The final issue of Dragon Age: Magekiller is out. Paralleling the timeline of the Dragon Age: Inquisition video game, this is the last hurrah for silent but deadly Marius and his partner Tessa. Can writer Greg Rucka and company use this opportunity to make ends meet after laying the groundwork in the previous four issues? Is it good?
Dragon Age: Magekiller #5 (Dark Horse Comics)
The last issue of Magekiller finds Marius and Tessa left behind as the Inquisitor moves ahead to confront the evil that has been opening demon rifts across the land. Of course it doesn’t take long for them to find their own mission, but the real focus of the issue is on the relationship between the two leads in the story—particularly Tessa’s questions about how the stone-faced Marius feels towards her, not romantically, but as friends or partners. This is a clever move as the entire series thus far, narrated by Tessa, has been about how she sees Marius and the questions she has about who he is and how he came to be that way. Having a secondary character point out that she doesn’t even know if Marius would consider her a friend, no matter how she feels towards him, sets up the conclusion of the story.
The art is nice and has been throughout the entire series. The colors and artwork really jump out at you, particularly in the instances of magic being used as well as battles. Being a fantasy book, that’s more important than you think as it has helped to set an otherworldly tone carried over in all the issues. It also gave some weight to the fights by having them stand apart from the expository scenes that were focused on dialogue or setting. Overall an outstanding job for the title from beginning to end.
Going into this issue I was surprised to find it was already the last in the series, as there seemed to be a a lot of ground left to cover, both in backstory and character development. Plot points and details were released at a slower rate that you’d more readily expect from an ongoing comic, than a mini-series. Ultimately it made the last issue feel a little thin.
For four issues we watched Tessa ponder what had made Marius the way he was and received only brief explanation such as his past as a slave and a hinted romance. These always seemed to be leading to a more in depth revelation or exploration in a future story arc, but as the number of pages left in issue #5 shrank, it became clear that was all we were ever going to know.
Tessa’s background seemed woefully underdeveloped too. Even though the last issue and the miniseries’ conclusion focused on her, you wonder if it was worth the time since you still knew so little about her in the first place.
Is It Good?
It was a bit disappointing in the end. The way the comic focused on the characters over plot made me hope the relationship between the two had been outlined and given a clear direction from the start. Instead the book came to the end either not having said what it wanted about Marius and Tessa’s relationship or just not knowing what it wanted to say in the first place. Ultimately it turned into a companion piece for the video game and not much more.
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