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Mass Effect: Redemption

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Mass Effect: Redemption is a four-issue comic series that explores some of the key events leading up to Mass Effect 2. Its narrative "picks up just as Commander Shepard disappears and is left without the support of the crew on the Normandy in the lawless Terminus Systems. Shepard must fight for survival, and will be assisted by close companion, Dr. Liara T'Soni, to come home alive."[1] Liara's adventure is an extended storyline with major ramifications for the Mass Effect universe, and will expose readers to some of the new aliens, locations, and factions introduced in Mass Effect 2.[2]

The series is written by BioWare lead writer Mac Walters, scripted by John Jackson Miller, and drawn by Omar Francia, with contributions from cover designer Daryl Mandryk, colorist Michael Atiyeh and letterer Michael Heisler. First announced on July 21, 2009, seven pages of issue #1 were later previewed online in October 2009.[3] The official print release (published by Dark Horse Comics) followed on January 6, 2010. Notably, the Mass Effect 2 Limited Collectors' Edition also comes bundled with a complete issue #1, while all editions of the Prima Official Game Guide include a five page teaser. On June 9, 2010, Dark Horse released a trade paperback that collects all four issues and a "special behind-the-scenes section with sketches and more" in one 96 page volume.[4]

The story of Liara's involvement with the Shadow Broker continues in Lair of the Shadow Broker, a piece of downloadable content for Mass Effect 2 in which Liara teams up with Commander Shepard to confront the Shadow Broker and even the score. Mac Walters has stated that the comics comprise part of a larger vision for the franchise: "The idea is that we're both expanding on characters that we didn't really explore in Mass Effect 1 and also looking at opportunities to expand on them even further in the DLC."[5]

The short comic Mass Effect: Incursion features events that link to the Redemption storyline.


StoryEdit

Issue 1Edit

  • Publication date: January 6, 2010
  • Tagline: They've taken the galaxy's greatest hero. Only she can stop them.

Two turian brothers and a batarian, heading towards Omega, are discussing their asari passenger, and comment it's been a month since the destruction of the Normandy and the disappearance of Commander Shepard. When their passenger, revealed to be Liara, asks if they're close to the station, they refuse to let her leave and suggestively demand additional "...docking fees". Disgusted, she refuses and uses her biotics to incapacitate them. Liara then docks the ship herself, telling the landing staff that her visit is both business and personal, and that she has "someone to meet".

Later, in the Afterlife Club on Omega, Liara is speaking with an elcor patron about Shepard's whereabouts, only to be told they have not seen "...anyone like that here--nor have I been looking". The two are commenting on a news broadcast that reports the Citadel is still under reconstruction when they are interrupted by a mysterious hooded figure, who is revealed to be a drell. Liara recognizes him as her contact, and asks for information on Shepard. The drell agrees to inform her, but only once they are outside.

The drell, named Feron, tells Liara that Shepard's body had been recovered in a stasis pod, and is "neither dead nor alive". Liara refuses to believe Feron until she sees Shepard for herself. Before they leave, Blue Suns Mercenaries attack them, and the krogan leader of the group tells them that the Shadow Broker wants to know why Liara is looking for a dead person. An unknown sniper then kills all of the mercenaries while Liara and Feron escape.

While escaping, they run into Miranda and two Cerberus operatives, who tells them they have the same goal (looking for Shepard) and want to work with Liara. Feron tells Liara about Cerberus's human-centric agenda and only care that Shepard is human, but Liara insists that as long as they share the common goal of saving Shepard, it should be all right.

Miranda brings Liara to the Illusive Man, who tells Liara that the Collectors want the corpse, and have hired the Shadow Broker to give it to them. The Illusive Man wants Liara to find out why the Collectors want Shepard's body, and to get it before they do. Liara wonders why he chose her, and the Illusive Man tells her that "nothing beats someone with a personal motive driving them". Liara does not trust Cerberus or the Illusive Man, but tells him that Shepard can count on her.

