I finally read the DA comic Those Who Speak and I was really surprised on how much a better character Isabela was. It did show that she threw slaves overboard but she showed more wisdom, complexity and empathy than the ‘gold and giggles’ we got in the game and thus came off as a much stronger person. She fought for redemption her own way even if that meant that she would make more mistakes, because they were hers to make.
Plus her story’s themes of gray morality, personal identity, freedom, regrets, and the meaning of one’s name would go brilliantly with the themes of the game and
compliment the other companions.
I’d like to see that Isabela talk to Fenris about the costs of freedom or with Anders about refusing their birth names. Way better than non-stop cheesy flirting.
(And before you say 'character development’ this Isabela was never recruited by
Hawke and thus not the Isabela seen in the game.)