Written by: Greg Rucka
Pencils by: Carmen Carnero
Inks by: Terry Pallot
Color by: Michael Atiyeh
Stemming from Bioware’s video game saga, Dragon Age, comes a new Dark Horse series, “Dragon Age: Magekiller.” The series begins by introducing the protagonists, Marius and Tessa, who are specialists when it comes to hunting down mages. While Tessa is still a bit new to the business, these two are effectively mercenaries for hire. They keep roaming to find new work but worry that one day the actions of their past may come back to haunt them.
This first issues moves a bit slowly. While it jumps into action immediately, that quickly dies down to begin setting up the first arc of the series. After slaying a blood mage and saving her sacrifice, Marius and Tessa find themselves in the coastal town of Hercina where they are being followed. However, the true intentions of this messenger are not yet fully revealed. Quickly, Marius and Tessa find themselves in the city of Tevinter and what lies in wait for them there is of seemingly dire consequences.
The construction of this first issue is solid, and while it works to set up the first arc the components that make it up compliment each other. Rucka’s writing does well to bounce between action and the more lax nature of Marius and Tessa’s friendship. The writing doesn’t get in the way of the action and their speech never feels forced or odd. Meanwhile, the combined art of Carnero, Pallot, and Atiyeh does a great job of capturing the magic and fantasy embodied in the world of Dragon Age. Whether in a flaming cellar or desolate crypt, the artistic elements of this issue work well to convey the variety of spaces Marius and Tessa have already explored.
I feel this issue’s largest downfall is that it spends a lot of time setting up the plot, but what the narrative lacks in quality it makes up for in potential. Fantasy worlds always seem ripe for exploration and story telling because of the larger imaginative space that creative teams can pull from. This issue doesn’t dazzle but I feel that this series has the potential to shine when being viewed as a whole. Something tells me that as this series moves forward we will find some of Tessa’s words ringing true, “Everything has a price. Everything has a toll.”