Mass Effect Foundation #1 is the latest offer put on the market by Dark Horse Comics. This story occurs in the same timeline as the Mass Effect Trilogy, allowing for a number of cameos.
Mass Effect Foundation #1 is set in a mining colony on Themis, where people of all genders, races, ages, creeds are forced to work in poor conditions for low to no remuneration. The central character is an agent who has been tasked with a mission to locate Roth, a mysterious man who doesn’t trust anyone. Being new to the Mass Effect franchise is great. You get a great feel of what it’s about in this comic, even though it is really fast paced. The dialog of the first issue does feel as though you are still in a video game. Some may hate it, but it is a smart strategy. It manages to take the franchise’s origin and converts it to another medium with tact. Mass Effect is a game in which the universe around you feels big and the comic makes the reader experience this.
Francia’s art really helps to set the pace in this issue. Almost every panel has something happening and the art flows from one frame to the next. Progression also feels natural and the reader experiences events as they are unfolding. Characters are also well drawn and their facial expressions are easy to recognise and relate to. The only let down is the mining facility. It is exactly what you would expect it to look like; a flurry of brown and red shades. This leaves you feeling as though you are reading a Mass Effect story taking place in the Red Faction Guerrilla universe. Everyone knows which the better franchise is, so originality would have been nice to see.
This first of a thirteen issue run is entertaining and leaves the reader in anticipation. You do not have to go into reading this issue with any knowledge of the Mass Effect series. It is well written, well-paced and has a few mentions that hint at future tie-ins. As a story on its own it is excellent. You get to follow a new ruthless agent and her intriguing newly recruited sidekick as they attempt to hunt down a man that nobody knows anything about. The ending will also leave your mind wanting.
A huge thanks to Readers Den for supplying us with this awesome read.