"Do you like monsters?" This is the way George Michail started every pitch to Wizard World attendees walking past his table. And this was all to draw attention to his and Chris Cam's comic book Cover of Darkness. And let me just tell you, Michail's energy drew me in. But it was his comic book that made me stay.
So back to the question at hand. Do you like monsters? Because if you do, this is truly the comic book for you. Cover of Darkness is made of just that. Darkness, mixed with violence and captivating art. Which is a story in and of itself. And something we will dive more into later. However, what is just as captivating are the moments this book creates.
First and foremost the story of this comic book is set in medieval Romania and in addition to being about the things that go bump in the night it's also about a family who gets separated from each other and proceeds to through some pretty bananas in pajamas ish. Like seriously unhinged. The main cast consists of 2 brothers that can shapeshift into animals. Their aunt, a badass warrior gypsy with two daughters, one of which, there is more to than meets the eye. And story is about them trying to get back to each other and the horrors they encounter along the way.
However, ambition is the name of the game, and Michail and Cam are just that. So each issue also contained a side story of the origin of one of its main baddies. A Vampire named Vladimir, never Vlad. A mummy with some serious vendettas named Ramsey. And my personal favorite, a reimagining of Frankenstein's monster and easily the best designed character.
What's impressive is that the flow of story, works. Like well. There were never any points really where I felt confused or lost. One second we're following the family, the next second we're learning about villains, then the next you've got a damn gorilla fight an "f" all werewolf. Who could be mad at that? Really, tell me in the comments below, because I want to know. But the fact here is that Cam and Michail make it look effortless and in doing so makes the story easy to follow.
Dialogue on the other hand is another thing entirely. I can't say it felt forced, but something just felt off. Especially around issue three. If I'm being honest I can't quite put my finger on it, but I can say that there were just a few times I was wondering what was being talked about. That said it doesn't take away from the experience and the flow of the story. Those moments came more as potholes rather than abrupt stops.
And speaking of stops, this art pull out all of them. I was genuinely captivated by how good it was. And for those who are new to a review by me. Let me just tell you, art is the most important thing in a book. Because it's gotta not only be good, but be good in a way that fits the tone of your story. And Michail hit the nail right on the head when he got MJ Hiblen to do the art for this book.
The art isn't just good, it's dirty. It's sketchy. It IS "Cover Of Darkness". Paneling is done well, with only one or two areas of confusion about where my eye should have been to where it went. Anything outside of that would be me nit-picking. Like how some details and/or body proportions are off when characters are in drawn "in motion". But what you notice wrong is quickly forgotten by what Hiblen gets right.
Issue 3 is just great, the quick fight with the Ringmaster, followed by Frankenstein's monster going berserk at a party. was just pure gold and fun to not only read, but see sketched out as well. And here is the kicker. Here's one of the reasons to get this book if you're not sold on it already. Every line, ever shadow, every spot of color was done with Hiblens fingers. I've honestly never seen anything like it. The art is just so spectacular. Michail, Cam, and Hiblen have something really special here and I can't wait to see more.
Bottom line is this. And those that know this site, or have read other reviews from know that we don't pull any
punches. This is a damn solid book, that is worth your time. The complaints I'd have about the issues are far outweighed by the things that I loved about it. Honestly, the Ringmaster is dope. I'd love to read a whole comic book about him. And also I can't wait to see more about Frankenstein's monster. These issues are well thought out and showcase a passion for the horrific that is hard to come by in comics. Coupled in with the art and how sketchy and dark it is. Cam, Michail, and Hiblen have a got damn winner.