For the first time DA: Magekiller is running into the major problem of cross media integration. Issue three opens with a well illustrated action beat to allow for some pretty heavy-handed expository narration. See, you need some knowledge regarding the activity taking place on the periphery of Dragon Age: Inquisition's main narrative to make sense of this issue's sudden and seemingly abrupt plot progression. But, writer Greg Rucka can't just expect every reader to retain basic plot details from another medium. So, issue three of Magekiller kind of races along, stumbling as it pukes exposition because the crux of this issue's action is tied to a specific pre-existing story. Once you wade through that pool of exposition (and a well illustrated action beat) this issue is a very low-key character piece. Speaking of which -- I appreciate Rucka's restrained use of action. It features heavily at the front of the book then exits altogether, giving way to some nicely written, clever banter. You get your sword-swinging and explosions out of the way early here. If that’s what you’re into.
Tessa gets her brief time in the spotlight while Marius shows his vulnerability by stepping into the background. Well, collapsing into the background. Previous issues may have made Tessa seem competent, but more of a sidekick to a skilled master. This issue confirms her position as the gifted people person of our mage killing duo. Here, DA: Magekiller makes it clear that the world has changed, becoming a far more dangerous place in between issues. Similarly, Tessa's role becomes more prominent as our dashing roguish leads transition into true heroes. Instead of running from assassins, our protagonists are spending time -- and, crucially, hard earned money -- on the collective well being of less competent civilians. And their heroics have gotten someone's attention.
Priority and responsibility seem to be central themes of this issue. Faced with the potential end of the world, our protagonists easily slip into the roles of heroes. As a result not much happens in issue three of Magekiller. Tessa gets fleshed out nicely. And the closing panels set up a major change to our heroes' motivation and direction. It’s a good momentum-sustaining issue.
Dragon Age: Magekiller #3 Writer: Greg Rucka Artists: Carmen Carnero and Terry Pallot Colorist: Michael Atiyeh Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 2/17/2016 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital