Going into the comic, I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect in Dark Ages #1. Is it some “mini event” that entertains but has little impact? Is it some major event? All I was sure of was it has something to do with technology failing and society starting over, at least that’s the sense I got. With Tom Taylor writing and Iban Coello on art, no matter what was inside, I was pretty sure I’d be entertained.
Taylor has become a master at delivering alternate takes on superheroes throwing them into dystopian worlds like DC’s Injustice and DCeased line of stories. Even in those rather dark and bleak stories Taylor delivers stories that feature hope. He knows how to nail the emotional ride of such stories. By every indication of Dark Ages #1, we’re getting more of that.
Dark Ages #1 is an interesting comic as it’s not quite clear if this is during normal continuity at first or not. After a while, we get a better sense of how it “fits” into Marvel’s universe and as those questions are answered it’s easier to get into the story, especially knowing what those answers mean. And it means Taylor can have some fun. Like his alternate world work with DC, this series hits you in unexpected ways. Heroes die. The heroes fail. And that’s the basis of the story, what if the heroes didn’t save the day? What happens after? But, even in that bleak idea, Taylor delivers a glimmer of hope.
Iban Coello‘s art delivers as expected. Joined by Brian Reber on color and Joe Sabino on lettering, there’s just enough spectacle to nail home how tragic these events are but never overwhelms. We see cities destroyed, buildings collapse, and heroes die, but there’s never a moment so shocking it hits you and takes you out of the story. Instead, there’s just a sadness about it. You get a sense of the scale of the disaster but there’s a focus on key moments and characters to set up the “humanity” of what’s happening. As the issue closes, the art kicks it up a notch delivering hints as to what’s to come and what we can expect.
Dark Ages #1 is a solid start. Taylor is delivering yet another spin on classic characters in a new world and setting. The debut sets the bar as what we can expect and the answer is everything. No one is safe and we’re being delivered a solid spin and direction it seems like. If you like Taylor past similar work, this is a start that’s well worth checking out.
Story: Tom Taylor Art: Iban Coello
Color: Brian Reber Letterer: Joe Sabino
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Purchase: comiXology – Kindle – Zeus Comics – TFAW