Saturday, October 14, 2017


There's actually very little to say about Darken beyond its basic nature as one of the many D&D-inspired webcomics. An unlikely hero joins a band of elves and dragons and <fast-forward> the monster falls to their mighty blowing <fast-forward> intrigue deepens as suspicion falls upon <f-f> evil twin <f-f> reconciliation <f-f> boss fight, and they all gain unimaginable power and learn the twue meaning of wuv, the end. The rest is in the execution. Artistically it ain't Rembrandt but gets its point across and improves over time, characters run as deep as "sword and sorcery" usually delves, plot's twisty enough not to challenge you but to keep you awake, etc. Even comedically, it has its moments. If you like that sort of thing, Darken's the sort of thing you might like.

The one outstanding question's begged by its basic premise: why write about an evil adventuring party if they never do anything evil? Thieves, assassins, dragons, drow, infernal blackguards, you'd think between all of them they'd manage to torch some peasants or rip an orphan's guts out now and then to stay in character. Instead they're routinely infantilized into paragons of prosocial codependence, comforting their loved ones, making mutually beneficial alliances and keeping any negative ramifications of their actions for the most part conveniently off-panel. I'd wonder where this Disneyed antiheroism came from, but given the comic started in 2003 and the hero's a dual-wielding drow male, we can pretty safely lay the blame on some guy named Salvatore.

While it's readable enough, Darken's evil-lite also illustrates stereotypical spineless adolescent bluster, the desperation to pass oneself off as a grim, dangerous rebel while also slavishly vying for everyone's adulation and reinforcement.

No comments:

Post a Comment