The Dragon Age franchise is often about unconventional personalities, backgrounds, and relationships as much as it is about flinging spells and swinging swords. This issue of Dragon Age: Magekiller wisely avoids competing with the bombast of its source material. Instead, Greg Rucka focuses his writing efforts on another BioWare hallmark: relationships. Set against the climactic moments of Dragon Age: Inquisition, we get a lot of action that serves as a garnish for the central relationship of our protagonists. And thankfully, the issue stays true to the strictly platonic nature of the Marius/Tessa partnership. Too often fiction has us convinced that any two people showing any amount of affection must be lovers. Here our one true pairing feels more honest because there isn't a specter of sexual tension. Tessa has already found romance with someone who, from the outside looking in, disapproves of her devotion to Marius. And this disapproval isn't implied to be petty jealousy. Marius means something special to Tessa just as Tessa fills a void in Marius' life. They cannot stand the thought of abandoning each other. And that devotion looks like a huge liability. They act as if they need each other. But for what? For how long? And is there room in Tessa’s heart for two kinds of love?
I can't really recommend this issue alone. Much of its impact comes from the journey through each issue, making individual parts -- though generally good -- weaker than the whole. However, Rucka and crew conclude their mini-series here with restraint and class beyond what issue number one may have implied. Dragon Age: Magekiller is a journey worth taking in its entirety. In the end, Magekiller is a really beautiful and unexpected ode to friendship. The final, oddly quiet and sublimely illustrated moments of this issue drive home the importance of the pair’s emotional connectedness. A genuinely satisfying resolution for these characters, if not for the plot of Dragon Age: Inquisition.
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Dragon Age: Magekiller #5 Writer: Greg Rucka Artist: Carmen Carnero and Terry Pallot Colorist: Michael Atiyeh Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 4/20/16 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital