ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘You Promised Me Darkness,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

You Promised Me Darkness #1

You Promised Me Darkness #1 is a superhero/horror comic created by Argentinian comic creator Damian Connelly, published by Behemoth Comics. Translated by Anabella Mazzaferri. Approximately every 75 years, Halley’s Comet passes by the Earth. When it does so, children are born with special auras, granting them supernatural powers. They can either be blessings or curses. This story centers on two of them, Yuko and Sebastien, who wield dangerous, uncontrollable powers. Hiding from the outside world, the siblings take shelter in an abandoned factory away. But a threat by the name of the Anti-Everything is always looking for them, and beyond that, a prophecy of an apocalypse. 

The plot is revealed and structured beautifully. This is a whole new world, with its own rules and physics and politics, and Connelly explains it in a way that keeps the readers interested. The comic jumps between flashbacks to the past, incidents in the present, and potential futures. The unstable narrative adds to the mystery of the series, but we are fully aware of what we need to know by the end of the comic. The world itself is fascinating. The idea of the powers emanating from the comet and the lore they add to the celestial object is a fascinating concept. From this one issue, it is clear that Connelly has a history within his universe filled with depth and detail.

The story is narrated by Sage, so old that they were born during Halley’s Comet’s passing in 1901. Sage beautifully describes the world’s history, setting the structure and tone of the series. Sage is not a typical narrator, resulting in comical captions. He repeats himself, his speech patterns and descriptions of things make him seem childish at points, but it may also just be a lack of human interaction that has created this. He is at such an age that everyone around him has faded away, so the world around him is even stranger than it is for everyone else.

The two siblings are incredibly intriguing characters. The reader learns a lot about them already, but the air of mystery that lingers in every panel, every word balloon, every word of You Promised Me Darkness is present around them too. Their personalities aren’t entirely clear but are beginning to show. They are intensely protective and caring towards each other, as they are all they have. Their auras (the term used to describe the powers they have) are powerful even in the glimpses we get. 

This intellectual property’s wider universe is hinted at by just how many characters are seen, major and minor. The dialogue that comes from them is wonderful at fitting in with the creepy atmosphere. There is a sing-song quality to the rhythm, harking back to that childlike or even inhuman speech. Each character feels unique and different, leaving the reader wanting to know even more about them.

The art is what truly gives You Promised Me Darkness #1 its soul. Only black and white, Connelly uses a unique and stunning art style. There are times where it appears that the white has been placed over the black, beads of light against the shadows, but in other instances, it’s the other way around. From the first panel to the last, this is a visual journey. It is a creepy sensation seeing pristine white faces against the black backgrounds. It makes the figures look strange and beautiful at the same time. Connelly has varying sizes of brushstrokes of black ink that make up facial features. Some are large and broad, while others are more intricate. The siblings’ eyes are these bright pinpricks, and for most of the issue, we don’t see Sebastian’s face. Each character is striking and individual in their design, with some genuinely terrifying panels. 

The way the ink travels across the comics plays tricks with your eyes. One finds themselves scanning the page then thinking, “did I just see that?” Sage appears to be naked for much of the issue, but it could be a trick of the light. Each panel is an individual Rorschach test, and it such a powerful experience. 

You Promised Me Darkness #1 has the potential to be something special. This new world is scary, intriguing, and engaging. Each character demands attention, and the reader will be demanding more of them as we witness the start of this new comic world. Connelly’s art style is unique and stunning. Not only is the world-building fantastic, but the actual plot is gripping as well. Initially, I made comparisons to Heroes in my head due to how characters are granted powers and how abilities are viewed in general, but the two properties are very different. This comic needs to go at the top of your wish lists.

You Promised Me Darkness #1  will be available wherever comics are sold on April 14th.

 

 

You Promised Me Darkness #1
5

TL;DR

You Promised Me Darkness #1 has the potential to be something special. This new world is scary, intriguing, and engaging. Each character demands attention, and the reader will be demanding more of them as we witness the start of this new comic world. Connelly’s art style is unique and stunning. Not only is the world-building fantastic, but the actual plot is gripping as well.