As we at ComicBook.com exclusively revealed in late September, Dark Horse Comics is set to release a new three-issue Dragon Age comic called Dragon Age: Blue Wraith is set to release early next year. At the time, we noted that we'd be interviewing the creative team behind the upcoming comic, and now we've got answers to questions like where the book finds Fenris, how his new design came into existence, and more!
Specifically, the creative team on Dragon Age: Blue Wraith includes writers Nunzio DeFilippis (Dragon Age: Knight Errant, New X-Men) and Christina Weir (Dragon Age: Deception, New X-Men), artist Fernando Heinz Furukawa (Dragon Age: Knight Errant, God Is Dead), and colorist Michael Atiyeh (The Orville: New Beginnings, Halo: Escalation), with covers done by Sachin Teng. These names should be familiar to anyone that's been following Dragon Age comics at Dark Horse.
DeFilippis, Weir, and Furukawa were kind enough to answer several questions about Blue Wraith via email. Of note, however, is one missing question that a number of folks asked: will Hawke feature in the comic? Fenris' story begins in Dragon Age 2, which features a character called Hawke as its protagonist. As with the Hero of Ferelden, however, BioWare seems intent on avoiding much in the way of canonical interpretations of these characters. In short: probably don't expect to see any version of Hawke in this story despite Fenris' origin.
Here's how Dark Horse Comics describes Dragon Age: Blue Wraith:
"Dragon Age: Blue Wraith starts off with the fanatical Qunari seeking to topple the Tevinter mageocracy. Caught in the middle, one powerful young mage’s desperate search for her father brings her face-to-face with a notorious mage hunter—Fenris, the Blue Wraith."
You can check out the cover to the first issue, provided by Dark Horse Comics for the initial announcement, below:
What do you think of what we've learned about Blue Wraith so far? Are you excited to check out more Dragon Age comics? Let us know in the comments, or hit me up directly on Twitter at @rollinbishop to talk all things Dragon Age!
Keep reading to see what the writers and artist had to say about all things Dragon Age: Blue Wraith!
ComicBook.com: What can you tell us about where the new comic finds Fenris? What’s he been up to all this time?
DeFilippis: We don't want to give too much away, but we built this off of what was mentioned in the games. Fenris has been freeing slaves in Tevinter. He's become the scourge of Tevinter, and to most people in the Imperium, he's the ultimate bogeyman - a mage killer and hunter without equal.
ComicBook.com: How does Francesca come to be tangled up with Fenris of all people?
Weir: In the wake of DECEPTION, Francesca finds herself traveling with people she barely knows, at least one of whom she still blames for the death of her brother. She quickly realizes that what she wants is to find her father. And she gets information about his fate that sets her on a collision course with the "Blue Wraith."
ComicBook.com: Why “Blue Wraith”? Is that a reference to what folks call Fenris in Tevinter?
DeFilippis: Blue Wraith is a play on Lyrium Ghost. We wanted the mini to be named after Fenris, and we wanted him to have been given a nickname in the Imperium that represents how much fear and awe they have tied up in him. So we initially proposed Lyrium Ghost, since that is his powerset in the game. But the response from BioWare was that we hadn't seen the term Ghost used all that much in the universe, and they wanted something that sounded bigger and more grandiose, even a little pulpy. So we proposed Blue Wraith. His glowing tattoos might not register as Lyrium to everyone he encounters, but he glows blue. And Wraith is a term with a lot of use in the DA universe.
ComicBook.com: Are there any other familiar faces, from the comics or otherwise, that we can expect to see crop up in the series?
DeFilippis: We'll see people from Fenris' past, as well as the group we assembled in the last few minis: Vaea, Ser Aaron, Calix, Tessa, Marius, and Autumn the Mabari. There is also a small cameo appearance during one of Ser Aaron's famous tales. We'll also meet a character who was mentioned in a previous mini but never seen.
ComicBook.com: The second most common question I received about this interview was: what went into the redesign of Fenris? Was that a BioWare thing?