The last page shows the Collector General conversing with the Shadow Broker, upset at the Shadow Broker's delay in shipment of Shepard's body. The Shadow Broker reminds the Collector that he is the only one who can get Shepard's body, and that he always gets results. The Collector's eyes then go gray.

Issue 2Edit

  • Publication date: February 3, 2010
  • Tagline: The Shadow Broker has one enforcer. The only one he needs.

This issue begins with Miranda interrupting Liara's flashback of the destruction of the Normandy, and tells Liara that a mercenary group called the Blue Suns had been the ones who attacked her and Feron earlier. Miranda assumes that the body must still be on Omega since Cerberus would have found out if someone had left with it. The agent then suggests that Liara needs Feron's help to find Shepard and leaves the pair in an unknown area on Omega. Liara immediately hits Feron with a biotic attack saying that she knows he has been working for the Shadow Broker and accuses him of selling her out to the Blue Suns. Feron replies that he has worked for the Shadow Broker in the past, taking odd jobs from him, and admits to having been told to lead any friends of Shepard astray (of course no one had told him about the merc group).

The drell suggests finding the dead body on her own, but Liara protests stating that since she had paid him, and that even though they were doing a job for Cerberus, helping her also gives him a chance to redeem himself (and redeem herself as well for being so helpless to save Shepard in the first place).

The pair then return to the Afterlife club to meet the illustrious Queen of Omega: Aria T'Loak, since no one knows the station better than she. After Liara pelts a rude batarian and volus, Feron blackmails one of Aria's guards to let them see her. Aria is at first reluctant to give the two any information until Liara tells her that the Collectors are the ones interested in finding Shepard; since the Queen did not know this piece of information she tells them that the deal is going down in the lower levels of Omega, in an old mining plant.

Liara and Feron arrive at their destination only to find a large group of Blue Suns Mercenaries along with an unfamiliar ship docking near them. Feron starts to shake up once a salarian named Tazzik exits the mysterious ship to talk with one of the mercs. Taz is apparently the Shadow Broker's one and only hit man who is called in rarely when the Shadow Broker really wants something or someone taken care of (he is the man to go to for results and usually he gets them, as stated by Feron). The salarian and a krogan merc stand in front of what appears to be a case holding Shepard's corpse.

Liara flares up her biotics upon realizing that Shepard is so close by, but the drell states that it is too risky. Mistaking his attitude for cowardice she tells him that she will not run now that she has come so close to finding the Commander. Liara is afraid that Feron will switch sides and vows not to let him out of her sight in case he is given a better offer. Feron brushes her off and suggests that they use one of the old defense guns to gun down Taz's ship so that they may not escape; Liara agrees.

Unfortunately, Feron misses his target, hitting some cargo behind the ship instead. The mercs shoot in their direction while Liara moves forward to take out a few men, heading towards Tazzik himself. Taz then fired a grenade at Liara but Feron pushes her out of the way at the last moment. Liara angrily shoves the drell off of her only to watch helplessly as Taz's ship leaves Omega, presumably with Shepard's body inside.

Issue 3Edit

  • Publication date: March 3, 2010
  • Tagline: He trades in secrets... and keeps his own.

Liara angrily approaches Feron with biotics ready, accusing him of still working for the Shadow Broker and purposely allowing Tazzik to escape with Shepard. The drell states that in the eyes of the Shadow Broker, he never stopped working for him so they could use that to their advantage to find the corpse. Feron does not want the body to go to the Collectors and offers to use his ship to tail Tazzik; Liara agrees. The scene shifts to Miranda, on her own ship, witnessing Tazzik leave with Shepard. The Illusive Man cautions patience, deeming it equally important that they discover the reason why the Collectors want the body as much as retrieving it, informing her he has other assets, unknown to her, involved.

Feron, who has taken Liara on his notably small ship (which Liara presses as having no second chair and teasing him about not being paid enough), pilots towards the Mass Relay that Tazzik took stating that there is only one planet in that sector which the Shadow Broker uses for transport: that world being Alingon. After going through the relay, the pair is attacked by three sentry ships sent by the Shadow Broker. Feron knows his way around this system and leads the three ships to their demise by navigating through some mined-out asteroids in the system.

