Well now this is much better. After a decidedly lacklustre inaugural issue, Titan’s Dark Souls comic is back on track with a sophomore effort that delivers and improves on the first issue in just about every significant way.
Titan Comics Dark Souls series continues
First off the pacing is much improved. Whilst it is understandable that it’s a challenge for a first issue of any comic to set the scene while simultaneously driving the plot forward, the first issue of Dark Souls suffered greatly from spending far too long rooted in a rut of exposition and felt poorly paced as a result. In this second issue however, such concerns fade as events start kicking off at a breakneck pace and don’t let up until the end of the final page.
A big contributing factor to the swifter pace is the notable uptick in fight scenes. Simply, there’s a lot more action this time and it’s not only well depicted but the stakes are higher too, with a toweringly formidable foe that looks much more in line with Dark Souls’ physically imposing bosses rather than one of its lower-level enemies.
While the fight itself was certainly impressive, and benefited greatly from an impactful ending, it would still be nice to have Fira tangle with an enemy that isn’t introduced and killed off in the same issue. My fingers remain resolutely crossed that this changes in the future issues and that I’m not here next month saying the exact same thing.
Lore fiends also get their fix as this second issue goes further into the lore behind Andolus The Dragon and, perhaps more importantly, the series of events that led to the eventual fall of the winged colossus. Fans of the first Dark Souls will also be happy to see that one half of a somewhat troublesome boss twosome is awesomely name dropped too, neatly aligning the comic with the events seen in the Dark Souls games.
Elsewhere, while artist Alan Quar’s talents still haven’t quite been given the swoop and spectacle of locale that they really need to be properly showcased, his character work remains resolutely strong as does his penchant for sketching out the effective action scenes that I alluded to earlier, reaffirming the belief that his style is a great match for the Dark Souls property.
On the topic of Fira’s scryer sidekick mate, Aldrich, he doesn’t get much to do in this issue, other than fall into a great deal of trouble over and over, but the big event which unfurls at the end ostensibly puts him in a far more important role going forward. Speaking of that ‘big’ event, we get to see Fira seemingly killed by the massive monster that she fights at the end of the comic, only for the final few frames to show Aldrich frantically caring for the mortally wounded knight.
In any other comic, a character seemingly meeting their maker tends to have fairly predictable ramifications for future issues. As players of the game series will attest however, death in Dark Souls is rarely the end and so it raises the tantalising question; will we get to see Fira as Hollow, shambling about the place in search of her humanity, or, does some other fate await her? Whatever the payoff is, I can’t wait to find out in the next issue.