Written by: Christofer Emgård
Art by: Mattias Häggström
Publisher: Dark Horse
Mirror’s Edge: Exordium #1 is a comic that has a ton of potential to tell a great story and get peopole excited for the upcoming game, but feels entirely uninspired. I’ve played the game myself and remember having a blast with it, but can’t really remember too much about the story, so I was pretty hazardous as to what exactly a comic could bring to the table as it would really need to up the story to still be engaging. After reading it, I see it actually captures the look and style of the game very well, however it provides very little intriguing story, characters, or much of anything to make it an interesting read, making me wish I was just playing the game.
It’s hard to really summaries what happens in the comic, as there’s so little actually going on. It does start with a pretty good page introducing the world to new readers. For those not in the know, Mirror’s Edge features your typical “government took over, got too powerful, privacy is now eroded” type world, which while a little clichéd when I first played the game feels quite relevant nowadays and could make for the basis of a good comic. Unfortunately, there’s very little personality given to this world or its characters to make you care. We learn almost nothing about Faith other than she’s a “special snowflake” given that she claims to not want a normal life or be involved in any mainstream operation (even things connected to her rebellious career…. For some reason) and that she had a mother who was an artist, who has a piece currently owned by a villain (?) that Faith decides she wants to work for. If I sound disinterested it’s because I sadly was. Nothing of any consequence happens at all and I had no idea who the characters were or what their motivations were. Most of the time the comic is more concerned with running scenes (seeing as that was the central point of the game) or cringe worthily clichéd dialogue that makes the whole thing feel more like Cool Runnings (“I’ll catch her if it’s the last thing I do”). The whole comic feels like it just consists of stilted dialogue, running and references to things we know nothing about in order to make it feel like a bigger world but honestly just makes it feel even more barren and lazy (I still have no idea what the hell beatlinked is), until we hit the 20 page count. It’s frustrating as there are so many elements to make a good story, but the script feels so lifeless that the entire issue just breezes by without ever being engaging.
The art does a better job, capturing the look of the game a lot better (despite the colours feeling a lot duller and more grimy, which kind of ruins the point of the “pristine, white, government controlled city”) and has a fast paced feel during the action scenes, trying desperately to infuse some life into the book. When it comes to the characters themselves however, they look just as bored as I did while reading the comic, a lot of what I assume was meant to be focus comes off more as apathy which made it even harder to get a read on the already flat characters. The art isn’t bad overall, it’s quite good at capturing the look at the game like I say, it’s unfortunate that there’s nothing interesting in the story to make it shine.
Mirror’s Edge: Exordium is, to be blunt, not worth your time. There are examples of video game comics being done well, but this is not one of them. It’s boring, uninspired and doesn’t feel like it has enough story to cover one issue let alone a six issue mini-series. Skip it, go play the game instead.