Monday, April 19, 2010

Dragon Age comic issue 1 Impression

Dragon Age is more than just a video game. It’s a world full of vivid characters and unique races living in an historic, deep landscape full of good, bad and the in-between. The game world is only a portion of the many layers built by EA and BioWare. There are novels that take place generations before the age of dragons in Dragon Age and the game offers up expansion packs that are just the beginning of the story. Now IDW has teamed up with EA to produce a Dragon Age comic. The question for gamers and fans of Dragon Age should not be if they buy but rather when. Buy now as individual comics or wait for the collected volume? Let’s take a look at the pieces involved.

The Story
– Mages are powerful, so much so that in the past they unleashed the plague, the Darkspawn on the land and only through a united front were these creatures beaten back into submission. Now in order to contain, control the magic wielded by magus an organization has been created. The Circle of Magi oversees all magic activities and utilizes the well trained Templar’s to control these magi. The brutal and unjust treatment of magi by Templar grows a hate between the two that will see the rise of powerful magi but not before one of each group fall in love leading to a child. How will this fugitive child of mixed lineage impact the world and who is the demonic Man of Light? Questions to be answered but time is needed to fulfill this tale.

Dragon Age is unique in that it’s not above subjugating its residents from magus to elves. This story shows such hate for the magi and just how dark the world of Dragon Age can be. The story is set quite quickly and from the ending tone a fast forward, child grown will be needed but that’s not an issue. The issue is establishing where this story sits in the overall timeline of Dragon Age. The story works for casual comic fans but for die-hard Dragon Age buffs a bit more detail is needed, hopefully to be provided later.

The Art
– Never judge a book by its cover. Reason; Humberto Ramos did the cover while Mark Robinson did the internal art. The overall impact is not too different in style as the cover depicts a dark world of swords and magic while the internal art does the same. The biggest difference is the Joe Maduro feeling work produced by Robinson. It’s an earlier Maduro that this art feels like, not the refined Battles Chasers many are familiar with. The action is fluid and fast, a well paced style of art mixed with excellent coloring.

Buy Now?
– Yes but only for fantasy comic fans and collectors. The main reason being the lack of back-story, location in the Dragon Age timeline. Casual fans can dig an action packed story but fans may be a bit perturbed.

Buy Later?
– Yes for Dragon Age fans. Looking ahead this journey will be much more memorable in a collected volume with all the Dragon Age novels read. There is also the chance that a history, timeline, of characters, events and settings will be included thus fixing that annoying feeling for hardcore fans.

the first issue of the Dragon Age comic is solid, a bit too short (which happens when a story just gets going) but is an overall solid purchase for fantasy comic fans. Dragon Age fans will enjoy seeing characters brought to life in yet another light but the lack of timeline will annoy. Buy now or later, there is a difference but as a comic and gamer that is for the reader to decide.

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