Dark Souls: Age of Fire promised to give details on the past of the Dark Souls universe, to show readers insights into characters and places from the games. Despite a few issues showing promise towards this end by the time the final issue concludes it feels like a very hollow end product.
The artwork is, as ever, amazing with Anton Kokarev delivering stellar visuals. I’ve said it in previous reviews for the book, but Kokarev’s work could easily be turned into poster sized art, with any panel from the book worthy of being a framed piece of artwork.
Unfortunately, the writing in this issue feels like the weakest link. The finale should feel big and dramatic, yet this is one of the dullest of the series. Instead of the characters coming together to fight a giant foe, or even each other the majority of the book is people in suits of armour talking.
The series has given the readers great moments of story and lore exploration but book hasn’t gone into any real depth. The series touches on important events, yet doesn’t give them the time they need. Sadly, the final issue continues with this trend, focusing more on the characters than the world or the events. Whilst I’m never one to complain about getting more characterisation this isn’t really what people came to read the series for.
I don’t think that this is a choice that writer Ryan O’Sullivan has done intentionally, rather an editorial decision to try and maintain enough mystique around these big moments that they can be explored in future comics, novels, or games, depending on the company’s decision.
The final moments of the book reflect this, with no satisfying conclusion to end with. We’ve not had a huge amount of time with the characters of Dark Souls: Age of Fire but it would have still been nice to have had some kind of wrap up to their stories.
Dark Souls: Age of Fire is a story that promised to delve into some of the most iconic characters and events in the series history, but only really touches upon them. It feels like the company wants to expand their reach into comics, yet don’t want to commit to creating solid cannon, wanting instead the opportunity to tell these stories in more detail at another time. As such, the story lacks any real depth or weight.
Whilst fans of the series are sure to enjoy it the casual reader may feel dissatisfied with the conclusion.
Dark Souls: Age of Fire #4 is now available from Titan Comics.