Book Reviews

Book Review: Dark Matters by James Allen and Pete Fitz

Dagan Harris has to put up with a lot. And even he isn’t sure why. Who (and what) is Dagan Harris? Born under mysterious circumstances and with a smelly, otherworldly being on his trail, Dagan is thrust into a game of cat and mouse that’s deadly for him and pretty much anyone who is close to him. Already plagued by the harrowing after-effects of war, Dagan now has to deal with his own past – whatever that may be – and protect his new family from danger.

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I loved the investment this story instantly created for me. This is a dark mystery, with supernatural elements that really added to the suspense. Our despondent hero (not quite an anti-hero), Dagan, is a really well-developed character, even for all the missing information we haven’t been given yet. He has a distinct personality with compelling strengths and weaknesses, and his arc is clearly in progress for something huge. His development is really well captured in the moments of montage, as well as the slower developments, and I am left really wanting to know what the heck is going on.

The story itself has a little bit of everything: it’s creepy, gory, action-packed, and sometimes even funny. There’s a wide breadth of characters and the relationship they all have to Dagan will probably kill them in the end, but I guess we will have to wait to see!

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The main distraction for me was that some of the panels were quite dark – and I mean literally dark in coloring. I’m all for gore, but I wanna see it! Sometimes a panel or two in a row were muddy, and I was worried I was missing something. I turned on a bunch of lights and did my best. Alternatively, there were some panels that were stunning, and emotion and facial expressions are generally extremely well captured, so it’s balanced if it’s intentional, but the strain was a bit too much work for my eyes at times. Also, there was this one section where it was supposed to be 2am but the shadows of trees and lighter coloring make it look like high noon, which I had laugh about. Maybe I’m just seeing it wrong?

Overall, I’m interested to see how Dagan’s new friends fare against the supernatural force he is up against, and I’m definitely interested in seeing more of this artwork. A great first installment, and a great story that still has me mulling over the possibilities a week after finishing it. ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫/5!

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The worst part of this graphic novel, however, is that I have to wait for the next one! Huge shoutout and thanks to @darkmatterscomic for sending the first installment to me, I’m definitely looking forward to getting my hands on the rest!

Be excellent to each other,
-P

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