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Dark Ages #1

Script – Dan Abnett

Art, Lettering, and Cover Art – I.N.J. Culbard

Review by Joey Braccino

EUROPE. EARLY WINTER, 1333.

Dark Ages #1 is a classic sword & shield epic set during the Middle Ages. There are men in chainmail—mercenaries on their way to France in search of fame and fortune through war—and there are questions of faith and God in an increasingly violent time. Names like Aelfric and Galvin and Hawkherst roll off the tongue as this merry band of bearded warriors trek along on horseback. There are stories around the fire, there are silent monks, and there are extraterrestrial alien monsters that attack and reanimate corpses.

Crazy.

Crazy.

Yeah. It’s crazy. Didn’t think it was going to go there, did you?

Dark Horse bills Dark Ages as “Starship Troopers meets Kingdom of Heaven,” and it is the perfect book for sci-fi comics legend Dan Abnett. With the elevated profile of Guardians of Galaxy and the interstellar corner of the Marvel Universe, Dan Abnett’s name has received increased attention as well. Abnett’s work with Andy Lanning essentially revived the Marvel’s cosmic line in the mid-2000s, and their work on Guardians of the Galaxy is the inspiration for the new hit film. With that said, it’s no wonder that Abnett straight Crusade narrative quickly turns cosmic as aliens (dragon-aliens?) rain down on the country side and attack Hawkherst’s men.

It’s a fantastic conceit and makes for a fascinating read. I.N.J. Culbard’s artwork is also wonderfully suited to Abnett’s script. There is something vintage and pulpy about Culbard’s work that perfectly blends the epic and the sci-fi elements of the story. It’s also refreshing to see a single artist take on all aesthetic elements of the book, from the lines to the colors to the letters; the result is a cohesive, deliberate visual experience that hits all the rights beats. The final spread is terrifying and promises an epic series going forward.

Verdict

Check it out! Especially for fans of looking for innovative genre-bending sci-fi. Dan Abnett clearly has a unique story to tell, and I’ll take Crusaders Vs. Aliens any day of the week!!!

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