Liara and Feron land on the planet as the asari contemplates why she cannot get a communications signal at all. Apparently the Shadow Broker is the only one with the technology to bypass the electromagnetic shroud emitted naturally by the planet, but his facility is the only one that can do this so all agents have to report in person. If any agents wish to make a call themselves then there is another layer of protection, so that nothing can be traced (hence why the two were attacked since their arrival was not warranted).

Two turian guards stand outside the building as Feron approaches with Liara as his 'captive.' The drell, who apparently knows the turians very well, manages to charm them with his words to let him inside despite not having been on the Shadow Broker's list. Feron mentions that this facility is only used for 'special business' and manages to find a volus leading a Collector to the body. Liara wishes to immediately attack the Collector, but the drell holds her back saying that he used to think the Shadow Broker was a neutral man but by siding with the Collectors he distrusts him and wishes to know why they would want Shepard's body. The pair enter a room where Feron states is the 'source' of information in the building; suddenly they run into a shrouded image of the Shadow Broker himself.

Liara desperately tries to persuade the Shadow Broker that helping the Collectors is wrong, but he replies that it was merely a good business deal, one too good to pass up. Feron tells Liara to stall him as he hacks the systems for all information on the Collectors and Shepard. Liara agrees and tries to warn the man (with flared biotics) that the risk of giving Shepard's body could be immense if used to help the Reapers; the Shadow Broker counters her by asking what use they could have with a corpse. The asari approaches the Shadow Broker only to find that it is another proxy, a sophisticated machine, that he is communicating through.

Once Feron says he has the information needed, Liara destroys the entire room. Luckily not all hope is lost, as Feron found out that they've just arrived with Shepard's body at the North Portal. Liara excitedly wishes to go right then and there; Feron agrees but stops her, saying that it was about time he said whom he was really working for.

Issue 4Edit

  • Publication date: April 7, 2010
  • Tagline: To find a hero... another must be lost.

The Shadow Broker's hired men become suspicious when the Broker's command channel gives off nothing but static. Armed and ready, the mercs run into Liara who manages to defeat all of them herself. Feron remarks playfully about her actions while she accuses him of being a triple agent. The drell explains that he was working for Cerberus but, in the beginning, he had been doing small jobs for the Shadow Broker as he needed the money (and the Broker pays his people well). When Cerberus learned of his involvement with the Shadow Broker they attempted to recruit him a few times in order to betray his boss. Feron appears insulted when mentioning that Miranda believed the drell to be someone who works for the highest bidder. This is simply not true as Feron states he never once screwed over a client nor did he care what his or her ulterior motives were until he became aware of the Collectors' involvement.

The idea of the Shadow Broker doing business with those creatures along with the fact that they wanted Shepard's body disgusted him and Feron knew he had to put a stop to it. Managing to get around Miranda, Feron and the Illusive Man came up with a plan to grab the body, but the Broker worried about where his loyalties lied. Due to this paranoia Feron was cut off from the Broker's business and he needed to find a way back in; Liara was his ticket inside. The drell volunteered to distract Liara for the Broker while the deal was going down. Originally his plan was to lead her away to find the commander himself but the Illusive Man thought they would work better as a team. Feron wasn't supposed to tell Liara about his involvement with Cerberus as not even Miranda knew of this alliance. Admitting to purposely letting Tazzik get away so they could go to Alingon, Feron just wanted to confirm the Shadow Broker's deal was with the Collectors and he wanted a chance to download whatever he could about the Broker's dealings.

Feron hands Liara the data he collected from the base, stating that his days as an information trader were probably over and that she should get the information to Cerberus no matter what happens. Liara shows compassion towards him, despite admitting she was wary of his loyalties as well, but since he's helped get her this far she persuades him to see this all the way through.

