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Story: David Gaider
Script: Alexander Freed
Art: Chad Hardin
When I first opened this issue I was struck by the thought “this isn’t right”. The colors, lines, and shape of the first page of art felt different than previous issues and there was something strange about Varric that I just couldn’t put my finger on at first. After closer inspection, I realized that Varric actually looked attractive. This was shocking as his temperment, obsession with his bow, and general attire are generally off-putting to me.
(minor spoilers to follow)
Luckily, a few pages in I realized why everything was different – after destroying the Magrallen, Varric was thrust into the Fade! Huge props to both Chard Hardin and the colorer Micahel Atiyeh for making Varric’s Fade fantasies both realistic and subtly off. The minor details, like Varric without whiskers, and slightly more vibrant shades of colors than normal were enough to create an aura of hyper-reality with which the Fade is infused.
The writing team of Gaider and Freed continues to go strong. The rest of the issues follow Varric as he searches for his friends in the Fade (much like in certain quests in Dragon Age games). I found Isabela’s Fade fantasy to be a bit confusing, but Varric’s and Alistair’s fantasies are both surprising and well-done. Who would have guessed THAT would be Alistair’s fantasy?
For fans of the game, this issue is worth reading solely because the issue finally introduces us to the flesh-and-bones Bianca – not the weapon Varric frequently coos at. For those that demand more than just a reveal for their money, I refer you to my previous statements about the writing and artwork. This series has continued to produce solid quality issues, and Dragon Age: Until We Sleep #2 continues this tradition.