Comic Uncategorized 

Review – Dark Ages #1

Cover by Iban Coello

Review – Dark Ages #1

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Writer: Tom Taylor

Art and Cover: Iban Coello

Colour artist: Brian Reber

Letterer VC’s Joe Sabino

Release Date:  1 September 2021

Non Spoiler Review


Was very happy to review Dark Ages #1 from Marvel, the next dystopian alternate reality tale by Tom Taylor. Taylor has big hits behind him set in dark alternate realities across the street with DC’s Injustice: God Among Us and Dceased series. Both dark tales in universes are very similar to the status quo that readers would be familiar with. Dark Ages takes this dark lens and aims it at the Marvel universe, a place where Taylor is at home, having great success with All-New Wolverine, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man and X-Men Red.

Iban Coello from Venom and Deadpool & The Mercs for Money is the artist for the series which was slated for fall 2020 before the pandemic. We got an ominous story previewing Dark Ages with the X-Men issue for Free Comic Book Day last year. New York and as we later learn the world, lost its power, as did Ironman, who fell out of the sky. Promo art teased us of an unusual cast of characters, or rather, an interesting mix. Spider-man is no stranger to the main stage, nor is Apocalypse in an X-Men book, but I can’t recall them having a conversation before. The teaser ended with the narration “Before everything stopped. Before the lights went out forever”. I was intrigued, I didn’t know what to expect, I wanted to know what was going on.

Free Comic Book Day X-men issue (2020)

Story / Writing

I’ll raise my hands straight away, I haven’t read everything Tom Taylor has written. I haven’t read Injustice: God’s Among Us. Having just gotten back into comics in the last year and a bit, I’m still playing catch up. I’ve read DCeased, X-Men Red, some All-New Wolverine, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-man and an Immortal Hulk one-shot by him. Of course, I’m not here to review those books but I thought speaking of some of his past work would be a good means of reviewing Dark Ages #1 without risking any spoilers.

Tom Taylor as I said feels at home in the Marvel universe. He feels at home and he knows the characters as if they were family and friends. I say that as someone who grew up with Marvel. I think of some of these characters like family and friends. I’ve read so many Peter Parker stories that he feels like a real person to me, he’s Pete. Taylor writes Pete as he knows him too. He writes him like I see him to be. He saves the audience a seat in the stories, he lets you get close and spend quality time with the characters. You feel like you’re in the inner circle with them. That’s why when things change gear when chaos brings danger, you feel it.

I’m not the biggest DC reader but I felt for the heroes in Dceased and the impossible odds they had to face. In Dark Ages #1 Taylor is still masterful at raising the stakes, they’re often raised in unexpected ways. You feel your heart in your throat, while at the same time it’s going out to the people on the page. You can’t help but worry for them as their lives are put at risk when the lights go out. ‘How is the Earth’s technology is rendered obsolete?’ Is a question you would be better off answering yourself by reading the book, I wouldn’t tell it as well. All I’ll say is that and an ancient power we haven’t met before has awoken and it sends alarm bells and shock waves around the world, cities crumble. It’s what Uatu the Watcher was ‘watching for’. This threat causes a series of events that lead to the end of the technological age.

I’m interested in seeing how Taylor continues his conversation about technology in this book. He touched on it with X-Men Red and Dceased but now he has set up a world without it.


Iban Coello’s pencils give us expressive facial characterisation and bodies that have dynamic energy in even the slightest of motions. His art works in unison with Taylors ease with the characters to build that sense of quality time, the calm before the storm.

Pizza Time

As trouble rears its head that dynamism goes through the roof, seen below when all the Spider-People have Spider-sense attacks due to the impending doom. The figures are captured at the height of their motion. When the shock waves travel around the world rocking cities, you really get the bombastic destruction from the page.

Turned up to eleven

Brian Reber’s colours are an ever-changing array of vibrant hues, they craft moods all of their own. The lettering of Joe Sabino adds great scope to the sound and the immediacy of Dark Ages #1’s art. All three artists work fantastically together, I’ve found myself scanning back over the pages and getting lost in the art when I was just supposed to double-checking something for this review.

Overall Thoughts

In reviewing Dark Ages #1 I’ve found it to be really enjoyable. Seeing the promo art earlier in the year really got me jazzed for the book. It just left me with questions and wonderings. How exactly a Spidey vs Apocalypse fight might turn out? What would a conversation between them written by Tom Taylor be like? The glimpses of the series had me wanting to know what was going on. Issue 1 flew past leaving me wanting to know more. It covered a lot of ground and shattered a status quo of a universe nearly identical to that of the regular Marvel 616 reality. But we’re free from the ties of continuity, anything can happen and no one is safe. I’m looking forward to the next instalment.

If you enjoyed our review of Dark Ages #1 then please leave a comment or your own rating below.

[yasr_multiset setid=1]

[yasr_visitor_multiset setid=1]

Check out BGCP’s new list of Scottish Comic Shops to see if they have a copy of Dark Ages #1 in stock and buy local.

Buy tickets for BGCP Comic-Cons in and around Glasgow Scotland – BUY TICKETS

Check out all of our Comic, Movie, Television and Videogame Reviews HERE and our Podcasts/Interviews HERE

If you want to be part of the BGCP community, Join us on Discord, Twitter, Instagram etc then click HERE

Jerd Noise

Written by 

Related posts