Dragon Age is the expansive world written by David Gaider and first encompassed inside Dragon Age: Origins the blockbuster RPG video game. Later came three novels, a limited series comic from IDW, a second installment of a video game, an animated movie, a six part digital comic and now a three-part limited series from Dark Horse Comics. The Dragon Age universe is gaining momentum, building character lore using every media necessary. With such an ever-growing story can each medium with Dragon Age stamped on it justify its existence?
The answer is entirely up to you. Whether you’ve played the massive video game series and never entered any of the other Dragon Age medias, you know that David Gaider and the team at Bioware studios have crafted a giant landscape of lore. But you also must know that the video games don’t need the other medias to survive. But the great thing about all of the other Dragon Age titled things is that they completely connect the dots for anyone interested enough to look.
Those Who Speak #1 carried on the story from The Silent Grove, the digital exclusive comic series recently released in a hardcover. The characters involved couldn’t have been better chosen. King Allistair was the star good guy from Origins, Isabela the pirate was the star female in DA2, and Varric the wise-cracking dwarf was the most lovable character from DA2. Putting the three of them together was a great idea on Gaider’s part. He knew their conflicting interests and personalities would be the perfect match-up for readers coming off the video games.
What about those not coming off the video games? I have to admit, Dragon Age is one of my favorite things of all time. It’s very difficult for me to be critical of it in any way, but I must. Although the comic is superbly written and drawn it is a bit esoteric. A lot of crossover details exclusive for the video games. So, are the comics written only to fill story gaps for gamers? No, I don’t think so. The series would make a great addition to any interested party’s reading list.
As stated, Gaider has crafted the world beautifully, and Alexander Freed has scripted David’s story exceptionally. With crossovers like this continuity is key, and I have yet to find any story holes. The plot points are enticing, and in this issue, the focus shifts from Allistair’s quest, to Isabela’s piratey past. The appearance of a well-known character from Origins was also a quite enjoyable shocker for me. But beyond that, you’re going to have to trust me, the plot twists and hints are superb, and #2 continues the excellence of #1.
Chad Hardin draws a great comic. I think he could draw anything well, but his portrayal of the Dragon Age world is exactly what I would dream it to be. Action sequences, facial expressions, and splattering blood are all great looking with impressive amounts of detail. A beautiful comic that leaves nothing to be desired.
Yes, Dragon Age lore is esoteric. But where does the understanding of something begin? I believe that although Those Who Speak pulls a lot of details from all of the other medias it remains a solid place for new readers to cut their teeth. But beyond that it Those Who Speak is a love letter from David Gaider to all fans of the Dragon Age series.
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