REVIEW: ‘Dark Ages’, Issue #6

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Dark Ages #6

Dark Ages #6 is written by Tom Taylor, illustrated by Iban Coello, colored by Brian Reber, and lettered by VC’s Joe Sabino. It’s published by Marvel Comics. After saving Miles Morales from the twin threats of Venom and Carnage, Peter Parker and the rest of the heroes learn of Apocalypse’s plans to project his consciousness into the Unmaker. They race to stop the mutant monarch but must contend with the Purple Man, who has exerted his will over their friends! Will the world be saved, or will the age of Marvels end?

I’ve mentioned before that at its core Dark Ages was a reversal on the usual “dark future” that often populates alternate-universe takes on beloved comic book characters. That’s remained true through its entire run; despite its title and the fact that some characters do indeed meet their end, the ultimate goal is for the heroes of the Marvel Universe to make a better world out of the loss of technology. “Who says a post-apocalyptic world has to be a bad thing?” Parker says in one of the series’ most moving and somewhat on-the-nose bits of dialogue. Taylor also keeps things from sliding into total grimness with some well-placed bits of humor, especially where Deadpool is concerned. DC was right to sign him to an exclusive contract, as he’s one of the best writers in the business today. I will miss his work on the House of Ideas’ heroes though.

Coello ends the series on a high note artistically, delivering some jaw-dropping action sequences. One sequence features Wolverine going up against a mind-controlled Cyclops, with the X-Men leader’s optic blasts shredding his teammates’ flesh and bone off in a series of horrific panels. A two-page spread pits the Purple Man’s mind-controlled heroes against their counterparts; Colossus and She-Hulk wrestle, Doctor Doom engages in battle with Dracula, and Spidey darts around Captain America. But the highlight of the book goes to Blade, who gets one of the most badass moments I’ve ever seen from him, and that’s saying something because Blade is a character who screams “badass.”

Reber’s colors make the art stand out, giving each character its own unique hue and making the scenery come to life. When Apocalypse and Cyclops confront Wolverine underground, there’s a faint blue hue from Apocalypse’s portals which quickly shifts to a bright red that overwhelms the page as Cyclops uses his optic blasts. The page grows bright white when Storm uses her weather powers to rain down lightning and hail upon Apocalypse’s fortress. Even Sabino’s letters take on a hue and shape of their own; when a character is shot through the head, a bright yellow “BANG!” spills out of his head instead of gore. And as always, Deadpool’s yellow speech bubbles are present, though fans expecting the Merc With A Mouth to break the fourth wall will probably be disappointed.

Dark Ages #6 serves as an antidote to the more worn-out tropes of post-apocalyptic realms and a perfect cap on Tom Taylor’s time with Marvel. If you enjoyed DCeased or Injustice, or you’re looking for a superhero story with a more upbeat ending, I definitely recommend either picking up all the issues or waiting for the trade collection.

Dark Ages #6 is available now wherever comics are sold.


Dark Ages #6
5

TL;DR

Dark Ages #6 serves as an antidote to the more worn-out tropes of post-apocalyptic realms and a perfect cap on Tom Taylor’s time with Marvel. If you enjoyed DCeased or Injustice, or you’re looking for a superhero story with a more upbeat ending, I definitely recommend either picking up all the issues or waiting for the trade collection.