Furukawa: It was a BioWare thing. When I was doing the characters sketches, I’d send them different looking versions. Then, they’d send me a bunch of notes with corrections and all (which I was very happy to receive, because thanks to that I could made [sic] a better looking character), then I made the redesign.
So, all this "new look" is something that our friends at BioWare wanted and I gladly delivered.
ComicBook.com: Another common question: these Dragon Age comics are so brief, but if you could do something longer, would you? And what would you want to explore in this world?
Weir: We had an easier time writing KNIGHT ERRANT than DECEPTION. Five issues gives you a lot of room to set things up and pay them off. I feel like we got a much better handle on the three-issue miniseries format in BLUE WRAITH than we had in DECEPTION, and it makes me wish we could redo DECEPTION to smooth it out a bit.
DeFilippis: That having been said, we're also painting on a bigger canvas than just the individual miniseries issue count. KNIGHT ERRANT was very much a new thing, but it picked up characters from MAGEKILLER. And from there, we've been telling one long quest - KNIGHT ERRANT into DECEPTION into BLUE WRAITH and beyond.
ComicBook.com: This isn’t your first rodeo on a Dragon Age book, but it’s also playing with some pieces folks haven’t seen for several years. How do you balance that expectation with creating something new?
Weir: By getting to fill in what's happened to Fenris, we feel like we're adding something new to the existing lore. Plus, our books are the place you go to get a sense of the Qunari invasion of Tevinter or the current status of the Venatori. All of that is us playing with BioWare's lore and keeping the world alive and evolving, but it is very much using their story elements. Where we feel like we get to create something new is with the original characters we've gotten to create. We feel like Ser Aaron and Vaea have been worthy additions to the lore, and they were our creations. BioWare gave great suggestions, as did the folks at Dark Horse, but it still feels like we got to create a new pair of amazing characters. And then we have added to their story by introducing Olivia, Calix, Autumn and Francesca, among others. We've had the fun of watching as readers really took to Vaea and Ser Aaron and Autumn, and the disappointment of realizing that Calix wasn't for everyone in the same way. Those are the same ups and downs we get working on our creator owned books, but with the added bonus of having this all unfold in Thedas, a world we love so much.
ComicBook.com: What’s something you’re excited for folks to see? Anything you can tease?
Weir: The evolution of Autumn the Mabari and her life choices.
DeFilippis: The interplay between Vaea and Fenris, which I can't discuss much without spoiling huge chunks of the plot.
Weir: The growth of Francesca, and a chance to really see what made her who she is, and what pushes her to become something more and someone else.
Furukawa: The badassery of some characters! This mini is full of action!
ComicBook.com: What sort of involvement did the folks at BioWare have on Blue Wraith?
Weir: They are great collaborators. We have story conferences with them before starting a miniseries, and then they give notes along the way. Their notes are always driven by the same instincts we have: what's the best story? How do [you] let this character grow or shine?
DeFilippis: For this book, we had a change in tone that came with an evolution in how BioWare wanted us to depict the universe, which coincided with a rethinking of Francesca's role, which coincided with a first draft of the story that felt too crowded (given the number of characters traveling together after two miniseries). So we had to break everything apart and put it back together in a new way, and I think they were worried we'd get upset. But they really understand story, and the notes they gave us were excellent notes, and it resulted in a much stronger miniseries than we would have had if we'd stuck with our initial plans.
Furukawa: On the art side, BioWare oversees the creative process and gives their feedback. Things like the look of the new and established characters or environments, to some narrative tweaks in some panels. They always send a bunch of reference for character and environment creation, so yeah, they are really involved in the creation of this series.0comments
Dragon Age: Blue Wraith #1 is set to release on January 15, 2020 with the following two issues releasing after that. The fourth Dragon Age game is currently in development, and there have been teases previously, but exactly when that might release is unclear at this point. You can check out all of our previous coverage of the Dragon Age franchise right here.