The stories behind the stories

Mass Effect: Evolution #3

“You want to know what a human’s made of? Let me loose — and you’ll find out!” — Jack Harper

“Evolution, Part 3”

A new series featuring the origin of our galaxy’s most mysterious powerbroker — The Illusive Man!
Published by Dark Horse • March 23, 2011

Written by John Jackson Miller

Story by Mac Walters

Art by Omar Francia

Lettered by Michael Heisler

Colored by Michael Atiyeh

Covers by Massimo Carnevale and Joe Quinones

Edited by David Marshall and Brendan Wright

Things get serious for Jack and Eva now, as they realize how Ben has been transformed by his direct contact with the Arca Monolith. Jack’s own contact was secondary — he was touching Ben as he touched the artifact — which may or may not be the explanation for their differing responses.

The big new setting for the series was Palaven, which hadn’t really been seen in detail to this degree yet. It’s a martial, tradition-loving culture, and we see some of that here.

We also see that Desolas is running a bit of a cynical game on his people: posing as someone who cares about the ancient legends and myths for political gain. At the same time, he’s plumbing those selfsame myths for their real-life powers they can provide him. He’s a prince.

One of the challenges in writing the Turians is that they look very similar to Earthly eyes — though not, one would expect, to other Turians. So it was helpful to have Desolas and Saren identify each other for the reader in conversation at times — and then here, to put Desolas in a cloak, to keep him distinct from Saren.

“The time for truth is past. Behold the future!” — Desolas

It made sense that Desolas, too, would understand Clarke’s Third Law. He is, after all, using it to get political power within his own populace.

I certainly did hear the Illusive Man — voiced by Martin Sheen — for Jack in all these stories!