Cover Rank: 8/10. The narrative weave of this prequel series is hung from three key pillars from the lore of Destiny, which this cover goes all in on. On one side you have Ikora that has a wide-eyed look on her face that denotes just how far out of her depths she finds herself in this situation. This is far from the cool, calm Ikora we have come to know over the course of the games.
The other side is the Speaker whose commanding pose also gives us a hint of arrogance in his bearing which is something we haven’t seen from him outside of a few hints in the grimoire. Alone at the bottom of the page we find Osiris, standing amidst a fog enshrouded forest trying to find the path forward. Straddling the line that divides Ikora and the Speaker. Clearly this image speaks to me on a number of levels, however I had to deduct from its score due to the fact that those who may be new to this universe may not pick up on the meanings of a lot of this. For those of us who have read a grimoire card or ten, this is a fine choice for a cover.
Best Variant Issue: Alas, there are no variants for this issue.
What I Like: Choosing Ikora as the narrator of the tale, as opposed to Osiris himself was an inspired choice. This not only puts the focus on a character we are familiar with over the past 2.5 years, it allows us to see the effects of the battle of wills taking place between Osiris and the Speaker, upon all levels of society. The intensely personal battle is dividing the city, from the highest levels of the Guardians all the way down to the lowest civilians. Osiris’ only goal, is to figure out a way to halt the dangers presented by the Vex, it’s not an attempt to shore up his base of power, unfortunately the same does not hold true of the Speaker.
Feeling his position to be threatened, the Speaker follows the path of so many authoritarian leaders when faced with information he can’t refute beyond a rather pathetic, “I know best, because I do”, resorts to politicking his way to get what he wants. He even turns Ikora’s impassioned speech on its head, utilizing it to reinforce his point. It does not paint a very flattering picture of the Speaker and his motivations, but it does give is a deeper insight into a rather bland character up to this point. Not only does he have time to explain, he does it with a defined personality that was sorely needed. Had this been released before Destiny 2, I probably would have let Ghaul keep him.
I also want to make note of Lord Shaxx which I personally enjoyed. Due to the nature of this issue, his screen time is limited to just a few panels, but as a character with a very distinct persona and voice, they managed to convey that in just 2 panels.
What I Didn’t Like: Given the truncated page count of this issue, they had to be very particular about what made the cut. This series is literally ALL dialogue which, while the thrust of the series is it’s chronicling of the split between Osiris and the city, it would have been nice to see at least a slice of action to break up the exposition. Rivals in the crucible, or perhaps Osiris out collecting some vital piece of information just to change things up. This is the primary flaw of the series, for an audience that has hungered for so long to get some expanded fiction chronicling the lore that has been speculated on for the last 2.5 years. We get served a small appetizer rather than the feast we have long waited for. It might be an unfair comparison for a free comic, but as it’s something the community has been clamoring for, I can’t help but wish it had been a much deeper dive. The brief snippets of various scenes we get as the story progresses leaves soooo much unexplored. Shaxx is essentially the only side character we encounter, and while I enjoyed the nod, there’s just so much more this could have been.
Best Moment: The issue opens with Ikora with Osiris who is decked out in his now iconic Egyptian style armor and we do get the answer as to why his look is so different from the standard Guardian attire. He uses it as a way to hide from his fanboy followers like Brother Vance, which I’m totally on board with. He has not been seeking to amass these followers, it just sort of happened, nor is he overly fond of these zealous fanatics. The position he has found himself in is clearly not one with which he is comfortable, which speaks to his complex nature.
Ending: 7/10. The tale ends with Ikora being shown in possession of Sagira, Osiris’ ghost, thus leaving off almost exactly where the Curse of Osiris dlc picks up the story. While I’m fine with that, the fact that following the Speaker turning Ikora’s speech around on her, all we get is Osiris stating he’s leaving the city followed by 2 pages of Ikora wrapping up her story. Given the low page count, I wish they had used some of that space to help expand other aspects of the story. ⅕ of it is devoted to it, which I think could have been put to use in other ways.
What I’m Looking Forward to: Given the way it ended, I believe this is where our tale ends. I’m hoping that this is just the first in a line of expanded fiction chronicling the lore of Destiny rather than simply a one off happening. There is so much that has been alluded to over the past few years that there is a wealth of storytelling avenues for them to explore. Taken for what it is, I truly enjoyed this series shedding some light on what was such an often debated part of the story. I wish there was more to it, but hopefully more is on the way in one form or another.
Overall Score: 7.5/10
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