Review – Skull & Bones: Savage Storm #1 (Dark Horse)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer(s): John Jackson Miller, James Mishler
Artist: Christian Rosado
Colours: Roshan Kurichiyanil
Release Date: 1st March 2023
Predator and Prey play out their deadly game on the high seas. The crew of the Sylvia are desperately fending off the relentless assault of the Margarete, commanded by the dreaded pirate Captain John Hurlock, when a twist of fate in the form of a typhoon grants them a momentary reprieve as both ships are battered by the storm finally leaving the Sylvia broken on the beach of a tropical island. This reprieve does not last, however, and while the crew are salvaging what they can and mourning their dead, they are discovered by the crew of the Margarete and the game of cat and mouse begins again.
So, pirates, treasure, swash and buckle, this series has it all, and it’s a really enjoyable romp. The fact that this is a console game tie-in was a complete surprise to me. In all honesty movie and game tie-ins are tricky waters to navigate (no pun intended), and it’s very difficult to get it right, so I’m a little nervous about the rest of the run. To be fair though, my first read through of this issue was without the knowledge that Ubisoft have a game coming out, and I very much enjoyed it. It reminded me a little of Ram V’s These Savage Shores, which of course means I’ve also just grabbed my copy off the shelf to read when I’m finished here.
There is a lot going on in this first issue, we are introduced to a lot of characters, a lot of action, and a few twists and turns on all sides. However, with this being a game tie-in I don’t know how much I can credit to John Jackson Miller and James Mishler, or how much is lifted from the game’s storyline. Either way ,it’s a good story, and it’s Dark Horse so it’s going to be a quality series whoever is the creative presence behind it. I also like that this isn’t quite as simple as a straight-up cat and mouse chase. The crew of the Sylvia have their own secrets and agendas, and Hurlock isn’t the only predator on the island – and he may well have bitten off more than he can chew.
The artwork is good, and is immediately recognisable as being of the Dark Horse stable (again, pun not intended). Christian Rosado and Roshan Kurichiyanil are clearly having a lot of fun with this story, and there’s huge amounts of detail and really well laid out panels. The action scenes are explosive and dynamic, and they deliver the tension well.
I think whether you plan on playing the game or not, this is a title that most will enjoy. If you’re looking for something a bit different from the usual fare then this could be a good diversion.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]
The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek
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