Tom Taylor is a master of the dystopian comic story. With stories like Injustice and DCeased for DC, he’s shown the heroes we know other fallen from good or struggling to survive. He takes the characters we know and puts them up against impossible odds with no issue having them fail. Marvel‘s Dark Ages is about what happens after that failure. After stopping an immense being called the Unmaker, Earth is enveloped in an E.M.P. that has shut down all of the technology. The first issue left us with a world that had gone dark, Dark Ages #2 shows us what comes after.
Impressively, Taylor subverts some of the expectations going into Dark Ages #2. This isn’t a world that is crumbling with roving gangs battling it out. The heroes and villains that remained eventually found a better way for everyone and worked together. That’s what the issue takes us through, the history and the more hopeful, smaller world that now exists. It’s an interesting twist compared to Taylor’s previous work. There’s absolutely some carnage but all of that is mentioned giving us the history to the now. It’s in the past as the people that remain have moved forward to work towards something greater and better. It’s weirdly… hopeful. But, can you do an entire comic of that? Where’s the fun!? Taylor delivers twists and turns in Dark Ages #2 and by the end the danger and conflict to come is clear.
What’s great is Taylor has really thought about this world. The comic is full of small details that makes it all feel “lived in” and more real in so many ways. Alarm systems and how the heroes and villains use their powers to keep things going are interesting and there’s clearly ideas mapped out in how all of this works. Those small details help add depth to the comic and adds to the enjoyment as we see how the world has adatped.
Some of that detail is due to Iban Coello‘s art. There’s so many visual queues as to what has happened to the world and how it, and the survivors, have changed. Along with color by Brian Reber and lettering by Joe Sabino, the combination of the trio gives us a comic that feels a little bit grimy but in a way you’d expect for a world without technology. There’s a bit of dirtiness about it all that adds to the realism and sucks the reader in. The designs for everyone really stands out though. The changes are fantastic blending classic superhero looks with an almost steampunk flair about it. It never quite crosses over into any one genre instead it feels cobbled together like would really happen.
Dark Ages #2 is a fantastic second issue. The first setup the world to come and this issue gives us the conflict to come while also going over the history that was. Such a solid story that it’s one to not be missed and feels like a classic Marvel alternate future in the making.
Story: Tom Taylor Art: Iban Coello
Color: Brian Reber Letterer: Joe Sabino
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review