Aftershock Comics 2017
Written by Cullen Bunn
Illustrated by Mirko Colak
Coloured by Maria Santaolalla
Lettered by Simon Bowland
Arthur Pendragon was the king of all Britain. His story is legendary. Merlin. The Lady of the Lake. Excalibur. Camelot. The Knights of the Round Table. But these stories are bright lies painted over the truth. Here is presented the gospel of Arthur's bloody rise to power and his unholy reign. The legend of King Arthur is not the stuff of legends, but the fuel of nightmares.
See now this makes me so very happy. Let’s face it so much of our current culture has been what I like to call Disney-fied. Taken from it’s original content and made into something to entertain children when in reality they were originally meant to scare the shit out of em and keep them in line. So it is as well with the Legend of King Arthur and his quest for the Holy Grail. I mean he was King who fought bloody battles for Britain, had a demon in the disguise of man as his most trusted advisor and there were a great many demons and otherworldly things that they had to contend with. So how is all that supposed to come out all warm, fuzzy and feel good?
This is also why i’m such a huge fan of Cullen’s work. This is what I want to see when the son of the devil himself is the king's advisor! Show me something unusual, dark and devastatingly twisted as to manipulate man for nothing more than sheer amusement. It’s doesn’t need vampires or zombies to make it horror it just needs a demon in the guise of man who feels like having a spot of fun. Because what we see here is more akin to what I expect out of the man they called Merlin, including but not limited to his origin here which by the way is utterly brilliant.
Mirko is just as brilliant in making this come to life visually. With Maria colouring this in ways that ignites the imagination and it’s a complete wow factor. The use of page layouts here through the utilisation of angles, perspective and backgrounds really capture the attention to detail that we need. There’s a whole world of subtlety here that you could miss if you don’t take your time reading this and that is impressive.
From concept to execution this is being handled extremely well. I love that this isn’t rushing and that we’re really getting a proper background introduction to the characters and how this world came to be the way it is. What happened to Arthur and his Knights of the Table Round not to mention how it got to be this way to begin with. I mean there’s a lot of unexpected stuff happening here but seems to fit perfectly into the legends themselves. The characterisation and story development are amazing and by the end of the issue one thing is clear. You aren’t ready to let the story go.