This four part comic series has some great moments and enough nods of nostalgia to make any souls fan smile. The art style is fantastic, a dark, gritty, and detailed take on a new part of the Dark Souls universe. While the writing at times (mainly in part 4) can come off as a little ridiculous, there are times when it works. The Old English style sometimes rolls off the tongue and, at moments, even feels poetic. Then there were times where I couldn’t help but laugh because it just tried too damn hard.
The cold, twisted world inside the Orb of Entremis is one of danger and mystery. The series does its best to be a part of the Dark Souls universe while also trying to stand on its own, and for the most part it works. We get glimpses of distant lands in the first part that made me think/hope we may see these places fleshed out in future instalments. That or these dudes are really good at making up names on the fly. Mimics, Anor Londo Knights, and more little homages to the games are inserted in the right spots to remind you you’re reading a Souls comic.
Overall the story is simple, but good. Andred’s Pryeblade, a sword passed down through his family for generations, is stolen from him and he embarks on a journey to retrieve it from its mysterious captor. His journey leads him across the land to a mystical orb, the Orb of Entremis which absorbs anyone who gets close enough.
For the most part the story moves at a fun and fast pace. George Mann’s writing paired with Alan Quah’s art do a great job at keeping things moving and I never felt like there was a slow point in the series. Most of the story is fleshed out through flashbacks, which take place along side the fights. Now, while this may seem like a bad decision, the back and forth between what is happening, and what Andred is being forced to remember actually works really well. Each battle hearkens back to a memory of his where we get to learn more about his past.
My issue with the characters of this series is that some are put together better than others. Andred is fleshed out pretty well, for the most part. Besides that Lady Parnethia and the Mad Duke felt like the only ones I got a sense of who they were and what they had been through.
The Mad Duke Etinger of Ambervale (badass name) is probably my favourite in this series. The Duke along with his subjects have begun to Hollow and rot and instead of accepting their fate, they carry on as if nothing is happening to them. We see glimpses of them partying and drinking and being merry all while their skin is literally peeling off their bodies. I loved this because it gave you a sense of how some might deal with going hollow.
Annnndddd without spoiling too much, well the story pretty much ends. Of course it’s left open for a potential sequel, but unfortunately the story just rushes to its climax and ends, like a virgin’s first time. Mann and Quah do a great job of delivering a fast paced story and then it’s like they just ran out of funding or ideas or something. It feels like there should have been one final issue, something that gave closure and answered questions that I was left asking, and trust me there were a few.
Overall this was a good series. I wish there was more. The comics were done well enough to where I wanted to know more about this unknown frozen wasteland, even if it does take place in a snow globe. I hope, in the future, we get to revisit these characters and find out what happened to Andred and how his story truly ends.