The long awaited first issue of Into The Darkness has arrived! This story has been brewing in the creator’s mind for 20 years. But is it a buy, you ask?
Into The Darkness #1
[ ITDcomic.com ]
Script, Pencils, Letters: Mark Zuptich
Inks: Shaun Barbour
Colors: Chris Hall
Cover: Andrew Michalewicz
I’ve been looking forward to this story since the promotional art started surfacing! It’s bold, dark and blue-eyed lovely! Has a hint of Stepford Wives or Children to it. So, kudos to the team for snagging my interest!
Into The Darkness is a fine indie comic. It is well produced and could easily stand on any indie shelf.
The story begins with a prophecy… My preference is not to do that because the next page begins the story again. Maybe these pages will begin every issue and tell a story of their own. Then we dip into a flashback that is energetic, heart-racing fear. And the story begins again 21-years later. I’m okay with it. It’s an issue #1. But keeping count, that’s more beginnings than Creation Stories in Genesis.
We meet the story’s prophet who reminds me of Constantine. Because of the cramped space of an issue #1, the dialogue is jumbled. I think Mark is a better writer than comes off the page here. It’s a good intro to a couple of main characters.
As hinted in the promo art, there turns out to be a clandestine evil loose on the world and very few can identify it. Our prophet is one such character who finds a cad up to no good. The story is not boring as immediately we are in another fight or flight encounter. But what is that?!
There is an explanation but it does trip up the flow. Too much talking in too few pages and during a fight. It’s a #1, it’s going to even out, I’m sure.
It’s not a spoiler that there is something a tad demonic going on. Thank God this isn’t another zombie book!
Next we are in a nightclub and a fight breaks out! By the way, this is the beginning for another couple of characters. At least it will be dark and bold.
Two comments for Mark, get a backgrounder involved. The art has no depth on a panels with zero backgrounds. Unless you’re going for manga. Second, never use purple. It never works right especially when processed on paper. It comes out way darker or lighter and gradients backfire. Again, there is lots of talking during fighting. It’s probably meant to hose down the place with testosterone but it’s a little too metro. Fights in bars don’t end like this:
Page layout is a little too tight for me. This art could stand to breathe a little more.
Recapping, the nightclub introduces two more characters and a sweet ride. Many implied questions. Your homework is to figure them out in issue #2.
And then there’s the big reveal(guess what? A new character, new beginning!)that has been there in your face the whole time—but I’m not telling!
This is a catch-22 of comics as it is issue #1 and has a LOT of work to do. Because of that, there needs to be twice as many pages. But being part of a crowdfunder, Mark rightly felt obliged to acknowledge his donors and provided a commentary for their support. The end result is he framed a double-size story into half the pages.
My advice to Mark is spread it out in the future.
Go back to the bold inks we saw in the promo art, add backgrounding and make Shaun work hard! Ditch purple and smooth the bumps out of the dialogue with one more pass.
My criticism is what I yearn for in issue #2, but not a reason to skip out.
The violence is mild but too much for little kids, with dismemberment, undead, scary eyes, sword dentistry, and some sound demon-spanking with a big old book.
Three and a half demon pets of five. This is a worthy buy if you plan on getting #2 and who wouldn’t? And get one to gift for Christmas.
[ ITDcomic.com ]
(Disclosure: We got this one as a freebie)