Destiny Webcomic “Fall of Osiris” Review – Research Versus Religion
Destiny is a series rich with lore to pull from for a webcomic, so I’m excited that we’re finally getting some extended universe stories outside of the game. Given that the game’s narrative revolves around current timelines and our nameless Guardian, it’s difficult to show past events that have been hinted at in the lore for years. This first issue of the Destiny webcomic dives into the history of Osiris and how he came to be banished. We’ll be talking spoilers, so if you haven’t read it yet, I suggest checking it out now.
Osiris has always been revered as a god of sorts, by both players and people in the Destiny universe. He’s always been this unknown figure of legend. He has a bunch of followers, but Osiris never wanted the fame, recognition, and pedestal that he got placed upon. He’s simply trying to do research against the evil forces that threaten humanity, specifically the time-bending Vex. He never wanted his research to become religion, but his brash matter-of-fact statements about the origins of the Vex create a strong divide. Those who believe him say that he is a prophet, and those who don’t say he is a heretic. In fact, the Speaker is one such person, who resorts to ordering all of Osiris’ writings to be burned. To be fair, Osiris’ followers fetishized his research as prophecies, which again, was something Osiris never wanted.
One page specifically shows Osiris loudly proclaiming points about the Traveler actually being the bringer of the darkness. He doesn’t care who hears him. He’s so steadfast in his views that he takes banishment from the Tower over rescinding the divisive things that he is saying. While the Speaker comes across as villainous in his campaign against Osiris, it’s hard to blame him. The legendary Warlock was creating unrest. When you’re humanity’s last hope, civil discourse is the last thing you need. The Speaker simply did what he had to in order to quell the rising tides. The Vanguard is supposed to be defending the city against threats, and yet Osiris’ head was always off somewhere else. It makes me curious how he ever rose to the position of Vanguard leader in the first place, if so many of his ideas were so controversial.
Fall of Osiris also briefly brings the Titan Saint-14 into the light, and there’s a nice little battle between he and Osiris. Destiny’s Vanguard gets very political in nature where everyone ultimately wants the best for the remnants of humanity, but wants to go about it in different ways. Saint-14, the Speaker, and the rest of the Vanguard want to look at threats now, where Osiris is looking to make data driven predictions about the future. Unfortunately it falls on deaf ears, either being regarded as holy prophecies or blasphemy, depending on the side. And yet, Osiris was right all along.
A Vexing Threat
One of the biggest takeaways from this comic might be just how big of a threat the Vex actually are. Osiris talks about how other races will tire, but the Vex require constant vigilance for longer than forever (due to the linear nature of forever, and the Vex’s ability to manipulate time). For Osiris to be so dedicated in his research of the Vex that he gets banished shows just how much of a threat they really are. The Vex were the primary focus of the first Destiny, both with the end of campaign boss and Vault of Glass Raid, and I believe there is a very good reason for that. The Vex have literally erased Guardians from time before, which is a horrifying threat to face.
Getting a glimpse into the world of Destiny before our Guardian was around is a fascinating look at a different time. Fall of Osiris takes place in a time when the Warlock Osiris was leader of the Vanguard, Andal Brask was the Hunter Vanguard (with Cayde-6 as one of his Hunters), and Ikora Rey was simply a student of Osiris. Though the primary focus of the story is Osiris, I love the hints we get at some other major players and events in Destiny’s history, like Brask subtly mentioning the Fallen approaching. If Destiny 2 Expansion 2 focuses on Cayde-6, Ana Bray, and other Hunters, as many are guessing it might, then this will be a perfect opportunity to feature a comic about the related Battle of Twilight Gap, which is ostensibly what Brask is referring to here.
The biggest downside to the webcomic is that it shows just how little story there was to the Curse of Osiris expansion campaign. Fall of Osiris provides some quick looks at a lot of characters, but really gives a sense for how each one operates. It shows the obsessiveness of Osiris, and how he is balanced by Sagira, his Ghost. It shows Ikora, the dutiful student who isn’t quite ready to give up everything to follow Osiris into banishment. It shows Saint-14, one of Osiris’ best friends, trying to reason with him and focus on the immediate threats around them. It even shows how the followers of Osiris organized, and hints at a coming battle with the Fallen (the race that ultimately gets Andal Brask killed in the lore).
It is a bit odd that Osiris is dressed in the same gear we see in Curse of Osiris. His banishment and long term stay with the Vex on Mercury was supposed to necessitate piecing gear together and was what supposedly caused the Osiris that we see today (with the tattered collar and modified Vex sunbreaker gauntlet). My guess is that he was drawn this way for the sake of easy character recognition, using the character from the expansion as a reference point, but each time I run through this comic, it bothers me as an anachronism of the character. He shouldn’t look like his post-banishment self before his banishment happened. Minor gripe, I know, but I hope they pay a bit more attention to reflecting period-accurate looks for the characters in the future, depending on the timeline of events.
It’s clear that the comic is part of something greater, planting seeds for other events. Destiny is a multifaceted story with a lore spanning time and space. I just wish that these kinds of stories would be explored in game a lot more than we’re seeing The Red War campaign in Destiny 2 was a great start to showing some of those cinematic moments and feeding the story into the game, but Curse of Osiris was a step backwards in that regard. Having long awaited a cohesive way to five into the legends and history of the Destiny universe, Fall of Osiris is a great beginning to getting more of that content. Hopefully Bungie can keep a regular release schedule for these webcomics so that I can get my fill of deep, character-drive story moments, and still enjoy the simplicity shooting a bunch of aliens in the face.
The Destiny webcomic review was done after reading the comic free on Bungie’s site. Fall of Osiris is issue #1.