The Dark Age FCBD // Review
Throughout comic history, there have been many imaginings of the apocalypse. The Dark Age examines a new and terrifying vision for the end of days. Written by Don Handfield, with artist Leonard Rodrigues, Dijjo Lima on colors and lettering handled by DC Hopkins. The creative team gives the FCBD audience a taste of a future in which all known metal on Earth has been wiped from existence due to a mysterious haze. In the first few pages alone the reader is immediately aware of just how much life has changed in an instant for these characters due to this exciting Armageddon twist.
Ethen is enjoying a meal with his family at a diner just outside of Cornell University in Ithaca New York. In an instant, everything metal in the restaurant and the immediate area starts to disintegrate. Chaos and confusion fill the next few panels as no one seems to be able to make sense of what is happening. The story then leaps 13 years into the future, to see how Ethen has coped with this scary new world.
Ethen doesn’t seem like the type of character that would last long in a post-apocalyptic world. The little bit of information given about him before all hell breaks loose points to a witty teacher with a knack ironically for history. Series writer Don Handfield has quite a bit of backstory to fill in the 13 years that have passed. Readers will no doubt be clamoring for more information as Ethen has gone through a dramatic change. Ethen’s children also have quite the backstory that itching to be heard. The new world that has emerged from the traumatic event is quite interesting. Humans have had to adapt to the absence of all metal, as life continues on with wood, plastic, and glass becoming precious materials. Also, society has broken down into violent factions that have an implied history of warring. Handfield has found a great balance of giving the reader just enough information to have them looking for issue number one when it is released in July.
Artist Leonard Rodrigues’ designs give readers an intimate view into this new hell. The first few pages are an onslaught of pure chaos with people fleeing for safety as a torrent of metal dust and crumbling architecture make it look like a warzone. Rodrigues’ character designs for the different factions that dominate the landscape of this new world are quite terrifying and unique. Dijjo Lima’s color work gives the book a bright and vibrant look that is a stark contrast to the bleakness of life now for these characters. In the first few pages as the metal is disintegrating, a blinding sunset can be seen between the vortex of metal dust. 13 years into the future and nature has taken back much of society. Rich greens now cover most of what used to be cities. DC Hopkins’ lettering work covers an entire page during the metal disintegration, to help flesh out the utter chaos of the moment. Hopkins uses the word Swissh to help signify the mystery cloud, in various panels that word seems to be disintegrating which is a real visual treat for readers.
This creative team is off to a really great start. The Dark Age FCBD issue had just enough teaser material to hopefully grow a fan base for the first issue release in July. There is still much of the story yet to be told about the 13 years that have passed since the incident. This is a bold and dangerous world that Ethen is raising his children in. A healthy childhood is a thing of the past as every decision is now life and death and there is no room for error. There always seem to be a litany of comics based around the apocalypse on store shelves. The Dark Age offers enough of variety on the subject to make it worth adding to your pull list.