Review: Dragon Age: Magekiller #2

With brief introductions out-of-the-way, issue two of Magekiller can start having fun. Greg Rucka really makes great use of each page, smartly leaning on Carmen Carnero 's art to convey some of the subtler character and story beats. Dragon-Age---Magekiller-#2-1Issue two plays out like a caper. After the risks and rewards are established, Magekiller hurries through -- or outright omits -- the mundane details of the setup. Rucka and Carnero give us a montage to show our heroes competently working their way into the assignment, dispatching targets with ease. But then, an inevitable complication waltzes into the picture.

As an adaptation of fiction derived from a video game series, Magekiller draws upon the vast lore of Dragon Age to weave a solid background for our protagonists. They live in a world of the fantastic, without treating magical wonder dismissively. It's a hard balance to strike. You want your fantasy to feel otherworldly, yet it should also house people with relatable objectives and motivations. In this respect I also appreciate how reasonable and pragmatic our heroes are. Marius and Tessa disagree at times, but there's just no time for petty bickering. These two are professionals and friends, typically ankle-deep in danger. And with that relationship, there's an excellent economy of language where a lot can go unsaid. Conflict is great for drama, but forced conflict destroys dramatic momentum. Tessa and Marius never succumb to pointless noise. Magekiller's characters are smart enough to see a problem and communicate an understanding or solution on a single page.

If this issue is about the caper, issue three promises to address an overwhelming crisis. It should be interesting to see how a couple of assassins handle a much larger threat to the land of Thedas.

Score: 4/5

Dragon Age: Magekiller #2 Writer: Greg Rucka Artist: Carmen Carnero and Terry Pallot Colorist: Michael Atiyeh Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 1/20/16 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital