Dark Ark #1 (Aftershock Comics)
We all know the story of Noah’s Ark, but what if there was another ark that carried the worst kinds of monsters into the new world? That’s the gist of Dark Ark, the latest comic series from Cullen Bunn and Juan Doe. A concept so good that you can’t believe you haven’t seen it before, Dark Ark has to set up a lot of story, but the potential for another great comic is definitely here in this opening issue.
At the same time that Noah created his ark, a man named Shrae has been tasked with gathering the vampires, monsters, and other mythical creatures of the world and ensuring their survival through the great flood. Of course, when you gather that many monsters in one place, conflict is bound to happen, and Shrae has to get the different monsters to not murder each other until the flood is over so he can live up to his end of the bargain. Naturally, that’s easier said than done.
As great as the premise for Bunn’s book is, there are some weird aspects of the book, the biggest one being fact that the different monsters start to talk with one another. Some of the monsters offer advice to their fellow creatures, while more of them give out threats. It’s definitely an aspect of this book that I wasn’t expecting, but it does allow for an easier way of building on more threats and drama for the series as opposed to only having Shrae and his family dealing with the creatures on the boat with no other dialogue. Speaking of Shrae, while there’s no reason given in this issue for why he’s agreed to cart these creatures across the water, the mystery is enough to keep me going with the series, since it seems like the kind of man he used to be wasn’t all that nice.
Juan Doe is a very stylistic artist, and his distinct style is an awesome addition to this book. While Doe’s human characters might look a little weird, he more than makes up for that with his creature designs. Griffins, Gorgons, Vampires, and other types of monsters all have a familiar but distinct look with Doe drawing them, and while they aren’t very scary looking, they’re very unsettling. All of the creatures have a great sense of scale and weight to them, and you’ll even find yourself feeling just a little bit sad for some of the creatures.
Dark Ark has a cool hook and interesting style, and it fits will with other AfterShock Comics like Babyteeth. If you’re a fan of horror comics and monsters, or even alternate takes on classic stories, this is a definite must buy, and I have high hopes that this series will be making quite the impact on the comic shelves.