In last week’s BearSleuth Spoiler Free Comic Book Bundle I review Dark Souls Issue One by George Mann and Alan Quah I gave the piece a pretty glowing review:
What was that? You didn’t know there was a Dark Souls comic book? Me neither, until I saw it glaring up at me from a shelf in my local comic book store. The world of Dark Souls has always had an impenetrable lore so it only makes sense to have a series explain some of the world’s inner working, especially with Dark Souls Three comic out recently! The book is surprisingly good, my normal experiences of video game tie-ins are pretty weak so it’s refreshing for something good to come along. With the world of Dark Souls open to interpretation it’s easy to see why any writer would want to work in the universe and George Mann has picked a great part of the lore to work with. The art by Alan Quah is strong but borders on excessive levels of gothic and grime at some points, in keeping with the game series. I would easily recommend this to any Dark Souls fans.
But I am not a fan of Dark Souls and I know absolutely nothing about the lore of the universe. So your humble Sleuth turned to Jack Sutton of Vuepoint Gaming for a second opinion. Jack is a big gamer and an expert on all thinks Dark Souls, with his popular Bosses Showcase series on YouTube. I sent Jack over a review copy of the comic and got his thoughts:
“On paper, transferring the world of Dark Souls into a comic book seems like a great idea. The deep lore and interesting characters are brilliantly envisioned, but some people will never get to experience these things because they are put off by the punishing nature of the game itself. Putting it onto a page makes it far more accessible to a new audience, and allows the characters and world to be fleshed out in a way that is far more difficult to do in a game, so this seems like a pretty logical step to make.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Whilst I can’t comment on the quality of the comic itself, as I’m not a huge comic reader, from the perspective of a Dark Souls fan, it was clear to me that writers George Mann and Alan Quah haven’t quite managed to grasp the gothic tone that the Souls series works so hard to create. Playing the game makes you feel like you’re part of an interactive horror experience, with imaginative and terrifying monsters lurking around every corner. The comic felt a little too colourful for me, and the inclusion of a sidekick character removed that feeling of isolation and loneliness that adds to the atmosphere.
Minus the inclusion of a few nods to the series so far (including someone who looks suspiciously like Solaire – Praise the Sun!), I felt like Dark Souls #1 seemed a little disconnected from the rest of the franchise, both tonally, and in terms of imagination. Perhaps as a standalone comic I would have enjoyed it more, but I couldn’t help but compare it to its namesake. Hopefully some of these problems will be addressed in future issues, because like I said, expanding the intricate world of Dark Souls in a comic is a pretty great idea.”
Needless to say Dark Souls Issue One might hold up as a comic book but when it comes to recreating the game world and the lore of the Dark Souls it’s a pale imitation. Both me and Jack hope the series will improve over time but as of now it’s a mixed start for the book. You can find Dark Souls Issue One in most comic book store and online from all comic book and graphic novel retailers. Buy a copy and hit us in the comment section with your thoughts! Also check out Jack’s YouTube channel Vuepoint Gaming for loads of great gaming content, I personally recommend his play through of The Witcher 3 or The Last Of Us.
…That was Friends of the Sleuth with Jack Sutton!!! Come back tomorrow for another Covert Coot article!!!