Dark Ages #1
Written by Dan Abnett
Art by I.N.J. Culbard
Edited by Daniel Chabon
Covers by I.N.J. Culbard
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: August 13, 2014
Cover Price: $3.99
Dark Ages #1 is part medieval historical fiction, part Lovecraftian terror, and part sci-fi monsters from space. The story introduces us to a band of knights eager for the 100 Years War to start in Medieval Europe. While they wait, they travel the countryside looking for a good fight. The group is diverse; some pray for battles, others assume that prayer will do no good, as a godless world will provide many opportunities to fight. They each have their special talents, and some are more battle hardened than others.
One night, while sitting around the fire, they notice strange stars appear in the sky. The stars turn out to be meteorites that contain strange, and deadly, alien creatures. The aliens decimate the group, severely injuring the leader, and the group flees to a monastery. The monks bring in the group, but something doesn’t sit right with the captain’s right-hand-man and now de facto leader. We learn that one of the monks is not only aware of the alien’s visitation, but is eagerly expecting it.
If all of that sounds exciting and interesting, it was for the most part. Dark Ages is a competent story, with a few minor quirks. Some of the story elements, one including zombies-like creatures, might have been more effective in later issues. The size of the group isn’t well established, so sometimes a character we haven’t met before will pop up to provide some exposition. While minor inconveniences, they disrupt the flow, making it harder to enter the world the comic is building.
Overall, however, Dark Ages #1 does a good job of crafting an intriguing story. The last panel left me interested in knowing what will happen next. The art is atmospheric and dynamic enough to make the characters feel alive.
Despite a few rough edges, Dark Ages #1 is a promising start to an exciting adventure. One that fans of old world heraldry and alien pod-creatures will both equally enjoy.