Mass Effect: Homeworlds is a comic series written by Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3 lead writer, Mac Walters in cooperation with character writers for each respective character. The first issue was released in April 2012. Each installment focuses on a squad member from Mass Effect 3.
A trade paperback collecting all four issues was released November 21, 2012.
Issue One Edit
- Publication Date: April 25, 2012
- Tagline: Hell on Earth!
- Writer: Mac Walters
Days after the Reaper invasion of Earth, millions of people are fleeing to the safety of the Citadel. While the Normandy SR-2 is docked there, James Vega seeks out his family. A Citadel official informs him that there is no available information on Emilio Vega or Josh Sanders, James's uncle and father. As James approaches a terminal and is asked for to verify his identity, a flashback takes him back to ten years earlier.
A younger James Vega enlists with the Systems Alliance marines at Camp Pendleton in 2176, shortly after the Skyllian Blitz. His uncle Emilio tells him that it's a good first step and he must walk his own path, but James fears his father Josh will be upset. Upon returning to his father's home in Solana Beach, Josh confronts James about his absence, saying that he had been messaging James all day and needed him to pick up something. When Josh notices Emilio, he becomes enraged, warning Emilio that he was not supposed to come near his son. Emilio tries to calm Josh down, but Josh accuses him of trying to turn James against him like he did with James's mother. Josh slams the door before yelling at James for being ungrateful.
Later, James arrives at a pharmacy in San Diego to pick up Josh's package. When the man behind the counter sees James flash a blue chip, he demands that James leave the store, calling him a junkie. Outside, a dealer approaches him and chides him for going in the store, then asks for the chip in exchange for the package. As James leaves, the dealer suddenly rushes past him, fleeing police. The dealer escapes on a three-wheeled motorcycle while James is forced to knock out the pursuing officer to get away. James encounters an elderly woman having difficulty entering her apartment building because the door's security system won't accept her identification chip and helps her, then enters the building himself and flees to the building's roof. A police drone spots him and orders him to submit, but James leaps onto it and forces it to crash to the ground. He slips into a nearby restaurant and dons an apron and hat to blend in with the staff. Finding a comm terminal, James calls first his father, then his uncle for help when his father doesn't answer. At that moment, an officer enters the restaurant with a blurry surveillance photo of James and asks customers if they have seen the man in the photo. The officer turns to James, but does not recognize him.
Hours later, James returns to his father's home and asks Josh about what was inside the package. Josh says that James already knows, then opens it, revealing dozens of small packets of a red powder. As James declares that he's leaving, Josh inhales the powder and tells him that he'll be Josh's errand boy and the military won't accept him once they find out about James's actions that night. Dismayed, James lashes out at his father, but Josh repels him with a biotic punch and threatens to tell Emilio what James did if he ever defies him again.
Emilio finds James sitting on the beach in front of his house. He tells James that he had promised his mother to look out for him before her death, but now James has to choose how to live his life. James thinks it is too late because of what his father said, but Emilio calms him down and points out that Josh would never tell the military that he had contacted a drug dealer and solicited the aid of a minor in purchasing drugs. Josh can't do anything to James unless James lets him. Only James can choose what happens to him now.
Back in the present, James is stirred from his reverie by Liara T'Soni. As they head back to the Normandy to depart the Citadel on a mission with Commander Shepard, Liara assures him that he'll hear something about his family soon and wishes him luck. James thanks her, saying he'll need it.
Issue Two Edit
- Publication Date: May 30, 2012
- Tagline: The Galaxy Betrayed!
- Writers: Patrick Weekes & Jeremy Barlow
As she limps into a clinic on the Citadel, Tali'Zorah nar Rayya recounts how her Pilgrimage had gone horribly wrong. She had begun her Pilgrimage by taking the quarian ship Honorata to travel to Illium in search of something she could bring back. Keenah'Breizh interrupts her as she listens to a farewell message from her father and informs her that a geth presence has been detected on an unidentified ice planet in the Crescent Nebula. Tali and Keenah land, and Tali disables a geth to extract its memory core. Upon activating it, she hears a recorded conversation between the Spectre Saren Arterius and Matriarch Benezia about a recent attack on the human colony of Eden Prime and the imminent return of the Reapers. Realizing the importance of this information, she convinces Keenah that they need to give it to authorities on Illium. Meanwhile, Commander Jacobus, a turian mercenary employed by Saren to excavate Prothean artifacts on the ice planet, is alerted of the quarians' intrusion and vows to hunt them down, knowing that if he fails, Saren will kill him and his team.
Tali and Keenah flee Jacobus and return to the Honorata, then travel to Illium. They are denied permission to dock for several days by the port officials, who are wary of allowing quarians to land. This inadvertently gives Jacobus and his men time to land on Illium themselves and prepare an ambush for the Honorata's crew. When the Honorata finally lands, the crew is attacked and killed. Only Tali and Keenah escape. Unable to return to the Honorata, they stow away on a transport ship bound for the Citadel. Upon arrival, the transport's crew discover the stowaways, and the captain decides to turn them over to C-Sec instead of killing them, claiming that as quarians they aren't worth the bullets.
