Publisher: AfterShock Comics
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artwork: Juan Doe
Lettering: Ryane Hill
Release Date: 16th January 2019
After enduring trials, tribulations, attempted mutinies and battles with ancient gods, the inhabitants of Shrae’s Ark have finally made land. However, as the teases in previous issues have alluded to, it quickly becomes obvious that they’re not the only ones to have found salvation in God’s new world. Not only that, but the other inhabitants of the island don’t seem to be in any mood to share the wealth.
Right off the bat, it’s worth pointing out that this is easily one of the best issues of the series so far. Don’t get me wrong, the Ark itself delivered some great moments, but just like its passengers I think a lot of readers were perhaps starting to get a bit of cabin fever. As such, Cullen Bunn’s decision to move his story to dry land is definitely welcome, and the absolute shit-storm that Shrae and his family find themselves walking into ensures that the pace and tension pick up immeasurably.
Artist Juan Doe fully embraces the carnage here, delivering a frantic and frequently chaotic extended skirmish as monster and human alike find themselves desperately trying to survive the frenzied assault by the island’s inhabitants. Doe does a stellar job of visually representing the sheer windless of the assault, with arrows flying in all directions and characters and monsters dropping like flies.
It’s a frenzied sprint of an issue that does a fantastic job of re-energizing the series. Lives are lost, captives are taken, and when the dust has settled we’re left with a trimmed-down roster of survivors who are forced to come together to try and tackle the next phase of the story.
While I was immediately hooked on Dark Ark from the first issue by virtue of its million dollar premise (a second Noah’s Ark for all the world’s monsters? I mean, c’mon…), I always had a faint niggling doubt in the back of my head about just how Cullen Bunn would manage to keep the story going in a satisfying fashion. Well, as it turns out, pretty damn well, with this latest issue delivering a paradigm shift that takes the story in a fresh and exciting new direction.