By: John C. Mayberry
As far back as any devout comic book reader can remember there have been multitudes of methods writers have conceived about how countless fictional characters obtain their abilities. Some of these super-powered beings are born with their abilities, obtain them from experimentation of some kind, or in the case of Behemoth Comics’ You Promised Me Darkness, Halley’s Comet orbiting the sun about every 75 years. Sci-fi has long been a staple in comics (really, read any comic book, nine times out of ten what’s being read has some basis in the genre), and it’s great to see that the appreciation of the darker, scarier, and more mature-themed sci-fi tale is still alive and well amongst readers and collectors everywhere.
Issue one introduces readers to the concept of Halley’s Comet granting random powers to people across the world, providing these “children of the comet” with strange auras in the process. The foster siblings Yuko and Sebastian are two such individuals with two special auras. So special in fact they’ve caught the attention of another so-called “child of the comet” who feeds on the aura of others to strengthen himself. Only truly having each other to rely on, Yuko and Sebastian will have to learn to rely on others as they encounter more of their kind in a work of art that can only be described as sci-fi noir at its finest.
The first of four issues, You Promised Me Darkness #1 will keep its readers enthralled and waiting in suspense to see where else this already dark tale will go. Aside from a couple of minor issues that could be easily overlooked by most, this title is certainly worthy of being added to anyone’s collection. Wanting to see more will be a given with everything this comic does well, but after reading this first part it’s very clear You Promised Me Darkness is one that will be remembered for a long time.
Artwork – The monochromatic black and white style of artwork gives plenty of emphasis to the dark and dystopian world this story is set within. Effective use of photorealistic art also lends the perfect amount of moodiness to keep the reader’s attention and pull them deeper into the story.
Story – The tale written by Damian Connelly really brings the dystopia. In highlighting the hatred, fear, persecution, and the fact that the government is hunting them down for purposes of experimentation, readers are shown the desperation of the two siblings who, with nobody else to trust but each other, are not only trying to survive in a populace that hates what they are, but also trying to stay ahead of an incredibly dangerous individual who wants everything they have.
Dialogue – Interactions between characters does not feel forced, but rather progresses as naturally as any normal conversation would. The portrayal of the conversations between Yuko and Sebastian are well done, in that readers will feel that familial bond between them, building that personal connection to make the story more relatable.
Lack of Definition – Although the artwork is impressive, there are some panels where the lack of definition, especially of things like raging structure fires or dark figures silhouetted against dark backgrounds, that can distract readers from their immersive involvement in the story.
Writing – Not to be misunderstood, the story and writing were both great and very much worth a read, it’s just the presentation in some parts that feels a bit off, specifically with the narration of events from a then-unseen character. This mystery narrator provides commentary throughout most of the issue. Granted the narrator is revealed eventually its his narration of the events beforehand that may throw some readers off and confuse them, taking them out of the story.
OVERALL SCORE – 8.95 out of 10
With the makings of a dark and moody sci-fi story, You Promised Me Darkness delivers on everything great about the sci-fi genre, in addition to the noirish, dystopian, horror-like vibes readers would expect to see in stories like Sin City and Watchmen, with a touch of H.P. Lovecraft thrown in the mix. Minor discrepancies aside this is an excellent title and a very enjoyable read.