DARK WATCH, ISSUES #1-4
Cartoonist: Khalid Johnson
WHAT IS IT?
Dark Watch is a pretty traditional superhero story that centers around the masked vigilante, Hunter. Hunter is kind of a combination between Marvel’s Ronin and DC’s Huntress.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Kyle, dealing with the trauma of the death of his mother and the reaction of his father, has sort of hung up any idea of vigilantism. However, as he watches his city fall further and further, with the police getting into cahoots with a new villain in town, he cannot help but get involved.
But, as Kyle delves further and further into this rabbit hole, the people close to him begin to get more and more tangled into this web. His actions cause reactions, greater and newer threats begin to arise.
At what cost can Kyle have a life while balancing vigilantism? And, at what point is he doing more harm than good?
I think Kyle is a character you can really get behind. He’s relatable, you sympathize with his struggle, you want him to succeed.
Many of the character designs are really clean and cool.
If you like superhero books, there’s a lot here you can enjoy. The book is very much within that realm, it has a lot of similar themes to books before it.
The thing I really like is that Kyle’s actions, or inactions even, have a penance to pay. His choices yield consequences, something we shield characters from too often.
I love the diversity of the book. There are so many people from different ethnicities, and I was grateful to see that.
It's free! So you don't have to feel like you're paying money to take a risk on something.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK?
It’s so confusing at times. It’s hard to follow what is happening on a page, so you’re kind of just hoping to figure it out by the end of it.
There is far too much going on here. It’s hard for readers to balance so many arcs in so many directions. Things happen that just feel completely unrelated, things to make villains seem more sinister, but have no real value to the plot.
Dialogue feels very clunky at times.
I think the art is rough. Some panels are better than others, but there’s a lot to be desired in terms of 1: The art capturing the emotion/activity in a panel and 2: Properly telling the story in a coherent way.
That goes for coloring/lettering as well, both of which have a rough feel to them. Honestly, many of these criticisms, I feel, stem from Johnson doing everything himself. That’s a HUGE venture, and I think Dark Watch has all the potential in the world if Johnson stepped back into simply writing, focusing on the story he wants to tell, rather than being pulled in four directions on one book. It just hurts his story here.
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
Like I said before, Kyle is a solid character. If you already have a predisposition to enjoy superhero comics, there’s a lot here for you. Frightening villains, a relatable hero, and action sequences are all here for you to enjoy.
HOW DO I BUY IT?
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