Advance Review: A Sinister Tale Of Biblical Proportions in Dark Ark #1

by Brendan M. Allen

Aftershock Comics describes Dark Ark #1 thus:

The wickedness of mankind has moved the Creator to destroy the world by way of the flood. Noah has been tasked with building an ark to save his family and the animals of the world. But this is not Noah’s story. For darker powers have commanded the sorcerer Shrae to build his own ark and save the unnatural creatures of the world—such as the vampires, the dragons, the naga, and the manticore. But what will happen on a vessel crawling with monsters, where insidious intrigue and horrific violence are the rule of law? 

From writer Cullen Bunn (X-Men Blue, Deadpool, Venom) and artist Juan Doe (AMERICAN MONSTER, WORLD READER) comes a sinister tale of biblical proportions that HAD to be told at AfterShock Comics.

Dark Ark #1 opens with imagery from the Hebrew narrative of the great flood recorded in Genesis. Among the thirty-foot waves, we catch glimpses of submerged cities and human bodies floating aimlessly. Noah is on his ark, surrounded by the beasts of the natural world. We all know this part of the story. Cullen Bunn doesn’t waste a lot of time rehashing the familiar details before diving into the reason we’re all here, that OTHER ark.

At the helm of the Dark Ark, the wizard Shrae doesn’t serve the Hebrew God. His Lord has commanded him not only to save the unnatural beasts on his own ark, but to also ensure Noah’s ark survives the flood.

“Know this, O Sorcerer. The other ark must survive. They must thrive, so the beasts of the shadows will have prey in the world that waits”.

Cullen Bunn does an amazing job structuring this microcosm that is both familiar in centuries of oral and written tradition, and foreign in this new perspective. The possibilities are wide open as he sets up the ultimate supernatural murder mystery.

DARK ARK is story about monsters–and I mean almost every type of monster you can imagine–struggling to live together in very close quarters. These are creatures of nightmare and legend, and they don’t get along at all. It’s a murder mystery. It’s packed with intrigue and treachery and double-crossing. It’s the story of one man’s quest for redemption… while helping to preserve the worst beasts in the world. And it’s even got a little romance… some heartwarming, some very disturbing. -Cullen Bunn

I love what Juan Doe has done with the character and set designs. Juan Doe’s sinister, sharp lines give each of the monster menagerie a distinct and ominous presence. The sets, especially below deck, are tight and claustrophobic, torqueing up the tension.

If you’re into supernatural stories, murder mysteries, or horror, pre-order Dark Ark from your local comic store. This has the hallmarks of another sell-out title for Cullen Bunn and Aftershock.

Dark Ark #1, is 32 pages, color, from Aftershock Comics, in shops on the 20th of September 2017, written by Cullen Bunn, art by Juan Doe, with letters by Ryan Hill, and you can order it with Diamond Order Code JUL171303 (Juan Doe cover), JUL171304 (Joe Hester cover).

Brendan M. Allen

Brendan Allen has probably had more jobs than you would reasonably believe. Dog trainer? He’s done it. Flooring contractor? You bet! EMT? Army NBC specialist? Road dog for a Celtic rock band? Yes, yes, and och aye! Now he reads comics and writes about them. It’s a rough gig. You can follow Brendan on Twitter @SaintAmish where he mostly tweets about comic books and cystic fibrosis awareness.