Mirror’s Edge: Exordium is a 6-issue mini-series that takes place before the events of the upcoming game. The writer, Christofer Emgard, said that this comic would explore more of Faith’s relationships and her background to Catalyst. He has not said if the events of the comic will directly affect the game, but it sounds like some of the events will be referenced in the game. Yet, they will not be referenced to the point of not understanding what they are talking about; the comic will primarily bring in more info to the table.
In other words, the comic is for extended lore junkies like me.
Most comics have a slow start with the first issue, as they need it to introduce the characters, the setting, and the plot. This first issue jumps right into the action and story, no pun intended.
The first page has a little snippet explaining what Runners are and a bit of their culture, but the next page goes right into Faith working as an intern Runner, or at least a Runner-in-training. Not much else is explained. The Krugersec are not explained. The concept of being “beatlinked,” despite being mentioned several times, is not explained. It’s a little frustrating, but the writer does a great job mentioning these things in a way that the reader can make their own context for now and not need an immediate explanation.
As for the story setup, Emgard did say that this would explore Faith’s relationships, and he is right on the money. Faith and her employer, Noah, have a father-daughter-like relationship, where she feels she’s ready for the big leagues and all he sees is a reckless teenager who doesn’t follow his rules. Their tense interactions, for now, appear to be driving her to the wrong side of the bad side of the tracks she’s already on as a Runner.
The art is stunning, especially with how Faith’s hair is drawn and colored. The only real color found in the art is on the Runners and the criminals, which fits the City of Glass’s theme overall, especially in the game. The City in the game was always shown to be white and pristine, and the comic’s art is exactly that except for the Runners. They’re the only ones with hairs out of place, wearing any sort of color, and moving erratically. In fact, the only panels that show splashes of color are those that display raw emotion, imperfect actions, or anything that goes against any rules, not just the rules Krugersec has set. It’s subtle, yet absolutely genius.
The first issue, as expected, has ended on a bit of a plot cliffhanger, but this isn’t exactly what gets the reader intrigued to find out what happens next. It’s not about wondering if Faith will defy Noah; it’s wondering what Faith will learn about her background from someone who isn’t her father-figure, what Faith will do with that, and how it will affect her relationship with her Runner community. Gotta love a comic that doesn’t dangle only one carrot in front of readers to keep them coming back for more.
I know nothing about Mirror’s Edge other than I what I played at E3, so I can assure you that you need no prior knowledge to enjoy this comic. You don’t even have to be interested in the game. The game sets the environment for the comic and its story, but the comic takes that world and runs with it. Okay, maybe the pun was intended that time. Point is, Emgard has a great story going, and you don’t need to want the game to enjoy a great comic story and beautiful, brilliant comic art.
Digital review copy received from publisher.