Mass Effect: Evolution is a four-issue comic series published by Dark Horse Comics in 2011. It was written by Mass Effect trilogy lead writer Mac Walters, scripted by John Jackson Miller, and drawn by Omar Francia. Evolution is a prequel to the Mass Effect trilogy.
In the closing days of the First Contact War, Alliance black ops solider Jack Harper and his team were assigned to investigate a turian excavation on turian-occupied Shanxi. Jack discovers a strange monolith that sets him on the path to becoming the enigmatic pro-human terrorist known as the Illusive Man.
Mass Effect: Evolution contains the following tropes:
- Abusive Precursors: The Reapers, as usual. The Arca Monoliths are traps set for the turians. The Reapers expected the turians to use the monoliths to transform themselves into obedient Reaper slaves, thus eliminating a major military threat to the harvest.
- Big Bad: Desolas Arterius, Saren's ambitious older brother, is the primary antagonist.
- Bittersweet Ending: The Arca Monolith is destroyed, but Eva and Ben die and Jack abandons his identity to become the Illusive Man. And Saren hates humanity more than ever.
- Enemy Mine: Saren and Jack join forces to stop Desolas from accidentally bringing about the end of the turian race.
- Foregone Conclusion: As this is a prequel, any reader that is familiar with the games knows that Jack and Saren will survive and that the former will become the Illusive Man.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Ben regains control of himself just long enough to sacrifice himself stop Desolas.
- "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Happens a lot with Jack and Eva trying to reason with the huskified Ben.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Ben is so horrified at mortally wounding Eva that he's able to break free of Reaper control long enough to take Desolas down with him.
- Start of Darkness: Evolution explains how the Illusive Man went from a Alliance black ops soldier to a terrorist. It also serves as one for Saren, who after losing his brother to the Arca Monolith, vows to continue his mission of destroying humanity.