The scene shifts to a Harbinger possessed Collector speaking with a volus and Tazzik. Tazzik assures the client that despite how mangled the body is, it was still Shepard inside. Feron and Liara arrive at the scene but the drell immediately comes up with a plan and tells her to stay put as he walks towards the group unarmed. Feron strides towards them with confidence (even referring to Tazzik in a familiar fashion) commenting that the Shadow Broker was not completely happy with the deal and that instead of getting half the money now he wants all of it. The Collector states that there is nothing wrong with the plan but Feron continues the charade until Tazzik realizes he cannot contact the Broker and orders the corpse to be put back in his ship. Momentarily, the scene shifts to Harbinger himself speaking with the Shadow Broker who assures him that Feron is lying, frustrated that he cannot contact Tazzik with the truth. Harbinger says to the Broker "You pretend to be everywhere at once--I already am."

The Collector on Alingon reveals that Feron is lying and immediately Liara attacks the group. Feron tries to keep Tazzik away from her as she attempts to kill the Collector. Liara manages to get away from the creature but Feron cannot escape Tazzik's grasp. The drell tells her to leave with Shepard's body, that was put back on the ship earlier, and grudgingly she does so.

Liara joins Miranda on a Cerberus facility as the human attempts to congratulate her efforts saying that Shepard had made some good friends. Miranda tells the asari that they may not be able to restore the corpse after all as the body was in far worse condition than expected. Due to this, Liara finds the idea of resurrecting the commander wrong and believes Shepard should be left alone, before appearing to reconsider her words as she can't let the Commander go, but Miranda assures her that their actions are not something the Collectors would have done (mostly because no one knew why the aliens wanted the body). Despite Liara's reservations about the Lazarus Project, she leaves Shepard's body with Cerberus anyway in order to allow them to restore the corpse, as she can't let Shepard go. The Cerberus agent hopes that the information Liara brought back could suggest why Shepard's body was in demand. Liara inquires about Feron's well-being while Miranda states that she may go find him if she wants, Feron knew the risks going into the mission. Miranda proceeds to tell her to do something that she wants to do and Liara agrees. Now Liara has to help another friend and simultaneously made a new enemy.

TriviaEdit

  • The version of issue #1 included with the Collectors' Edition features a special cover. Created by Daryl Mandryk and seen here, it depicts Feron and Liara running from gunfire. The standard image of Liara in a combat stance is found on this edition's back cover.
  • According to John Jackson Miller, Redemption does not assume any specific Shepard to be canonical: "Particular care was taken in the handling of Commander Shepard's character; as with the KOTOR comics and Revan, the story accommodates the reader's past decisions as a player."[6]
  • Observing Shepard's body in issue #4, Tazzik states that it's "hard to tell if it's even a man or a woman, blown to hell like that"—a playful reference to Shepard's gender being player-determined.
  • In an apparent oversight, turian blood in the comics is colored red rather than blue.

ReferencesEdit

  1. http://www.darkhorse.com/Press-Releases/1748/Mass-Effect-Explodes-Into-Comics-7-21-09
  2. http://forums.bioware.com/viewtopic.html?topic=686656&forum=41
  3. http://comicbookresources.com/?page=preview&id=3588&disp=table
  4. http://www.darkhorse.com/Books/16-424/Mass-Effect-Volume-1-Redemption-TPB
  5. http://comics.ign.com/articles/100/1005868p1.html
  6. http://www.farawaypress.com/comics/masseffectredemption/masseffectredemption1.html


Mass Effect Series
Mass Effect Trilogy Mass Effect (CE, ) • Mass Effect 2 (CE, ) • Mass Effect 3 (CE, , Multiplayer) • Trilogy
Mobile Games Mass Effect GalaxyMass Effect: InfiltratorMass Effect 3: Datapad
Downloadable Content Mass EffectMass Effect 2Mass Effect 3
Books RevelationAscensionRetributionDeception
Comics RedemptionEvolutionInvasionHomeworldsFoundationIncursionInquisition
ConvictionBlasto: Eternity is ForeverHe Who Laughs BestLibrary Edition
Films Paragon Lost () • Mass Effect

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