Review - Mass Effect Invasion #1

Fans of Mass Effect know what they're getting into--a massive, sprawling game where responses to questions and requests have a lasting impact on other interactions. Thankfully, the comics sharing the same universe don't require nearly the same commitment to enjoy them. That is, you don't have to follow a decision tree on every page to get through the story.

Mass Effect Invasion is the newest title in the Mass Effect universe that features everyone's favorite Asari crime lord Aria. The title, written by Mac Walters and John Jackson Miller, illustrated by Omar Francia and colored by Michael Atiyeh (cover by Massimo Carnevale), starts with the Omega space station, but will most likely spread a bit from there.

Aria's beloved Omeg comes under attack by a new threat released by Cerberus in their goal of making sure humanity comes first. The threat is something of a biological weapon called Adjutants that transforms victims into beings reminiscent of Alien. Needless to say, Aria doesn't like when things are out of her hands, leading to a confrontation between herself and the Illusive Man regarding the sudden appearance of the creatures.

The Illusive Man has sent aid in the form of General Oleg Petrovsky and Colonel Ashe. Despite Aria's reluctance to accept their help, she quickly realizes that the mutated Reaper technology is not something she can manage alone. The issue ends with a slight twist as the result of a redirect, where future issues will no doubt include even more tension between Aria and Cerberus.

Walters and Miller have created a pretty spiffy sci-fi tale here. The only problem is that if you haven't really played the Mass Effect games you're not going to know all the backstory regarding the alien races. Don't get me wrong--the story does stand well by itself. There's just a lot of inside stuff that you might miss.

Francia's pencils are very strong and accented well by even bolder black lines from Atiyeh. The colors are very rich and for such a dark palette actually pop off the page. It all fits the story very well.

Mass Effect Invasion #1 is a solid story for fans of the game to read. It helps fill the void while we wait for Mass Effect 3. Readers that like a good space sci-fi tale would also do well to pick this title up and give it a read. It will push you one step closer to finding out what are Commander Shepherd's favorite stores in the Citadel.

The title ships October 19, but those attending NYCC can snag a copy with the convention exclusive cover seen below.