"Dark Ark #3" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by AfterShock Comics
Written by Cullen Bunn
Illustrated by Juan Doe
2017, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on November 29th, 2017
The Naga Queen has been killed and everyone is a suspect. That's because with some small exceptions, everyone on this ship is a literal monster. The ark's captain, Shrae, has to interrogate everyone, including the vampire, Nex, who everyone seems to think did it. Shrae has to work fast to maintain order as his control over the ship's inhabitants begins to wane.
I've praised this before, but the sheer variety of monsters in Dark Ark is impressive. Artist Juan Doe gives us some up-close looks at several during the interrogation scenes. These are brilliantly illustrated, as they're broken up into nine panel grids bouncing between a monster and Shrae as he questions each of them. It has a great flow and quickly delivers a ton of information. We get an idea of the personalities of some of these creatures as well as the tension between different races. All the while, Shrae's expression never changes.
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Of all of the monsters, the vampires are my favorite. They're sleek and deadly. These are efficient killing machines. Next has more of a traditional design, appearing in a long dark cloak, although he looks so slimy. You can just tell that he's up to something. He is not to be trusted.
Doe's colors add to the otherworldly quality of Dark Ark's characters. The scenes below deck are darker, as if the shadows are ready to swallow up everyone nearby. This serves as a nice contrast to the blood red eyes of Nex and the vampires. Many of the monsters are in drab browns and greys, which could bleed together at times. That's prevented with a stark red background that makes them stand out even more.
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Shrae's ark is a demonic version of that of Noah. He has a sampling of all kinds of monsters aboard. You'd think that they'd all want to survive so they can continue living after the flood recedes, but there's something to be said about being in control. If you take over the ship, you could potentially rule over the other creatures from now on. There's a power play to be had here which makes the events of this issue all the more calculating.
Every issue of Dark Ark has left me wanting more. Writer Cullen Bunn is telling a terrific story that is only getting better with each chapter. The mix of monsters in an enclosed space provides an environment of great tension and terror.