By Laramie Martinez
The last two issues of Night’s Dominion have taken us through an interesting and exciting world at a breakneck pace. We’ve seen a team come together, a heist go awry, and uncovered a conspiracy underneath the city. This issue, by comparison feels like the issue where we pay the piper. Slower than the previous two, Naifeh introduces a lot of new characters and storylines. While I have previously welcomed his twists and turns of the narrative. The ones introduced here feel like he’s trying to do too much. Overall, the pacing doesn’t ruin the issue but it does bring it down from the heights this series has achieved in the past.
Right from the start the issue displays pacing problems. In the battle between our group of rougues and the Furie, Naifeh almost seems to be cutting panels out of the page. The result is a series jarring sequences which makes the action appear as though you’re watching an kung fu movie which keeps jumping from hit to hit. We don’t see the fight develop, we only see the result of the characters actions, not the executions of those actions. Artistically, this is unfortunate to see, since I’ve praised Naifeh’s ability to plot out his interactions between characters. In the past he has really flushed out both characters and setting by giving them depth and consistency. This feels like a step backwards.
This isn’t the only instance of this speed up style of pacing. In this issue we see, the origin of Furie’s beef with Lady Night, the set up for a political aspect of this comic, the magnus running into trouble, the assassin having second thoughts, and the cleric considering other options to solve his debt. In order to have all of these various plotlines running through a single issue there needs to a consistent thread throughout, especially since this is still early on in the series and we’re still learning the threads which connect all of the characters. I think this issue could have been better if Naifeh focused on one or two major plotlines, or simply did a repercussions issue, where we learn what this failed heist means for the characters and how the stakes have changed for them.
The bottom line is that this issue wasn’t bad enough to keep me form coming back. I have faith that this series still has a great story to tell. I believe this issue was just a rushed attempt to get a bunch of loose threads tied up. Hopefully, this will clear Naifeh to tell the story he wants to tell.
Night's Dominion #3
Writer: Ted Naifeh
Artist: Ted Naifeh
Publisher: Oni Press