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The world is dying and covered in blackness. There are no longer weather warnings but black out warnings. This is a time where light means nothing and you can be lost to the darkness. The world of After Dark is one that is post-apocalyptic future where humanity is losing itself. If you’re rich you can go through life heavily medicated ignoring the battle that humanity is losing with itself. The poor spend their days rioting for a better life while the military beats them into submission.
The story opens with Lieutenant Brood medicating himself after leaving his crew to their deaths. He wipes it from his conscience trying to gather his bearings and remember how he got to where he is. Two months earlier he’s in a nightclub trying to “rent” a woman before receiving a call from his superiors. He’s summoned before General Lau and given a mission outside of the city.
Our next key player, Omar, is revealed as he rides on a speeder bike trying to beat a black out that’s in effect. Omar makes it to his destination to sell uncut drugs to a dealer. The dealer points out that even with all their technology people still seek out new ways to poison themselves. The conversation between the two is cut short as Omar figures out that the dealer has sold him out to the military. He flees from the scene but doesn’t make it very far before they haul his ass in.
Omar awakens in a black room with Brood standing over him. Brood rambles on about the darkness and how people are pre-programmed to fear it, yet Omar seems to have no problem with it. General Lau enters the room and the three men take a walk. The General has a job for the two men. All over the city there are crudely drawn images of an angel. The people rich and poor worship her and prey for her help. The General wants the two men to find her to save the city before the entire world is plunged into darkness forever.
The world has an interesting mix of technology. It seems to be part Star Wars, part Matrix with a hint of Blade Runner. It gives the technology in the book a cool look that stands out from other sci-fi comics/worlds. The set up for the story perfectly hooks the reader for the first issue as it’s clear that: A) something goes wrong on the mission and B) the military more than likely doesn’t want the angel taken alive.
Peter Milligan (X-Men, Human Target) takes a concept and creates a rich world for the concept to develop in. Brood as a character not only has an interesting look but a questionable past. Omar is a mystery in general but why he’s able to see in the darkness when no one else can makes for an intriguing background for the character as well. Milligan successfully lays down the ground work for the series while introducing the key players for the plot.
The book is illustrated by Jeff Nentrup, who uses CG modeling to create the characters and world. The book is visually stunning and gorgeous to look at. Nentrup has an eye for storytelling as each panel flows with the narrative very well. His style includes layer smaller panels on top of one larger panel which is very effective. There are also several full page shots that add to the intensity of the dialog between characters.
Radical Comics is always very good at creating preview issue that gives the reader a peek at what’s to come. It’s always enough to hook you but never enough to put you off from reading more and this issue is no different. After Dark is a unique post-apocalyptic world that seems to be a mix of technology with spirituality that is definitely worth the read. This zero issue in only a $1.00 so give it a shot, you’ll like what you read.
Story – 8.0
Plot – 8.0
Art – 8.0
Overall – 8.0
The idea was co-created by Wesley Snipes! That’s right, Blade made a comic book! Follow Dustin on Twitter.