The Illusive Man, the intriguingly mysterious leader of Cerberus from Mass Effect 2, is coming out of the shadows and revealing his background in a series of new comics. Beginning in January of 2011 Dark Horse Comics will put our a four issue miniseries titled Mass Effect Evolution.
IGN caught the first details about the comic in an interview with writers Mac Walters and John Jackson Miller:
"Evolution is a story from the early days of the Mass Effect universe, not long after the discovery of the Mass Relays connecting our solar system to the galaxy," ... "It shows us one of those important moments when humanity realized just how dangerous that galaxy was. Yes, there's wonderful opportunity out there, but there are also perils; as our story opens, we're in the middle of the First Contact War with the alien turians. We don't know much about the enemy, and they don't know much about us – and, as we'll find out, there's a lot more at risk than losing a starship or a colony."
More than anything, I'm excited to see what sort of precedent is set for the early years of human space expansion. What sort of space crafts are we talking about, will it be thematically similar to Star Trek's initial voyage into the final frontier, will our protagonists be decked out in the armor we see in the video games, and do their weapons require heat clips?
I'm certainly thinking we'll see a Star Trek approach to the comics, where the Illusive Man is your gung-ho badass similar to Captain Kirk. Here is Miller's take on who the Illusive Man really is:
"I look at the Illusive Man as a searcher, someone plumbing the mysteries of the galaxy – but with a specific mindset to his approach," ... "He's sure there's a darker side to some of the great things humanity's discovered, and he's rushing to find what that is before it's too late. His adventures force him to be a jack-of-all-trades – part xenobiologist, part intelligence agent, part archaeologist."
Does that sound Kirk-esque to you? It does to me. No matter what kind of character the Illusive Man is, this comic is bound to change our perception of him with respect to his involvement in Mass Effect 2. A large part of the narrative required you to be suspicious of what Cerberus is and its grand intentions. So with a deeper understand of the Illusive Man and his purposes some decisions may need to be reconsidered.
What do you think, Ranters? Is this an area in the Mass Effect universe you'd like to see fleshed out? Or do you prefer the mystery of the Illusive Man?