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After Dark #3 “Dystopian Fiction”

Review by Leroy Douresseaux

Created by director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) and actor Wesley Snipes (Blade), After Dark is a science fiction comic book miniseries from Radical Publishing. Peter Milligan (Hellblazer) is the scriptwriter, and Leonardo Manco is the artist.

Set in the future, After Dark takes place on an Earth that exists in a state of near-perpetual darkness. Civilization is mostly confined to domed cities, with Solar City being the most populated. The populace either lives in a drug-addled stupor or engages in rioting because of boredom. The rulers of Solar City decide that Angel, a messianic figure who hasn’t been seen in decades, can tame the populace. They enlist Omar, a Bedouin drifter, to guide a rag-tag team composed of specialists and known criminals into the wilds outside Solar City to find Angel.

As After Dark #3 opens, words gets out that Angel has been found and that she is coming to Solar City. That means a happy ending, right? It’s not that simple and neither is Angel, and friends become enemies.

THE LOWDOWN: I give credit to the creators for making this last issue of After Dark so… dark. It’s gritty, violent, tragic, and even for a few, small moments, poignant. At 150 pages of narrative, one would think that this story is long enough. It’s not. After Dark isn’t a miniseries so much as it is an epic, and there needed to be much more room in the story for the characters. It is almost as if Peter Milligan’s storytelling is too big for this miniseries. Still, After Dark is an interesting, darker-than-usual, dystopian fiction that offers a large, rich assortment of attention-grabbing ideas and elements.

POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Fans of post-apocalyptic science fiction comic books and of Peter Milligan’s work will want to try After Dark.

B+

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After Dark

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