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Review – After Dark #1

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Earth is destroyed and a group of mercenaries must head out into the scorched planet to retrieve a messiah who just might be humanities last hope.  After Dark #1 contains a plot and cast of characters that are very much been there and done that.

From celebrated director Antoine Fuqua (Brooklyn’s Finest, Training Day), acclaimed actor Wesley Snipes (Blade) and award-winning writer Peter Milligan (X-Statix, Skreemer) comes the post-apocalyptic saga of After Dark!

Guided by an amoral drifter, a crew of jaded mercenaries must travel into the dark places of the ruined planet, and the even darker places of their own pasts, on a journey to find a woman who might just save the world. But maybe the world is past saving. And maybe the people who still inhabit that world aren’t worth saving. After Dark is a story of hidden demons and the passion for survival, set in a future that could very well be ours.

If you take a pot of rehashed post-apocalyptic movies and stereotypical characters and threw them together, this is the comic book series you’d get.  It’s not that it’s bad in any way, to me, there’s just nothing that makes it stand out as a buy or a read.

Coming from Antoine Fuqua, Wesley Snipes and Peter Milligan I expected more.  And maybe the names created an unfair higher standard?  But to me the series screams as a three issue treatment for a future movie project.

Overall, pretty ho-hum.

Plot: Antoine Fuqua, Wesley Snipes and Peter Milligan seem to have reached out and grabbed elements they’ve enjoyed from so many movies, books, television shows, video games and comics that have come before.  It’s a destroyed world.  The group of mercenaries involves military folks, a samurai, a gang member, pretty blah cast to me.  And what’s their goal?  To save a planet by finding some messiah.  It’s all been there and done that with nothing standing out for me.  Rating: 6.5

Art: The art by Jeff Nentrup and Sara Biddle is pretty good.  Overall it’s very dark and like so many recent comics I’ve reviewed, it’s just difficult at times to tell what’s going on, especially in scenes that take place outside.  The series plays with darkness and not knowing what’s out there, so in this way the art fits but still.  This fortunately is only a small portion of this comic, the majority of it is great to look at with it being dark, but not in an oppressive way that hides what’s going on.  There’s a few scenes that are fantastic.  Between the story and the art, the art wins with this issue.  Rating: 7.75

Overall: The comic has a lot of potential even if it comes from such a familiar place, but this first issue isn’t anything special in my eyes.  You may disagree, but I can’t recommend dropping the $5 on it, especially when there’s some much better from Radical Publishing out this week.  Overall rating:  6.75

Recommendation: Pass

Page count: 56 pages    Price: $4.99    Release Date: 7/28/2010

Radical Publishing provided Graphic Policy with an advance copy of this issue for FREE for review.