Advance Review: A Pirate’s Life Isn’t For Me In `Skull And Bones – Savage Storm’ #1
by Tom Smithyman
Criminals though they be, we cannot help but to glamorize the life of pirates. In fiction writing, popular movie and video games, these buccaneers represent a era of adventure on the high seas.
That’s why Ubisoft will soon release a video game called Skull and Bones, which gives players the opportunity to rise in the pirate ranks while seeking untold fortunes in the Indian Ocean. And, as has become increasingly popular, a new comic book series will help to generate excitement for the game.
At least, that’s the marketing plan, anyway.
Subtitled Savage Storm, the first issue in the companion series features some uneven writing and curious visuals. The story centers on the crew of the Sylvia, a merchant ship being pursued by legendary pirate John Scurlock. The vessel tries to lose the scurvy dogs by sailing straight into a typhoon, stranding both ships to a mysterious island.
Given that players in the game work their way up from outcast to legendry pirate, telling most of this premiere issue from the point of view of the pirates’ victims is a curious choice. But that’s not the only odd decision made by writers John Jackson Miller and James Mishler. There is some clunky narration as well as unrealistic dialogue – even for a pirate story. With the pirates on her tail, a crew member from the Sylvia blurts out this stunning prose: “Gotta hide! Gotta Hide! Gotta Hide! Gotta…there!” Treasure Island, this ain’t. Heck, it’s not even Muppet Treasure Island.
The artwork from Christian Rosado – assisted by colorist Roshan Kurichitanil – is muddy. The setting is a tropical island and most of the action looks like it takes place during a solar eclipse. And the characters aren’t differentiated enough visually; it’s difficult to identify merchants from pirates.
No one really expects much from a comic book tie in to a video game. Still, readers deserve more than being left at sea.
Skill and Bones: Savage Storm #1 will be available for purchase on March 1, 2023.
Avast ye maties! Ye will be wantin’ to avoid this scurvy dog of a story unless yer plannin’ on visitin’ Davy Jones’s Locker! Seriously, you’ll be wantin’ to walk the plank before trying to follow this weak computer-game tie in.