Archeologists of Shadows – Vol.1

7 Overall Score
Art: 7/10
Dialoque: 7/10
Story: 8/10

Unique art style really sets it apart.

But it could use a larger color pallete.

Archeologists of Shadows – Vol.1
(W)Lara Fuentes, (A)Patricio Clarey
Septagon Studios
2014

Archeologists of Shadows offers a fascinating story about a human-like organic race slowly having their bodies replaced by machines, because the gods will it. Or do they? A resistance movement doesn’t buy it, so they make plans to find the chosen ones whose bodies are capable of surviving the trip through a portal to another world, where they hope to meet with the gods and ask them what they really want.

I think it’s hard to write a story where nothing is familiar to the reader. Sure, we understand these characters have religion, but we don’t know any of the rules or mythos of it. We know what cities are, but we don’t know if Light City is as large and important a metropolis as they have, or if it’s just another city on the map. And we have no basis to understand why walking through an unguarded, unlocked door is just a monumental decision for these characters. The effect is that I always felt a little lost, and a little removed from the story for that reason. Everything is so foreign to the reader, we don’t know what to think of it. When I first found out they were replacing their body parts with machine, I thought it was cool! Little did I know they were being forced into the decision, and would avoid it if they could.

The art work is very impressive, but also serves to distance the reader. Nothing here looks familiar, and it’s a bit of a shock when the character with the wide smile and big, bright eyes threatens to have the protagonists imprisoned and melted down for scrap. I thought he was a good guy! I think that could work, if one were trying to teach a lesson about judging someone on their appearance, but I don’t think it works when you just don’t know what anyone is supposed to look like. It should also be noted that I feel like we’re viewing the comic through an Instagram filter. The backgrounds are mostly out of focus and almost everything is a shade of brown or black. It might be an attempt at a statement about how homogenous things made from machines would be, but it’s almost kinda boring to look at.

I think AoS is a near-miss. It has a lot of potential and could be really good, but everything just falls a little short. This is the kind of book that I’d read if someone handed it to me, and I wouldn’t hate it, but I’d probably forget all about it a few hours. Its flaws knock it down from would-be greatness to barely memorable.

 

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Author: Brian Reed View all posts by
"Brian has been a nerd, gamer, and comic book geek since the NES was cool, nerds weren't, and comics cost $0.75. Though his hobbies now cost a fair bit more, he is no less passionate about his escapism. He is proud to be a part of both the Florida Geek Scene and The Nerdstravaganza Podcast."

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