Story: Cullen Bunn
Art: Juan Doe
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
What They Say:
Two arks were built to survive the Flood. One was filled with the creatures of the natural world. The other was populated by…everything else.
Now that the denizens of the DARK ARK have beaten Noah’s Ark to land, a new societal order must be created – one based on the rule of monsters. Khalee, a new sorceress, ventures to maintain order amidst the chaos, but her otherworldly masters have a different task in mind. She must devise a way to bring Noah’s Ark to the monsters…because the beasts must feed.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
I’ll rave about the original Dark Ark series to anyone who will give me a moment of their time. Cullen Bunn and Juan Doe put together a fantastic book that delivered everything I wanted with each issue while also building the overall series so that the fifteen-issue run had a great arc to it with a sense of closure – but still open for more. After a bit of a break, the two are back with the rest of the team at AfterShock to begin showing what happens after the flood. There’s an expansive story that can be told, in my mind, down the generations and for millennia to come and going to the early days still is definitely the right call as the other ark is still out there.
The opening issue has a couple of different focuses, including going back in time to show Shrae as he worked on one of the missions his dark lords had given him. This was when he and others were sent to Gohorth and instructed to raze the city and eliminate all that was within. It was a dark and brutal job but the surprising part at the end was that a baby survived within a fire where nobody else did. That this child becomes Khalee reveals some great portents to come as she’s squarely in line with the plans that the dark lords have. And we see that come full circle with Khalee toward the end as she deals with events as they’re unfolding and during some quiet time alone she discovers that her father, still dead, has been bonded to the place and has chosen to begin a conversation with her. That’s going to mess with her at a time when she’s already not quite ready for what’s being asked of her.
Within the present, we get to see a bit of what’s going on now that they’ve settled where they are. With a little creepy/sad moments in the background, we see Janris doing her best to help set up someplace for people to live and survive under and that has Khalee elsewhere talking with the mermaids to try and search out Noah’s ark for what they may need as well. Janris and her team are doing their best in stripping the dark ark but there’s still a sense of a real lack of leadership here to drive things forward. I do like that we get some time with Kruul and his child as he takes on the duties that are usually that of the mother in raising the cub. He’s got a frustrated aspect about him that’s delightful to watch and the cub cracks me up more than he probably should.
I’m thrilled that Dark Ark is back with a new series. I was a huge fan of the first and the path that Bunn took us on. Doe’s artwork and color design is a huge part of the appeal and that holds true here as it’s wonderfully distinctive and connects well in showing off this world at this point in time. This new chapter is opening in the right way by touching on the past a bit more so we can understand the present and future for some of the characters while also exploring how everything is going after the end of the first series. There’s a lot more to explore and I can’t wait to see what else this team has in mind for those who survived the Dark Ark – and if we’ll ever see Noah and his ark.
Age Rating: 17+
Released By: AfterShock Comics
Release Date: October 2nd, 2019