Dark Souls: The Age of Fire #1
Writer: Ryan O’Sullivan
Art: Anton Kokarev
Publisher: Titan Comics
Long ago, Gwyn, the Lord of Cinder, called upon his mighty Silver Knights to defend the realm against the last of the dragons. many lives were lost, but one knight emerged victorious and became a legend. The problem with legends is that they are rarely based in fact. Arkon, the youngest of the knights, appears to have slain the mighty dragon and receives the praise of Gwyn and the remaining faction of Silver Knights, but it was the fallen who defeated the beast. Who is he to question his master though?
Ryan O’Sullivan (Void Trip, Warhammer) brings to Titan Comics a new adventure loosely based on the video game of the same title. The main character, Arkon, is continually seeking redemption from the lie he lives with (along with the unearned title of Dragonkiller), by completing great quests for his master Gwyn. The pilot issue has him in the Grand Archive Sewers, confronting Channeler Liste who has snatched handmaidens of Cinder. Arkon has to let the matter lie for the moment, as Liste represents the powerful Duke of Dragons. There are more pressing matters, as Arkon and the Silver Knights are dispatched to the city of Izalith, which is believed to be besieged by the forces of dark magic. This lays the foundation for an exciting title that is has some big shoes to fill from his mother-story of the popular video game franchise.
O’Sullivan has laid the groundwork for a classic tale of a lonely man not only battling outside forces, but his own past. Allies and enemies abound, and Arkon must steel himself against his greatest challenge. Ryan does a masterful job of making the reader feel like he is at the controls of a new game, while still making the action unpredictable and building a heightened anticipation for the next chapter.
Kokarev does a capable job of making the art match a video screen, but I would like to see a more organic feeling of the grit and desperation in a fantasy setting like this, as opposed to a CGI feel. Hopefully future issues will even out aesthetically.
Overall, this is a very successful first issue and I look forward to seeing where this road takes us.
3.75 Dragons out of 5