The stories behind the stories

Mass Effect: Invasion #1

“This isn’t just my problem. Whether you like it or not — my fight is your fight!” — Illusive Man

“Invasion, Part 1”

A new series featuring Aria, the powerful ruler of Omega!
Published by Dark Horse • October 19, 2011
Written by John Jackson Miller

Story by Mac Walters and John Jackson Miller

Art by Omar Francia

Lettered by Michael Heisler

Colored by Michael Atiyeh

Covers by Massimo Carnevale and Paul Renaud

Edited by Dave Marshall and Brendan Wright

An essential new story from the Mass Effect universe, Invasion differs from the other miniseries by the degree of my involvement in the creation of the underlying story.

Whereas the plot for Redemption had come entirely from Mac Walters at Bioware and most of my story input into Evolution was on the staging side, I built the plot for Invasion from some general guidelines Mac provided. He knew what was coming in Mass Effect 3, of course, and knew what he wanted to have happen in Invasion. Getting from point A to point B, however, was much more my responsibility than in the past.

As was much of the characterization — and naming — for General Petrovsky. Longtime readers of my work know of my Soviet Studies degree, and how my first professional comics project was Crimson Dynamo. With Petrovsky, I got to build an erudite warrior in the Illusive Man’s employ: someone whose worries about the Reaper menace were rooted in his own understanding of history. And someone whose knowledge of historical military tactics would come in handy from time to time. Aria, the queen of the Omega space station, would have a worthy adversary in him.

Aria had been seen in the comics before in Redemption, and we had given her a henchman then, Anto. We would see them work together — and against each other — over the course of the series, which ultimately set up events for Mass Effect 3.

“Novelty is overrated in war, Aria. I’m a student of military history — and the strategies that have come down to us did so because the people who used them lived.” — General Oleg Petrovsky

The naming motif for Cerberus ships is usually mountains. Russia doesn’t have a whole lot of big ones, but Elbrus is one. It’s a dormant volcano.

It’s worth studying just how much colorist Michael Atiyeh adds to this story. There are little touches all over the place. Awesome work.

This issue has three covers. In addition to the Paul Renaud cover celebrating Dark Horse’s 25th anniversary, a Ben Huen cover was produced for New York Comic Con with a print run of 500 copies.