Dark Ages #4

by Forrest.H on November 15, 2014

Dark Ages #4 Comic Review

The Dark Ages come to an end in enlightening fashion 


Abnett and Culbard bring an end to their tale of the Dark Ages terrifyingly brightened by the glow of UFOs and "angels" in this fourth issue of the Dark Horse book.

Abnett continues his trademark "old english" dialogue in this issue but this time around, it doesn't detract from the story like it has previously. The final battle is wrought with tension and the kind of complex medival but also high tech dichotomies that made this book stand out in the first place. It's reasonable to assume that these knights would be downright untrusting and afraid of the mask-alien-thing that's telling them what to do, and Abnett plays into that gleefully.Uneasy and all too real, the choices that these men are confronted with and why they believe they're making the right decisions at those crossroads is really the heart of this book and that heart is beating at the center of this issue. Alien, Angel, Demon or other, the mask has answers, and Hawkherst and Lucifer have little else to lean on. I fully expected a betrayal of sorts and I'm surprised but also glad there wasn't one. I still wanted more however, something that differentiated this issue from the others, some massive reveal in the fighting, some turning point, but it all kind of just ended, for better or worse. The ending segment of the comic overall however, is something I didn't expect but also something I enjoyed greatly. It's hidden there, in plain sight, that this book is really about humanity's interactions with something greater than us, but that final scene with Lucifer, albeit a little confusing and muddled, really drives that point home.

Culbard's art is strong, dynamic, complex and minimal all at once again. I'm a huge fan of his monster and action designs. The monks, monsters, aliens, demons, angels and men all clash here in exquiste tenacity. Whenever I'm reading a monster heavy book like this, I try to imagine myself experiencing something like those monstrosities in real life and, I know with this book, that I would scared to my bones. The beasts are frightening, powerful and ultimatley cool. The humans, less so. It's hard for me, again, to tell these knights apart or to have any real reason to care for any other than Hawkherst and Lucifer. Maybe that's the point, but I don't think it should be that way. If you present a whole platoon, I want to feel for the whole platoon, not just two men. The final, dreamy and alien segment is a perfect closer however, that perfectly matches the emotional tones of Lucifer's call to the heavens.

This is a complex, layered book riddled with mystery and symbolism. Human and alien, it's a fun read that may leave you wishing more was revealed but also satisfies you the best it can with it's minimal run. 


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A Look Inside