Review: “Dragon Age: Magekiller” # 5

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Magekiller #5 continues Greg Rucka’s story of Tessa and Marius–mage-killing mercenaries set in the Dragon Age universe, at the time of Dragon Age Inquisition.

In this fifth and final issue of Magekiller, Tessa and Marius are drawn into the Inquisition’s end-game battle against Corypheus.  Called back to Skyhold at the end of the last book, they are tasked with preparing the way for the Inquisitor’s last charge to defeat the ancient darkspawn and close the rift before Thedas is overrun by demons.  

While the issue has its usual grandly satisfying battle at the end, it’s possible to feel a little disappointed that ultimately the story of Magekiller never really intersects in a major way with that of Inquisition.  In retrospect, it seems obvious that this is the easiest way to ensure the least amount of conflict with any of the player-dependent resolutions, but it does make Tessa and Marius’ story seem a little smaller in scope than it initially appeared.

What it does get right in these final moments with the two mercenaries-turned-heroes, is a good look into the core of the whole story–the relationship between the two mercenaries.  While the past they clearly share has resulted in a close partnership, we’ve never really been given much of a picture as to exactly what that is.  The romantic couplings they’ve each revealed with time has shown us that they’re not lovers, but has also shown us that there is much they simply do not know of each other.

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As with the successive volumes, the biggest thrill is seeing familiar faces and places, and this time we get some quick views of Skyhold and the boyishly enthusiastic Sutherland and Co.  Similarly to the game, I continually found myself expecting their death and destruction, but they constantly prove to be hardier than the red shirts they appear.

While our heroes do get some resolution, there feels like so much more that was hinted at in previous issues that we never learn.  Issue #2, my personal favorite, held so much potential with its view into Tevinter and its decadent politics, not to mention Marius’ past life as a slave, that it seems a waste none of that was ever alluded to again.

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From her voiceover, we have a constant view on how Tessa feels about Marius…but how does he regard her?  Is he capable of putting anything above his mission?  In only 27 pages, we don’t get all the answers, but we get enough to wish we had more.  Cross our fingers, maybe we haven’t seen the last of Magekiller.

Dragon Age:  Magekiller #5 release date:  April 20, 2016.


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