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Comic Book / Mass Effect Foundation

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Mass Effect: Foundation is a thirteen-issue comic series published by Dark Horse Comics in 2013-14. It was written by Mass Effect trilogy lead writer Mac Walters and drawn by multiple artists over various issues. It takes place over the course of years, ties into Mass Effect, Mass Effect: Redemption, Mass Effect 2, and the Citadel DLC for Mass Effect 3. It covers Maya Brooks (known as Rasa) and how she joins Cerberus.


Mass Effect: Foundation contains the following tropes:

  • A Day in the Limelight: Nearly throughout the series. Each individual issue expands into the various characters' pivot points in their lives. In the fourth and fifth issues, it features Miranda's and Jacob's failed attempt to recover Shepard's body, leading to the events of Mass Effect: Redemption.
  • Been There, Shaped History: Rasa personally encountered people like Wrex and Jack. Not only that, but after being routed out by Tela Vasir, she was poisoned then spared by Thane.
  • Continuity Snarl: Several comics don't match how the events they covered were described in the games themselves.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Many of the issues end as how we know it in the original games. In no particular order:
    • Wrex fails to kill Fist the first time and is stalled by C-Sec in no part due to Rasa.
    • Ashley becomes the Sole Survivor of her squad on Eden Prime.
    • Kaidan kills the Drill Sergeant Nasty turian in a fit of rage after he pushes him and the biotic students one too many times.
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    • Miranda and Jacob are sent on a mission to find leads on Shepard, who dies in the beginning of Mass Effect 2. While they fail to get the body back, they manage to find where the body has been taken to.
    • Jack attacks a Cerberus training facility and frees the "students"; she is captured by the Blue Suns and presumably transported to Purgatory.
    • Kasumi's boyfriend and partner-in-crime, Keiji, was killed by Hock after a heist on Bekenstein.
    • Maya Brooks joins Cerberus only to eventually abandon them, taking Shepard's clone with her.
    • Tali survives the dangers of her Pilgrimage, and acquires the information that will lead Shepard to uncovering the Reapers.
  • The Ghost: Commander Shepard, the Player Character of the original trilogy. Shepard comes up in conversation many times, but in every case, they are described in gender-neutral pronouns and in such a manner that the player can fit their own Shepard into the story.
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  • Greater-Scope Villain: The Reapers, as per usual. Their influence is felt in several of the stories, but none of the characters properly grasp the threat they pose, as Shepard is the one who uncovers that in the first game.
  • I Can't Believe I'm Saying This: "—but that psycho Kai Leng was right."
  • Lower-Deck Episode: To the original trilogy in general. Wrex's story is set shortly before Shepard's arrival on the Citadel in the first game, and Ashley's story is set at an offscreen point of Citadel: Expose Saren, an early game-quest in the first game.
  • Mythology Gag: Reflecting Shepard's fully customizable appearance and gender, their clone has no skin and is constantly in a containment tank that obscures their gender.
  • Pretender Diss: The Illusive Man remarks that whatever Brooks thinks Shepard's clone is, it's not the real Shepard and never will be.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Whenever Rasa and Kai Leng work together, it often isn't on the friendliest of terms. At best, they keep it professional. It eventually reaches a breaking point when they fail to apprehend Jack from a Cerberus training facility, so they parted ways afterwards.
  • Villain Protagonist: Maya Brooks/Rasa.