Posts tagged Dragon Age

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Dragon Age: Those Who Speak Comic Review

Story: David Gaider

Script: Alexander Freed

Art: Chad Hardin

If you’re familiar with the Dragon Age Cannon, you know Isabela. She’s that pirate queen who taught you how to duel, or you may have had a three or even foursome with her, or at the very least she royally screwed over Kirkwall by stealing a sacred Qunari text, thus bringing holy war down on of the major cities of the Free Marches.

So… that was awesome.

However, the blood of Kirkwall is not the price the Qunari saw to be paid. Isabela not only stole their sacred tome but in doing so, initiated a battle which ended in the death of their Arishok (leader). These are not crimes ever to be forgotten… or forgiven.

Dragon Age: Those Who Speak #2 is the second issue of a three-part story, but you could plausibly pick it up without reading the one that came before and not have too much trouble following along as they catch you up to the action rather well.

Isabela, along with Varric Tethras (swoon), was helping King Alistair track down a blood mage he suspects is responsible for the disappearance of his father, King Maric. While the hunt for the blood mage was dangerous task enough, an unexpected threat presented itself when the Qunari finally catch up to the pirate queen.

We begin in a prison.

Quickly we are introduced to Tamassran, a female Qunari and as with all Qunari, we know this is her title rather than her name. She is a kind of priestess and her name translates to “Those who speak”.

Isabela is surprised she speaks ‘The King’s Tongue’ to which Tamassran replies that it is her function to do so. It is likely safe to assume that Tamassrans are versed in all known languages and act as a bridge between the Qunari and those who cannot speak their native tongue. I was particularly excited to read a story that involved a female in the Qun that coincided with the original cannon.

While I loved Mark of the Assassin or Dragon Age: Redemption, the fact that they altered or ignored one of the seemingly core principles of the Qun bothered me. If you played a female Warden in the first game, Sten was utterly baffled by how you could be both a woman and a warrior as in Qunari culture women were priestesses or artisans or farmers and shop keepers. The entire experience with the Blight and the warden (or Leliana and Morrigan if you played a male) was completely shattering for the Sten and I feel that culture shock was sort of key. I also appreciated how this was handled in that his confusion was not spawned from misogyny. Women did not fight in the same way he could not chose not to fight. It made his respect of the Warden that much more important in the end. Something unknown that went completely against what he believed to be the natural order and yet by the end, he held the Warden in the highest of respects.

That’s huge, Bioware. That’s dabbling in issues rarely seen in video games. Please don’t just drop that.

Tamassran begins the interrogation, starting with Isabela’s name–her real name. Dragon Age: Those Who Speak gives us a deeper look into the pirate’s past, from her mother to her first ship. While Freed definitely has a different flavor than Gaider’s typical quick-witted banter back and forth, I enjoyed the dialogue and felt the story definitely belonged in the world it was written for. Hardin’s art is gritty but beautiful and seems to lend very well to the flashback-like nature of the entire issue.

This particular issue centers mostly around Isabela and we see very little of Varric and Alistair but they certainly make it memorable as when we briefly rejoin our King and merchant prince, they encounter an old friend. I may have quietly cheered while reading it… Just a little. For like a second, at least.

If you enjoy the Dragon Age cannon, you will likely love this comic–but be forewarned as it is the 2nd of 3, there is of course a cliffhanger ending.

Jerks.

Is the 3rd issue out yet? Please?

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Press Release: Dragon Age Digital Comic Series

DARK HORSE COMICS TEAMS UP WITH BIOWARE

 

TO UNVEIL A NEW DRAGON AGE DIGITAL COMIC SERIES

Dark Horse Comics announced an all-new digital comic series based on BioWare’s dark, fantasy RPG series, Dragon Age™. Written by Dragon Age Lead Writer, David Gaider, and featuring original art by Chad Hardin (Stan Lee’s The Traveler, Web of Spider-Man, The Spirit), the deep and fascinating lore surrounding the Dragon Age universe will unfold, as new adventures will come to light in the comic series.

The thrilling, six-part series will feature a riveting story that takes fans of the critically-acclaimed Dragon Age franchise deeper into the RPG’s mythology. Readers will follow Alistair, Isabela, and Varric, three important heroes from Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II, as they travel to Antiva, a nation ruled by deadly assassins. The comic series’ heroes will embark on an epic journey to uncover one of the greatest secrets in the history of Thedas while encountering a dangerous prison break and the mysterious and feared Witch of the Wilds.

Dark Horse Comics will release the six-part comic series exclusively at www.digital.darkhorse.com for $0.99 each starting February 22, 2012.

