Review: Mass Effect: Invasion #1

In the Mass Effect universe, Omega space station is a lawless, de facto haven for fugitives, criminals, and outlaws in the Terminus System. And Aria T’Loak is the queen of them all.

The conclusion of Mass Effect 2 saw Commander Shepherd successfully navigating the fabled Omega-4 Relay into Reaper space in order to take on the Collectors. Now that the path is open, The Illusive Man takes the opportunity to send his pro-human Cerberus troops to study the universe behind the Relay. Not letting an significant money making opportunity pass her up, Aria T’Loak graciously allows Cerberus to resupply their ships on Omega.

This is where Mass Effect: Invasion begins, and it begins with a bang. Bursting forth from a Cerberus vessel that just landed on Omega, ferocious creatures called Adjutants attack the unsuspecting victims waiting for the ship on the landing bay. Omar Francia’s art really comes through here, capturing both the action and the fear caused by the Adjutants (despite their reminiscence of anthropomorphic shrimp.) Aria’s first appearance, in particular, showcasing her rather potent Asari biotic abilities against an unlucky Adjutant is captured superbly.

Later, Cerberus ship Elbrus comes to the aid of Omega, destroying the ships commandeered by the Adjutants. Reluctantly, Aria joins forces with the Illusive Man and Cerberus General Petrovsky for the sake of defending her station from the creatures beyond the Omega-4 relay.

Writer Mac Walters does a great job of capturing the personalities of Aria, the Illusive Man, and the other characters to whom we’ve been introduced in the game. (This is refreshing, but unsurprising, as Walters is the lead writer for Mass Effect 2 and the upcoming Mass Effect 3.)  Walters appropriately portrays Aria as a no-nonsense badass right from her first frame, barking orders at her people and Cerberus forces alike, with fallen Adjutants at her feet.

While there are some lines that might be forgivingly labeled “cheesy” (“Together, we’ll lift the siege of Omega and strike back. Starting now, the battle for Omega begins!”), overall, the story is very well paced and tightly knit. The twist on the last frame is, in particular, enough to make the mind reel with possibilities and keep you coming back for more.

Ultimately, Mass Effect: Invasion #1 is a great start to what could be a great series. As long Walters consistently portrays the Illusive Man as the calculating, mysterious SOB he’s meant to be, there will no doubt be plenty to work with to make a great four issue run. I highly recommend you pick it up with your stack of New 52s.

Written by: Dwight Tejano

Dwight is the founder of Open the Fridge, which he started in 2008 and rebooted in 2010. Due to the nature of early adopting, his bank account is normally empty. He likes to sing in world-renown choruses to forget such things.

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