In a detention cell, Tali and Keenah attempt to explain to Chellick that they have important information for the Citadel Council, he ignores them and warns them to leave the station in the next day before releasing them. The pair query an Avina terminal about meeting the Council, but are informed that there is a seven month wait for an audience, then told to move on by a C-Sec officer. Suddenly, Jacobus appears and attacks them, chasing them across the Citadel and into a maintenance area. Tali is badly injured by one of Jacobus' shots, but Keenah is mortally wounded. They reach an incinerator and Tali spies catwalks they can use to get out, but Keenah collapses and dies. When Jacobus catches up to them and enters the incinerator, Tali seals the doors and activates it, destroying Jacobus, Keenah's body, and a computer that Tali had set to play her father's farewell message.
Arriving at the clinic, Tali is treated by a doctor, to whom she tells the story of her journey and the information she obtained from the geth. A volus mentions that he is an information broker and can contact the Shadow Broker to ensure that Tali's information can reach the right people. He encourages her to trust him and directs to a bar where she can hide out. Tali agrees and asks where to go, as her father's message plays over scenes of Jacobus' death, the Battle of the Citadel, and Tali standing on the surface of Rannoch as the sun rises.
Issue Three Edit
- Publication Date: July 25, 2012
- Tagline: A Bullet for Your Sins
- Writer: Mac Walters, John Dombrow, Jeremy Barlow
Many years ago on Palaven, a young Garrus Vakarian is learning how to shoot a sniper rifle with his father. When Garrus wishes to take a break, his father refuses until he hits the targets. Garrus misses again with his next volley and asks his father why he has to shoot if his aim will not improve. His father explains that if Garrus gives up now, when things are getting hard, then he won't make it anywhere in life. He is trying to teach Garrus how to shoot because as his father, it's his job to teach Garrus how to be an adult. Garrus takes aim once more and fires another volley.
On Omega in 2185, a batarian mercenary asks a human ally how many casualties they've lost. The human merc asks if he wants to know the total or those lost in the last hour, and remarks that the mercs aren't holding a siege, they're being massacred. When the batarian wonders aloud why they can't kill one man, the human replies that it's because the man is Archangel, just as the batarian is killed with a headshot. As he overlooks the approach to his base, Garrus begins recording what he believes may be his final words so that the people of Omega will know the truth about him and not the lies the gangs will use in their propaganda.
Garrus explains that the battle he is now fighting was set in motion years earlier. On Palaven, years after the target practice with his father, Garrus arrives at a hospital to see his mother, who was injured in a hit-and-run. Garrus reveals that he missed the shuttle for his study abroad trip so that he could take care of his mother while his father was away on the Citadel. Since the scholarship was for that summer only, he lost it and won't be able to qualify again. His mother becomes worried, but Garrus insists that if he left on that trip, he wouldn't be able to forgive himself. He realizes that he's an officer's son, and that's all he will ever be.
Several years later, Garrus is at a shooting range at C-Sec Academy. A turian officer informs him that Garrus' father cut a suspect named Kishpaugh loose. Garrus confronts his father, who admonishes him for making a weak case against the suspect. Garrus accuses his father of being out of touch with the level of criminal activity on the Citadel and is incredulous that he would have Garrus doing paperwork instead of shutting down supply channels for drug and gun smugglers. His father retorts that Garrus can't break the rules just because he doesn't like them; if Garrus can't fill out paperwork, then maybe he isn't cut out for the job. He tells Garrus to do things right, or not at all.
After the Battle of the Citadel, Garrus is disappointed when the public accepts the official line that the threat posed by Sovereign and the geth has ended and goes back to living as if the tragedy never happened. Frustrated with C-Sec's red tape, Garrus quits and goes after the drug smuggler Kishpaugh on his own. The smuggler reveals that his source is Omega. Garrus heads there, where he thinks he can actually make a difference.
Upon arrival at the station, Garrus stops a vorcha from mugging an elderly human couple, who thank him and call him a "real-life angel". At Afterlife, Garrus meets Sidonis and the two agree to form a squad to combat Omega's criminals. Garrus assumes the moniker of "Archangel" and spreads the word of what he's doing by going after thugs personally. Before long, Garrus' squad expands to twelve members, including himself, Sidonis, a salarian explosives expert, a batarian tech expert, and various former mercs, security consultants, and C-Sec agents. Together, they declare war on Omega's criminals but are careful to avoid civilian casualties. Even when the gangs unite against Garrus' squad, they are unable to stop them. Eventually, the squad's success earns them a surplus of credits. Some members want to settle down and live comfortably, but Garrus pushes them to use their funds to hit parts of the station that were previously out of reach. Instead of listening to his squad, Garrus pushes them to their limits, hoping to completely purge Omega of crime.
