Dark Engine 1 (July 2014)

Dark Engine #1

If I had to describe artist John Bivens's style, I'd say Paul Pope meets Frank Frazetta–warrior women versus dinosaurs with a lot of lines. Unfortunately, Bivens has no narrative storytelling chops so it's one static panel after another. I don't think I've ever read such a boring fight scene involving a dinosaur and a cavewoman.

Except the lead isn't a cavewoman. She's a nearly naked product of genetic engineering. Ryan Burton doesn't answer why she has to be a woman, except perhaps for the constant nude scene possibilities. But his script is entirely undercooked so why expect it….

Dark Engine is set in an otherworldly dimension where Burton wants the reader to remember a bunch of lame fantasy proper nouns but then uses Biblical names for his characters. Who curse in English.

It's lazy, bad writing. Bivens's illustrating skills aside, there's nothing to Dark Engine. It's stalled at the gate.



Writer, Ryan Burton; artist, John Bivens; letterer, Crank!; publisher, Image Comics.

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