Review: Dishonored #1

Dishonored is a game played from the first-person perspective. Its protagonist, Royal Protector Corvo Attano, falls into the popular story-telling trope of the silent variety. This is supposed to bring players deeper into their character’s psyche. The story in the game is limited by a complete lack of internal monologue, though the follow-up DLC changed protagonists and gained a Michael Madsen voiced point of view. And the story benefited greatly from this change. Corvo's original speechless nature kept players at arm’s length from the character. Here, in the first issue of an original story, you are allowed access to the Royal Protector’s anxieties and ambitions. And what we see is an aging warrior trying to secure his future through a younger and likely hungrier protégé. Corvo is feeling the years catch up to him and now he needs to seek a greater quality Dishonored_01_Cover_Bof help in protecting the Empress and her land. Also we get a very quick glance at a shadow from Corvo’s past, a tease of something haunting and driving for our hero.

I think the creative team is a little too reliant on two-page spreads. This is a pity because the artist's layouts are otherwise excellent. Elements of one panel will overlap with another in a way that could be distraction. The opening panel of this book pays homage to the game's chosen perspective as Corvo's sword-swinging hand is all that we see of the character. Thankfully, the comic shrugs away from making too many similar cute references to its source medium. Besides that, the art struggles to convey time-bending and teleportation powers. And, while I sympathize with the problem, this comic's solution feels ineffective and cheap looking. Olimpieri’s slightly rough rendering of characters works well against vague, somewhat abstract backgrounds. And the colorist does a great job making images pop, thankfully avoiding a drab look.

This opening issue sets up multiple plot points and fits in several decent action beats, making good use of its length with a few exceptions. Writer Gordon Rennie has crafted a set of curious threads that he can hopefully tie together by the end of this promising arc.

[su_box title="Score: 4/5" style="glass" box_color="#8955ab" radius="6"]

Dishonored #1 Writer: Gordon Rennie Artist: Andrea Olimpieri Colorist: Marcelo Maiolo Publisher: Titan Comics Price: $3.99 Format:  Mini-Series; Print/Digital