Dark Souls #1 Review

Posted April 20, 2016 by Chad Waller in Comic Books

Written by: George Mann

Art by: Alan Quah, Komikaki Studio & Norah Khor

Publisher: Titan

I don’t actually know much about Dark Souls. I’ve never played the games and have no real inkling to; however, the bits and pieces I do know about the narrative and world sound quite fun. If there’s a way for me to experience DS while not having to bludgeon myself for hours on end, then I’m willing to give the franchise a try. Enter the comic book! I’ll take reading over video games any day of the week.

Though damn, if this is the best DS has to offer in terms of world building or story, then maybe I ought to just stay away entirely.

Perhaps those more invested in the lore know who Fira and Aldrich are, but having spent 24 or so pages with them, I can’t say I’m impressed. They’re off on some kind of fantasy quest that’s hardly explained one that involves the undead and a magical dagger, but it’s all so boring that I’m finding it hard to care. Fira gets some backstory around the middle of the comic—delivered in the form of a mental test a literal page after Aldrich tells her to watch out for mental tests—and I suppose it’s tragic enough for me to like her but…I don’t.

The whole comic feels like it’s going through the motions, a standard Dungeons and Dragons campaign led by someone with no real imagination. “There’s a labyrinth and an evil guy with a knife. You need his knife. Uh oh, watch out, here come the clichés!”

The only saving grace of the whole package is the artwork, which is jaw-droppingly gorgeous from start to finish. The whole comic looks like high-end concept art, the kind you’d find as you dug through the video game manual in the back of the car, too eager to play to not at least open the game’s case.

Though even the art has some problems. The big fight at the end is hard to follow, and I’m not sure if that’s because the artists were trying to incorporate the difficulty of the games into the comic or what, but I had to go through the sequence a couple of times to really get what happened and why.

I can’t speak for Dark Souls as a video game, but I bet it’s a lot better than the comic adaptation thus far. Maybe this will improve as it goes, but right now, this is only worth reading for the artwork.

About the Author

Chad Waller

Chad Waller is the cofounder of Dual Wield Software, a two-man video game company that just published The Land of Glass on Steam. You should check it out! You can follow him on Twitter @DualWieldSoft and find his company page on Facebook with a quick search.