This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: Night’s Dominion.
The first volume of Night’s Dominion was published by Oni Press late 2016/early 2017 as the first six issues of, funnily enough, Night’s Dominion. The volume was written and drawn by Ted Naifeh, and presents itself as a prototypical fantasy story with the added flavour of modern superheroes (though not literal modern superheroes). So what’s the story about?
Taken from the blurb:
A thief, an assassin, a mage and a cleric walk into a tavern in the ancient city of Umber. Awaiting them is a mysterious bard with a dangerous scheme: to break into the dungeon of a powerful death cult in search of treasure. For these five desperate criminals, it’s the last chance for hope in a city of corruption and despair. But what they find instead is an undead army preparing to conquer the world. Now, they must fight to protect the city that pushed their backs to the wall, or watch it burn.
Night’s Dominion is a fun distraction, though the plot is fairly by the numbers in terms of fantasy stories, it’s still engaging and entertaining enough to keep you moving the pages.
I was able to pick up the first six issues for about $12, and it was absolutely worth the price of admission (if I’m honest, I had it sat in my To Read pile for almost a year before I finally picked it up last night). I don’t know if I’d pay more for it than that, but I’m happy with the price I paid. Naifeh’s art is atmospheric and moody, although a couple of his characters look similar enough that it can be hard to tell them apart at some points, I’ve really no major nitpicks with the art style or the writing – the story is good, if not groundbreaking, and it was exactly what I wanted to read (and just about what I expected when I first saw the series solicited half a decade or so ago).
Unfortunately you don’t hear a lot of people talking about the series, which comprises of two volumes as of this writing, and so for that reason I wanted to focus on it for today’s column. It’s a fun book, and it gives you a break from the traditional superhero comics without fully ignoring the genre (if that sounds strange, it’ll make sense when you read it), and until I was googling the cover I had no idea that it wasn’t a self contained story, so the lack of a pesky cliffhanger is always a bonus.
Unless the comics industry ceases any and all publication look for a future installment of Underrated to cover something else next week.