT 07:11pm

The Mass Effect series has been one of the most beloved in the history of video games, and have so far become one of the biggest expanded universes inside the entertainment industry. With several novels and comic books titles expanding the large history of the gaming trilogy, the history of the franchise gets another big boost added to it with the fourth installment of the huge thirteen part series, Mass Effect: Foundation, which has already focused much on not only Cerberus, but some of the major characters within the main universe.

While the first three issues have focused on the new original character Rasa, a human Cerberus agent, this issue focuses on the biotic training school, where biotic children can focus and train their skills. Affectionately called “Brain Camp”, this issue focuses on a familiar story from a familiar face, beloved character Kaidan Alenko, a staple from the original trilogy. Putting the focus on Alenko is a great move, keeping enough distance from Commander Shepard to not need to try to reveal the character, but close enough to keep the character in the hearts of the reader. It also brings fans back to the series, giving a full issue to a small event that fans could remember from the game itself.

Mac Walters has been the architect of much of the series as a whole, serving as the lead writer for two of the three games, both viewed as the stronger of the trilogy. He’s also behind much of the expanded universe, and he’s undertaking a major endeavor here with this thirteen part series. So far he’s done a phenomenal job keeping everything accurate and in continuity, and he’s continued to do so here while implementing new wrinkles into the lore of the franchise.

Tony Parker has been placed on art duties, along with Michael Atiyeh doing the colors. This has resulted in a great looking book, one that despite not having the shine of titles from some of the major publishers, is something not only unique, but very aesthetically pleasing. Facial expressions can sometimes look a bit odd, but overall the artwork is very good, allowing for the visual representation of stories, memories and new facets of the lore of the universe to be explored.

Summary: Now breaking away from the story of the new character Rasa and bringing in the beloved Alenko, this issue has done a great job of allowing the universe of Mass Effect to expand naturally and through a parallel timeline in regards to the story of the game. Using characters both familiar and new, the creative team has already done a terrific job keeping a familiar tone in a beloved franchise while also adding new things to keep readers interested. The artwork can get a bit odd at times, but the infrequency of this makes it nearly negligible, adding up to a very interesting and pleasing series thus far.

Pros: Strong writing and expansion of the universe, solid artwork.

Cons: Odd facial expressions in the artwork.

Grade: A

Russ Pirozek, known as "Noobcrawler" to some, is a gamer and comic book fan who sometimes gets around to writing for He's also awesome. If someone looked up "awesome" in the dictionary, his picture wouldn't be there, but that's because he's too busy being awesome to pose for a photo.

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