ADVANCE REVIEW! Mass Effect: Invasion #4 will go on sale Wednesday, January 18, 2012.
Mass Effect Invasion #4 opens up with guns a-blazing. Cerberus troops are staging Guerrilla warfare against the newly returned Aria. Mac Walters and John Jackson Jingleheimer — I mean John Jackson Miller wrap up their bridge to Mass Effect 3 in a spectacular display of chess between General Petrovsky and Aria. Not actual chess mind you, that would probably be pretty boring — military chess, with each leader doing their prospective gambits to outmaneuver their opponent.
A battle of wits to rule Omega?
The writing is strong in this issue. They convey the wrath you'd expect from Aria given her rage at having her home taken, and Petrovsky comes across as a human, which is more than I can say for that prick Colonel Ashe. That guy never takes credit for his mistakes, blaming his troops for getting blasted by some mines because he got ambushed. Dude even looks like a douche. Thankfully he gets what he deserves by the end. Petrovsky may have his flaws, after all he did bring Aria back, but you can tell he cares for his men. He even sends in medics down a KA-BOOOOM'd hallway to save who he can while Ashe complains instead of acts. Hell, Petrovsky even saves that worm Ashe from a Blue Sun ambush. The issue is peppered with references to classic military actions, something that fits well given the type of man Petrovsky comes across as. The characters are written well within the Mass Effect universe; no one feels out of place. That can be hard to accomplish when transferring from video games to other media (see just about every video game movie ever made). I'm especially glad they nailed Aria as a character because she does stand out in the game and you get a good feel for her.
Perhaps the reason I rail against Colonel Ashe is because of how he is drawn. He resembles the epitome of military jerk. You look at the guy and he radiates asshole. Other than that though, the art is a little inconsistent. The faces don't hold a consistent shape, the aliens look great though. Kind of surprising when you think about it; Salarians, Krogans, Batarians, and Vorcha should be harder to draw than humans. However it is often that the humans are the most inconsistently drawn, and the Illusive man doesn't look very much like himself either. Nitpicking? Perhaps, but I love the Mass Effect series and one of the more memorable figures from Mass Effect 2 should resemble himself a bit more. Which again surprises me because Aria and Anto look just like they did in the game.
All in all though, inconsistent art aside, the issue is a strong one and bridges the gap well between games. I read it mostly to prep myself for the release of Mass Effect 3 and it does not disappoint in that regard. I would have liked a more consistent art style in the future, especially if they decide to release a consistent Mass Effect series like they do with Star Wars. I'd like to see that eventually once the games are done. Bioware has built a great universe and Dark Horse does a great job with their Star Wars comics so I know they can handle that kind of tall order.
Dylan B. Tano is a relatively new reviewer powered by a love of bacon and constantly distracted by a kitten who would rather use his laptop as a bed. He grew up idolizing Spider-Man and can’t believe he gets to review comics all day.