Deus Ex: Mankind Divided releases just next month as a sequel to Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and I can assure you that the hype is real. This is definitely high on my personal radar for the year as well as a good chunk of the SGR staff and gamers across the globe. The sequel is based upon the aftermath of the “Aug Incident” that occurs in DXHR, but there are plenty of questions in between DXHR and DXMD. We know that Adam Jensen is working with Task Force 29 of Interpol to stop terrorism on both sides of the Aug Conflict, and we know that he’s actually a double agent trying to unearth who is pulling the strings behind the Conflict as well as Interpol. But how did he get there? And how bad is the Conflict? Deus Ex Universe: Children’s Crusade comic from Titan Books answers all of those questions.
The comic series starts in the middle of things, with Jensen already a member of the Task Force, but he’s a rookie. No one on the team fully trusts him yet, especially a couple of Aug Haters. Jensen is also already partnered with Alex Vega, another main character from the upcoming game. She’s kind of his partner in the sky in this story, though, one who taps into his augmentations to send information and get a literal eye as to what is going on. They have to play their cards right, though, as Interpol has no idea Jensen is secretly investigating them for moles. Everything Alex does to tap into Jensen and Interpol has to be done with the utmost discretion, or Jensen is likely a dead man.
During a routine operation, the Task Force learns that the Aug Terrorists are using children for their warfare tactics. Some they’re turning into bombs via their augmentations, and others they’re arming and sending them into anti-aug rallies. Jensen doesn’t want to hurt any of the children, but also has to find out who is manipulating them and why. This 5-part series covers this one mission Jensen has, develops characters we’re going to come in contact with in DXMD, and shows that nothing is what it seems.
Obviously, the Illuminati are behind everything all over again, but the question remains how they are pulling the strings and who is doing the pulling. It’s not enough to know that the Illuminati are involved; Jensen has to learn who are aligned with them. At the end of the series, the reader learns the identity of one of many of the members, which is fairly surprising over the scope of the story.
The story and art are absolutely amazing, especially the artwork. I could take so many different screenshots of the art to use as wallpapers for 50 different devices, easily. As breathtaking as the art is (bravo John Aggs!) it was the image below that made me laugh out loud.
If you played DXHR, then this should look familiar to you, as this is the screen that pops up (without the word bubbles) for the hacking mini-game. It cracked me up that they were so devoted to the game itself of Deus Ex, not just the story, that they included this when Jensen had to hack his way into a building. I personally loved the hacking mini-game, and I can’t wait to hack all the things once again in DXMD.
After completing this mini-series yesterday, I’ve been telling as many Deus Ex fans as I know to pick this comic up. I don’t think it will be imperative to read before playing the game, but a lot of background information will be filled in. Plus, it’s nice to get a sample of what Jensen will be dealing with as well as the horrors of humanity. For those who never played the first game, though, you will want to pass on the comic. Very little background information is provided on Jensen and the events of DXHR, requiring readers to be fans of the game before diving in to the comic.