Titan Comics 2016
Written by Gordon Rennie
Illustrated by Andrea Olimpieri
Coloured by Marcelo Maiolo
Lettered by Rob Steen
Dunwall, capital of Gristol and industrial hub of the Empire of the Isles. Twelve years have passed since Corvo Attano ended the Lord Regent’s treacherous plot against the throne, clearing his name of Empress Jessamine Kaldwin’s murder. Now a little older and perhaps a little wiser, Corvo continues to serve as Royal Protector, striving daily to protect his daughter, Empress Emily Kaldwin, from the same tragic fate that befell her mother. But while the Rat Plague is now only a footnote to history, tranquility is a transient notion in Dunwall and danger is never too far around the corner..
The opening is fantastic it showcases the kind of man that Corvo is in terms of a fighter anyway. Now i’m not a video game guy and I know this is based off a game but for me this was a great introduction to the series and this world. I like the characters and the characterization we get right off the bat. I also like ambiguity of the opening as well it’s a great way to draw the reader in get them involved wanting to know what the heck is going on.
Alright what we get as as the story continues is the basis for what Corvo’s intentions are. It makes sense it’s been twelve years now and wants, no needs an apprentice to pass on the skills and knowledge he has acquired. The opening was a test to see who among the City Watch might be a suitable candidate and I gotta tell ya it was fun to see this happen. It’s kind of brutal but honest and really leaves an impression on the reader.
So does Andrea and Marcelo’s work on the interiors. I love that they can capture the sense of movement and action on the page so nicely. The use of the pages and panels using the angles, perspective and attention to detail in all we see including backgrounds really help the flow that’s needed. Plus there are more than a few surprises in the character that are explained better visually than by mere words and that’s a huge bonus.
I came into this not knowing what to expect and what I found is something very exciting. There’s a sense of history here, there’s a tragedy to the feel and tone as well as this desire for something that seems almost of reach. All the while we get this great look at action sequences, some stellar characterization and a few things thrown in for good measure just to not muddy the waters but make things a tad more complicated, see interesting, for Corvo.
There’s also a mystery afoot and with what we see and the era it evokes it all has this wonderful Victorian feel that almost makes you think of Holmes. Almost because this man has skills and talents that would make Houdini jealous. So the bad guys take some of the spotlight and you see how one encounter sets up part the story to be a diversion from the main one. It’s a nice ploy and if it’s what it really is then well things will get really personal and for those involved that may be entirely too dangerous for their health.
Solid premise, great writing, pacing and characterization alongside some very strong interior artwork make this another shining example of how to adapt a game into comics. This engages the mind and the senses in a delightful way!