Dark Ages is a series that initially slipped by me due to its mundane title, but then I remembered that it was the creative team behind The New Deadwardians: Dan Abnett and I.N.J. Culbard. That got me very interested in this series because of how damn good The New Deadwardians was. Unfortunately that joy was short-lived and the last time I’ll ever mention the two together. The story follows a group of soldiers of fortune during the time of swords and shit (come on… read the title). Their one and only job is war and they sell themselves not to the highest winner, but the side that’s most likely to win. They pray for war because right now in this time of peace they have no work and that means no coin and food. After a pretty long opening establishing the troop and their dynamic they spot stars dancing in the sky. Suddenly large boulder looking things come crashing down near them. The Captain instructs the men to check out the crash site and an alien pops up and begins fucking them all up. There are some pretty cool kills, but then the dead rise. I’ll admit that I sighed pretty heavily when the dead rose, but that wasn’t what irked me about this issue.
Nothing really happens of interest. I felt like I should have been interested, but I wasn’t. Our main characters are mercenaries that are paid to either kill or die. Sorry, but when the side effect of your job is death then I don’t really care if you die or not. There are no strong attachments developed for any of the characters.
The aliens hit suddenly and strike without reason. Granted we don’t know why they’re there or any of those details, but that’s also why I found myself checking out during the story. Is there a mystery here? I guess, but when aliens land and start killing everything the only mystery is why. I suppose the reason could reveal more, but we’ll have to see.
Overall there wasn’t anything interesting or catchy about the writing or dialogue.
The art is good, but much like the story it draws no interest. The coloring is very simple and gives the book a very drab look. Nothing about the artwork helps establish the tone of the story and for the most part it’s just reacting to the dialogue and narration.
On our review scale a “3” is average. It means that it’s a comic book with competent writing and art and a vast majority of what’s published falls into this category. So does Dark Ages. It’s not a bad comic, but its average… painfully average.
Writer: Dan Abnett Artist: I.N.J. Culbard Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 8/13/14 Format: Print/Digital