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Is It Good? Dark Engine #1 Review

Image Comics has had a revolution in the last few years: now more than ever there are new series popping up all the time — which is great for comic book readers.

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Another new series hits this week called Dark Engine: is it good?

Dark Engine #1 (Image Comics)

This is a semi-confusing first issue, probably done deliberately to create mystique; it’s also very much a visual story more than anything. From what I can gather there is time travel, dinosaurs and plenty of mystery involved in Dark Engine thus far.

The main character is named Sym, who has been sent back to save everyone from… something bad; spores or darkness or something. She was actually created to do this job, but things aren’t going as well as they had hoped. Writer Ryan Burton is definitely crafting something that’s both mythical and mystical. Whether or not the story works remains to be seen and this is in large part because the art is more of the main course than anything.

Really cool art.

John Bivens has an incredibly fluid style to everything he does. It reminds me of James Stokoe’s work as it’s detailed with a heavy cell-shading look. For the most part the action is clear, although he does have one sequence that uses a lot of close-up shots. This creates a sense of confusion as to what’s happening and frankly I wasn’t sure if I was reading a gratuitous tentacle rape scene or not. If that doesn’t scream “this art is insane” I don’t know what does.

This makes me hungry.

I found this issue very interesting, yet annoyingly confusing. It’s clear a very complicated story is afoot, (as is the case with most time travel yarns) and that may be due to the script being allowed too much freedom when it came to the art. The art is incredible, but may need to be leashed in a bit to help pace the the story. I kept looking for answers, or some semblance of story, but it’s hard to find. That said, the comic is so wild and imaginative I can’t help but like it.

♫We’re painting the roses red!♫

Is It Good?

If you’re willing to take a chance on something completely different you will be remiss to find anything so batshit crazy as Dark Engine. Give it a try.

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