At some point, Sidonis is captured by the Blue Suns and forced to trick Garrus into leaving the squad's hideout to strike an alleged Blood Pack gun running operation in the Kenzo District. Garrus finds no trace of the operation, and returns to the hideout just as the gangs bomb it and gun down the rest of his squad. Garrus remembers his arguments with his father and decides that he was mistaken to ignore what his father tried so hard to teach him. Resigned to his fate as the gangs move in to kill him, Garrus contacts his father and apologizes. His father, realizing Garrus' situation, tells him to forget about that and to finish up his "target practice" then head back to Palaven so they can sort everything out. Through his rifle's scope, Garrus spots a familiar emblem on one individual's armor, and tells his father that he'll return home when he can because "the odds just got a lot better."
Issue Four Edit
- Publication Date: August 29, 2012
- Tagline: Last Hope for the Galaxy!
- Writer: Mac Walters, Sylvia Feketekuty, Jeremy Barlow
Having become the new Shadow Broker, Liara T'Soni struggles to find a way to stop the impending threat of the Reapers. Even with the vast resources now at her disposal, she worries that she will not be able to help. Liara contacts Admiral Hackett and informs him that she plans to continue seeking a solution from the Protheans and will start her search at Thessia. Unbeknownst to them, the Illusive Man watches the conversation from his lair.
At Thessia, Liara meets with a former colleague, Doctor Passante, who covertly brings Liara to a Prothean archive. Passante suggests that Liara should return to Thessia permanently and become a teacher; Liara agrees that sometimes all she can think about is coming back home, that it would be easier than her current life. Upon examining the archive, Liara is disappointed to learn how little it contains. Passante brings up rumors that Liara has been selling information on the black market and warns Liara that her passions may consume her in the same way they did Matriarch Benezia and lead to her death. Liara reassures Passante that she won't let that happen and asks Passante to trust the person she knew Liara to be. Passante suggests Liara investigates the Prothean ruins on Kahje and gives Liara her blessing.
Liara travels to one of the drell's domed cities on Kahje's surface and meets with a hanar official to discuss gaining access to a Prothean site. The official turns her down and explains that the site, a hanar shrine, is not open to visitors. Liara reiterates that her mission is scientific and not merely tourism, but the hanar directs her to other Prothean sites. Resorting to bribery, Liara implies that her organization might be willing to make a significant contribution to the upcoming Cresting Bloom holiday celebrations. The official's assistant, a drell named Quoyle, comes to Liara's aid and reasons that since generosity is an Enkindler virtue, Liara should be allowed to briefly visit the shrine if her contribution is generous enough. Liara says she cannot imagine what size of contribution could ever be compensation for a such a privilege; after a pause, the official offers to help her imagine that number.
Quoyle takes Liara to the shrine, reminding her that if she tries to pull anything, he'll shoot her himself. Suddenly, Quoyle's craft is the target of a swarm of torpedoes launched by the shrine's defenses. Quoyle attempts to contact the shrine to call off the attack, but no one responds; in the shrine's control room, its drell staff lay dead while a Cerberus Phantom watches Quoyle and Liara's predicament on a viewscreen. Quoyle's craft is hit and begins taking on water, but Liara uses her biotics to push the water out and keep the craft in a bubble of air. Quoyle guides the craft to the shrine and compliments Liara on her powerful biotic display.
Once in the shrine, Liara and Quoyle discover the dead staff. They are attacked by the Phantom, who slashes Quoyle in the chest and incapacitates him. Liara fends off the Phantom with her biotics and kills her by driving a shard of debris through her head. Quoyle, wounded but alive, tells Liara to head to the archive room without him since he has seen it all before.
Searching the Prothean archives, Liara discovers encryption keys that unlock archives at three other sites. The first site is at an unknown location and the second was erased, but Liara recognizes the third. The Illusive Man then appears via hologram and greets Liara. He denies that he sent a Phantom to Kahje, blaming the attack on rogue Cerberus members, and asks Liara to trust him and work together to stop the Reapers. Liara agrees that this might be a mutually beneficial move, and asks the Illusive Man to share his information on stopping the Reapers first. When the Illusive Man doesn't respond, Liara surmises that he either wants to keep his information to himself or he doesn't have any. As Liara leaves, the Illusive Man begins to taunt her, questioning her ability to run the Shadow Broker organization, and implying that black market sources think the Broker has become soft and vulnerable to usurpation. He asserts that Liara needs him. Liara counters by pointing out that he is the one trying to make a deal and tells him to send an army the next time he tries to kill her, then cuts the link.
As Liara helps Quoyle to the shrine's shuttle bay, Admiral Hackett contacts her and asks for an update. Liara explains that what she found isn't the solution she was looking for, but it might still be a viable lead. She asks Hackett for help gaining access to a top-secret facility on Mars.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 http://www.darkhorse.com/Comics/20-458/Mass-Effect-Homeworlds-1-Anthony-Palumbo-cover
- ↑ http://www.darkhorse.com/Books/20-488/Mass-Effect-Volume-4-Homeworlds-TPB
- ↑ http://www.dualshockers.com/2012/01/30/exclusive-second-issue-of-mass-effect/
- ↑ http://www.darkhorse.com/Comics/20-460/Mass-Effect-Homeworlds-3-Anthony-Palumbo-cover
- ↑ http://www.darkhorse.com/Comics/20-461/Mass-Effect-Homeworlds-4-Anthony-Palumbo-cover
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