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A Dark Interlude #2: Comic Book Review

A Dark Interlude #2: Comic Book Review

Check out out Issue 1 review here!

Writer: Ryan O’Sullivan
Pencils/Inks: Andrea Mutti
Colours: Vladimir Popov
Letters: Deron Bennett (Andworld Design)
Publisher: Vault Comics


 

An Interlude, Darkly

There’s no such thing as a sophomore slump here. A Dark Interlude #1 made its way into my top picks of 2020 and claimed the top spot all for itself (you can read the breakdown here, or listen here and here), so it stands to reason that #2 would be hot on its heels. In desperate search of a new storyteller with the Bard gone rouge, The Hero and The Muse must rush to Henry Henry as it seems he may not have long left. Rose Mary is still at Henry’s bedside as he lays bandaged to the heavens, and she is granted a tantalising offer…

A Dark Interlude #2 pulls no punches and isn’t afraid to throw you into the action and drag you between worlds. It’s a heck of a ride, check yourself for whiplash. 

Bardic Inspiration 

Anything with a healthy dose of the Bard is always going to be a win in my book, and A Dark Interlude #2 brings us a whole new side. The whole issue is bristling with hostility, freneticism, visceral emotion, and Early Modern English. Angst, but make it art. While I admit, the thous and the thees and the didsts might not be everyone’s cup of tea, they meld so seamlessly with the ambience of the comic you can’t help but read them as if they are commonplace.

Speaking of words, the lettering and pacing of this issue are second to none. Again with the contrasting speech bubbles and the fray of internal dialogue and spoken word, the tension doesn’t let you rest. The one page, however, upon which we are granted respite still feels laden with implication (no spoilers, I know). It’s unapologetically busy, and I love it. 

Interlude

For me, though, the highlight of the issue was Jill’s conversation (outburst, really) with the Muse. Fraught and desperate, and more than that, it was relatable. Jill’s frustration and desperation are palpable as she spits out sentences that no doubt we have all said in our time, even though we know someone is just trying to look after us. That’s what makes it all the more moving. I really felt that exchange in my bones – and that is how good dialogue should make you feel. 

A Dark Interlude’s success is the sum of its exquisite parts. Around those words are dreamy, ethereal colours and bold, striking designs and layouts. Each elements of this comic is a glowing example of how to execute art well. As our Bard says, “let us paint a symphony” and oh boy, do we get one. If you can draw and fill silence so well, then you’re pretty much unstoppable. Issue 3, no doubt, will continue the spiral into the Fearscape as well as the depths of our minds and emotions, and I for one can’t wait to get dragged down with it.


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