DARK ARK #1
The first issue of DARK ARK from Aftershock Comics is finally here and now readers can learn the untold story of the Sorcerer Shrae and the bargain he struck to allow his family to survive the great flood. Author Cullen Bunn has laid down the frame work for one of the most interesting comic book pitches in the last few years. Everyone knows of Noah and his Ark, but what about the monsters of the world? The creatures of legend from Chimeras to Unicorns needed to escape disaster as well and the dark forces of the world have conscripted Shrae to do their bidding. Safe on his own Ark he must shepherd his unruly flock and keep the peace, not only between the monsters themselves but also ensure Noah’s mission is not disturbed. For if the Ark preserving the prey of the world is lost then the beast of the dark will have nothing to prey upon in the new world.
First off, what a great idea! From the moment I saw this title in previews I knew it was something I wanted to read and now that it is finally here I am happy to say it turned out even better than I expected. There is so much going on in just this one issue, so many story seeds planted. Beyond the broken Shrae and the dark road he must walk to save what is precious to him is the politics and innate conflict of the monsters below. Unlike Noah’s Ark filled with the animals of the world the monsters are self aware and sentient. With that comes alliances, rivalries, scheming, and murder. How do you corral a group of creatures whose very nature is rooted in evil? How do you not only keep them from killing each other, but how do you convince them to not set upon the bountiful feast that lies in the belly of the other ship? The ground work for all these questions is laid in this dense but well paced premier issue.
Artist Juan Doe delights with his unique take on the monsters of the world. Most are recognizable at a glance but each has a very distinct twist on what one might consider to be the ‘normal’ look. The background tend to rely more on flat color panes as opposed to sprawling vistas but then again this book is set inside a giant boat so there is only so much variety to work with. The art also espouses the dour mood of the narrative. There is not a single creature on the Ark who is happy to be there, human or otherwise and that comes through the pencils brilliantly. DARK ARK #1 has fully lived up to the pre-release hype and anyone even remotely interested in this dark twist on a biblical tale should at least take a look at the first issue. Copies of the first print run at World’s Coolest Comics are running low so if you want to check it out please give us a call and we will set one aside for you.