The Normandy is destroyed and Commander Shepard is feared dead. However his body, regardless of its condition, is the prize in a contest pitting the Illusive Man against the Shadow Broker. Between them is Dr. Liara T’Soni, formerly part of Shepard’s crew, who’s gone rogue to uncover the mystery surrounding Shepard’s disappearance.
Reading like a space opera with a noir twist, the Dark Horse graphic novel finds Liara at Omega, a massive space station in the Terminus system acting as the dark parallel to the Council-run Citadel. Here gangs rule, kept in check only by Omega’s pirate queen Aria. Like any good noir, it’s tough to tell who’s on which side keeping Liara (and the reader) on her toes.
If you wondered about Liara’s personality change in Mass Effect 2 and her obsession with the Shadow Broker, Redemption sets it all up. This is a Liara who blames herself for Shepard’s demise and who lashes out quickly and violently at anyone who gets in her way – displaying a range of biotic powers which would have been really useful in the first game.
The story is by Mass Effect 2 lead writer Mac Walters, making this more than a marketing tie-in and the art by artist Omar Francia and colorist Michael Atiyeh is impressive – especially the numerous action scenes and displays of biotic ability.
Check out Mass Effect: Redemption.
Around the world, 43 babies are spontaneously born — mostly from women who didn’t know they were pregnant. 7 survive and are adopted by Sir Reginald “Mr. Monocle” Hargreeves, a scientist/fencer/inventor who has revolutionized breakfast cereal and taught chimpanzees to talk.
Trained by Mr. Monocle, the children become The Umbrella Academy — a league of superheroes. Except for #7. There’s nothing special about #7.
The Umbrella Academy makes their first public appearance when the Eiffel Tower starts killing people, but most of the book is set 20 years after that. The Umbrella Academy has fractured, but the death of Mr. Monocle forces them to reunite — even though an old enemy warned that the rebirth of The Umbrella Academy would lead to the end of the world.
The best compliment I can pay to The Umbrella Academy is that you don’t know what’s going to happen when you turn the page. It’s funny, bloody, and bleak. Above everything else, The Umbrella Academy is a smart title which should appeal to you even if you don’t like superhero comics.
Apocalypse Suite collects the 6-issue arc of the Dark Horse series — I think I would have gone crazy waiting for the monthly installments. As it was, I read it in one sitting, twice. The first time I was carried along by Gerard Way’s (of My Chemical Romance) writing and the second time I studied Gabriel Ba’s detailed panels.
Put a hold on The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite here.