Dark Ages might be the boldest story coming out of the Big Two right now. Sure, the fact that Tom Taylor and Iban Coello’s story doesn’t seem to be within canon helps, but it’s also the incredible choices already made in the first issue that got us here. In the second issue, the world has gone dark and there is no power. This issue is bold in part because it speeds along with many deaths of key heroes and villains right off the bat. The world really is screwed and we see that from page one.
It’s always darkest before the dawn, though, and the story does take a turn. There’s still hope and we see it in key moments of heroes reaching out and trying to connect with those who may want to do harm to others. The thing is, judging by the cliffhanger of the first issue there’s a new kind of threat these heroes should be wary of.
Fans of the X-Men will be interested to see characters like Wolverine, Gabby (with a cool suit I might add), Apocalypse, and more pop up. This feels like an X-Men-centric book thanks to the cast being used.
That said, the narrative takes a turn midway through the book that’s quite exciting. Taylor uses a few characters in interesting ways, moving the chess pieces so to speak. In some ways, the book reads like what a super-fan would do if they had full control over these characters for one last story.
On the flip side of that, fans will likely disagree with deaths, characters changing their minds on how they’ve felt for centuries, and other similar choices. Since this book is so far away from the main continuity it shouldn’t bother you, but it can feel a bit off at times. A key character makes a huge mistake that seems out of the norm especially given the situation, but those are Taylor’s choices to make.
Coello does great work here with the super-detailed style we’ve come to expect from superhero comics. There are a lot of angles looking up at bad guys that give the issue quite a lot of dramatic flair. The opening pages show off the great montaging across characters which (you can see in the preview). Brian Reber joins him on colors and there’s a darker, solemn tone to much of the work thanks to the choices made. The inks do well to capture that mood too.
Joe Sabino’s letters add nice flair as needed, like a “Wooo!!!” that’s practically bursting from the word balloon. Sound effects add to scenes to help clarify what is going on well.
Dark Ages #2 continues to trend in a super fun way, asking fans to sit back and see where it goes. Sure, it’s not the only mini-event going on right now, but it may be the boldest.
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