 

Dragon Age Digital Comic

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Adventures at NYCC

Last year I did this really extensive 3-day coverage where I shared the experience of my first con with everyone. Unfortunately I didn’t do nearly as in-depth an overview of this year’s (nor did I go to nearly as many things as I did last year). Still, I will try to make you feel like I earned my press pass for this year’s New York Comic Con. Today is a brief overview of my weekend. Sometime this week I should be doing one or two photo posts to make you feel like you were really there with me. Explanations out of the way, let’s begin…

The con started a day early this year for press, pros, and those dedicated enough to buy the special 4-day passes that were offered. I went to pick up my press pass and walked around for a bit to get a lay of the land, as it were. The floor didn’t open til 4pm on that day, and since it would be there all weekend I decided not to stick around too long.

Friday was the real start of the con. I started my day by meeting friends briefly before going to Felicia Day’s Spotlight. This was moderated by Chris Hardwick and almost felt like a scaled-down version of his podcast. I actually really hope one or more of the panels he moderated were recorded and are eventually shared. It’s not like this is a concept that is totally unheard of for Nerdist listeners…

 

Felicia was joined by fellow Guild cohort Sandeep Pariikh. For those who are not familiar with his work, Sandeep plays Zaboo on the web series “The Guild” and also is the creator of Legend of Neil. He and Felicia have great chemistry together, most likely because of their friendship outside of The Guild. This friendship was also cited during the panel as the reason it would be super awkward if Zaboo and Codex ever dated or had to kiss again, so don’t expect too much romantic happenings between their characters anytime soon. Other things discussed at their panel included Dragon Age and what it’s like creating your own web series. The panel ended with questions from the audience, my favorite of which was the very first one – essentially asking what shows past or present the participants wished they could work on. Felicia said Game of Thrones (even though she’s not British so it’s never going to happen), Fringe, and Big Bang Theory. Personally I would love to see one or both of the last two become a reality. I think she could be excellent in either show, but especially Big Bang Theory. Her awkward, nerdy, adorableness would fit right in with the rest of the cast. Chris Hardwick answered the question by saying “The Walking Dead,” which is another thing I would love to see happen. He has such a love for that show, I think he would make an excellent guest. Even if he’s just painted up as a zombie…

 

The other panel I went to on Friday was “Inner Light,” which was a behind-the-scenes look at the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode with writer Morgan Gendel. He told the story of what it was like pitching the story as an outsider of the ST team and eventually collaborating with everyone. The rest of the panel was clips from the episode with live commentary from Gendel as we went through everything. It was a very cool experience to get inside the head of the writer and see what the whole process was like.

 

I left the con early that day to get a double dose of Nerdist podcast live. I’ll probably write about that at some point either here or on my other blog, News on Shuffle. Moving on to Day 2…

 

Saturday for me was a lot of missed connections (trying to meet fellow Nerds in Babeland-ers and members of Ghost This) and one panel – Dark Shadows. For those unaware, Dark Shadows was a television series that ran from 1966-1971. It also had 2 films and spawned a comic series. There is a new movie due out May 11, 2012 that is directed by Tim Burton and stars Johnny Depp. This movie takes place in 1972, a year after the original series ended. The panel was mostly Q&A with Lara Parker and Kathryn Leigh Scott, two of the actors from the original series who also have cameos in the upcoming film. Lara could not make it to New York because of her schedule, but was able to Skype with the audience for her portion of the Q&A. They couldn’t share much, due to confidentiality clauses, but they were able to describe the sets in some detail and tell us that the movie will be a new interpretation of the old series and films. They added the new movie was still very well-done and they were both excited to be involved in the project.

Unfortunately I had to leave early on Saturday as well, so I didn’t make it to The Walking Dead or Avengers panels like I wanted to…

 

The final day of the con I spent mostly wandering the floor and trying to get as many pictures as possible of cosplay and such. I felt like there weren’t as many good costumes as last year, but still managed to get a few good shots. The highlight of the day for me was meeting Dave Marquez in Artist Alley and getting him to sign my copy of Days Missing. We also chatted a lot about the difference between NY and SD Comic Con, which was cool. He really is a genuinely nice guy, as well as an amazing artist. If you’re not familiar with his work, then please go pick up a copy of Days Missing. Not only is his artwork fantastic, but it’s also an interesting and unique story that I think will really get you thinking. Marquez won’t be doing the art for Days Missing 3, unfortunately, but he will be working on Fantastic Four next, so you can check that out as well.

That about wraps up my NYCC coverage for this year. To be honest, I think last year was overall a better experience for me because it was my first con and I spent most of it with a very good friend. I didn’t get to see as many people this year, which dampened my experience a bit. I still had a great time though and enjoyed the things I did manage to see. Plus it was all worth it just to be a fangirl for 5 minutes with one of my favorite artists. Seeing Chris Hardwick and Felicia Day in the same room didn’t hurt either…

*All photos taken by Christine Wagenheim.

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