Dark Ark presents an intriguing variation on the biblical story of Noah. What if there were another ark, commissioned by a dark force to save earth’s monsters?
Vampires, manticores, chimeras, ghouls, werewolves, and unicorns populate this second ark, along with its human shipmaster Shrae, his family, and a group of humans kept as food for the monsters. There’s plenty of unrest aboard: a murder among the monsters, the looming threat of mutiny, and the unicorns who don’t think they belong among such evil creatures. Throw in a case of mistaken identity when angels arrive to assist what they think is Noah’s ark, and you have the makings of a tale unlike any other.
Cullen Bunn’s story makes good use of the implicit and explicit conflicts between different types of monsters, human masters versus human cattle, and the two mighty powers that order Noah and Shrae, respectively, to build their arks. Juan Doe’s art is dynamic and exciting, while colorist Ryane Hill manages to create a dark mood and a sense of claustrophobia without overdependence on black, utilizing a surprisingly varied color palette.
With so many fantastic inhabitants on this ship, it’s a safe bet that Dark Ark will appeal to fans of the supernatural and mythology—but also to those who might care nothing about those subjects, who simply enjoy a good, tense thriller. Gripping in its own right, volume 1 also lays out a strong, waterborne foundation for future volumes.
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