A Vague and Foreboding Conclusion In Dark Souls: Age of Fire #4

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]

The Silver Knights of Gwyn ready to execute Dragon Knight Gravis. She is now suffering from the Undead Curse, and, despite Lord Gwyn’s own departure and apparent death, their standing orders are to kill and dispose of any suffering from the Curse. However, Black Knight Arkon is unwilling to see his one-time friend and ally treated in such a manner. Before a fight breaks, though, Channeler Liste arrives, and he has been changed greatly in by recent experiments from Seath the Scaleless.

Dark Souls: Age of Fire #4 cover by Pablo Fernandez Angulo
Dark Souls: Age of Fire #4 cover by Pablo Fernandez Angulo

Dark Souls: Age of Fire #4 concludes this tale from Lordran, and it ends a bleakly and strangely as one could expect from this franchise.

Arkon and Gravis are the central fixtures of this issue, and their pitiable fates have earned them nothing but scorn from their one-time allies. They are forced to come to grips with the end of everything, even as others like the Silver Knights are in apparent denial.

That theme is very much at home in Dark Souls given that all three games are about the player forcing people out of denial with the edge of weapon.

The ending is vague, which is also to be expected. Arkon and Gravis part ways after almost killing one another, and the narration implies that there could be more stories about Arkon.

Dark Souls: Age of Fire #4 art by Anton Kokarev
Dark Souls: Age of Fire #4 art by Anton Kokarev

Anton Kokarev’s artwork is once again quite good. The 3-D rendered aesthetic looks nice, but the restrictive panel sizing and angles do hinder the visuals somewhat. It’s difficult to parcel out what all is going on oftentimes because of the zoomed-in perspective and narrow panels. That aside, the visual design is true to Dark Souls and its dark fantasy design. The color work is dim but balanced by strong reds and oranges to further enforce that gloomy atmosphere.

Dark Souls: Age of Fire #4 brings its story to an understated and brooding finale. The many threads aren’t tied together so much as they simply cease. It’s not a bad ending. It’s vague and foreboding like the game franchise in which its based. I can recommend it to the Dark Souls aficionado as well as anyone who likes dark and strange fantasy.

Dark Souls: Age of Fire #4 comes to us from writer Ryan O’Sullivan, artist Anton Kokarev, letterer Simon Bowland, cover artist Pablo Fernandez Angulo, variant cover by Anton Kokarev.

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