Written by: Nunzio DeFilippis and Christina Weir
Art: Fernando Heinz Furukawa
Colour by: Michael Atiyeh
Lettering by: Nate Piekos
Cover by: Sachin Teng
Published by: Dark Horse Comics
Dragon Age: Knight Errant is a five-part series, another gambit by the alliance of BioWare and Dark Horse Comics. Set in the ever-expanding universe of Dragon Age (the hugely successful high-fantasy RPG video game), Knight Errant gives us the tale of elf named Vaea. Below is the official plot summary of issue #1.
“Elven squire Vaea and her knight arrive in Kirkwall for Varric Tethras’ appointment as Viscount. A talented thief, Vaea takes on an easy job… but when she chooses to change the terms of the deal mid-heist, she is entangled in a dangerous mission that is surely above her pay grade.
The first two issues lean hard on worldbuilding that sworn swords of the RPG will already be very familiar with. From Varric Tethras and Kirkwall, to the Hanged Man and the Gallows, the backdrop of this series weaves seamlessly into the Dragon Age world.
Husband and wife duo Nunzio DeFilippis and Christina Weir team up once again to write the second instalment. While their opening narrative was gripping, their pace almost breakneck, here the pair opted to delve further into Vaea’s past. At first it seemed a strange move, as they had this reader so hooked I hadn’t even paused to consider a backstory. Very quickly however, they justified their choice, with each whisper from the past paired cleverly with an action sequence in the present. The overall effect was that not only did we get a glimpse at the immense social and political history of this corner of the Dragon Age world, but also saw the plot steer fast towards issue #3. This all came together powerfully when Vaea’s realised her present plight mirrored her childhood.
“I thought I could fix things. I won’t make the same mistake this time.”
Against all of this, we have the art of the comic itself. Fernando Heinz Furukawa (Stitched, Crossed Badlands) could have opted to mould his images off the well-known RPG graphics. He certainly wouldn’t have been blamed for it. Instead, he manages to draw the Dragon Age fantasy world in a new way. Here, we have sharp, pointed characters standing out from amongst a faded background. It’s as if our heroes proclaim themselves with each panel, and with such detail given to the surroundings of Kirkwall, the artist does a much-loved creation the sort of justice most would only dare to dream of. Michael Atiyeh, no stranger in his own right to bringing a universe or two to life from his work with Star Wars, is here the right colourist for the job. Some of the night scenes almost belong in the RPG, so true are they to the original product. And for those who are searching for something memorable, Sachin Teng’s cover is the sort of elemental experience that makes fantasy so alluring in the first place.
We’ll have to see what’s next in store for Vaea and Ser Aaron. They are off to Starkhaven. But only one of them knows truly why….