Monday, April 21, 2014

MISC. MANGA, *Darkham Vale

This hit manga-styled U.K. mini-series by Jack Lawrence, who a lot of Americans would recognize from the all-ages series, Lions, Tigers And Bears, as well as several of the British Doctor Who comics. This 11-issue mini-series(which includes an Issue #0)was first published in England by AP Comics, It was followed up by what was supposed to be an ongoing series titled Darkham Vale: The Dracou Imperative, but that only lasted one issue. Issues #1-10 of the regular series have been released in two separate trade paperbacks and then later a collected book by AP Comics, and has recently been picked up for an American re-release through Arcana Studios, although it had a U.S. digital release through Devil's Due.

Taking place in an out of the way village in the English countryside, young Ryan and his father move into their ancestral home after their mother left them. What they don't know is that the entire town is really a haven for all manner of supernatural beings and creatures, including vampire, werewolves, goblin-like creatures called Garmigans, giant rodent people, and large but friendly lizard-dogs named Kankrolin. All these races live in their own regions within the area of Darkham Vale, but an old threat from their past comes to haunt them, an evil entity known as the Corrupter who was the one who forced all these monsters to seek shelter in Darkham Vale centuries ago. Ryan's family was charged with keeping the tomb where this demon was sealed away in underneath their mansion, but thanks to some masked man and his rampaging monsters called Egregore, the Corrupter is freed. Ryan however regains a special magic energy passed down to his family and defeats the demon, although at a terrible cost.

This was a really well mapped out comic, with terrifically dynamic artwork. It's like you're watching a full on anime, but with great writing. I'd very much recommend getting the full trade paperback, and at least Issue #0 if you can track it down. Totally for fans of Harry Potter or Lord Of The Rings!

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