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Lark's Killer #1

by Olivier Roth on August 02, 2017

Written by: Bill Willingham
Art by: Mark Dos Santos
Colours by: Salvatore Aiala
Published by: 1First Comics

 

I have been a fan of Bill Willingham for over a decade now. Having been first introduced to his sprawling epic that was Fables over at Vertigo Comics and its subsequent spin-offs, I always felt like he could do no wrong. When I began reading Lark’s Killer, my first impression was: is this really a book by Willingham? Luckily, by the end of the issue, my opinion changed considerably.

 

Willingham begins this new comic with what I can only describe as a pretty bland Dungeons & Dragons style story. We are introduced to a trio of adventurers looking for what else: treasure! For the first half of the comic, we follow these three characters as they make their way to this fabled treasure, in a very lackluster way. When they finally do find the “treasure”, this is where the issue picks up. We learn that the treasure is not in fact gold, like our adventures assumed, but a portly dragon with a tale that, we are to assume, will change these characters’ lives. What is that tale? Well, the tale of Lark, of course!  

 

One of my favourite aspects of a Willingham scripted book has always been his ability to give each of his characters a very unique voice. In this introductory issue, he succeeds in doing so once again: the three adventures are all distinct from one another, the dragon has a slightly off-putting modern-style of talking and when we are introduced to Lark, you can get a sense that she will be a character with some fun dialogue.

 

As I am not very familiar with Mark Dos Santos as an artist, this was an interesting introduction to him. He smartly decides to change up his style between the present and past portions of the comic - though this could also be attributed to Aiala on colours. What is somewhat jarring, however, is that Dos Santos’ character design for the three adventures and the dragon at the beginning of the comic (the present portion) far exceeds his character design for the “past” portion. At times, his characters in the past felt “too” cartoony for my liking and would seem to fit better in a low-budget animated movie than in a comic book. This again I feel is not 100% on Dos Santos since the colours in the second half of the book are somewhat of a letdown as well.

 

In the end, Willingham hoodwinked me with this comic. His opening title for the first half of the comic should have been a clear indication that his D&D inspired characters would not be the protagonists of the story, and yet I fell for this little ruse. Only when we are introduced to Lark did I truly feel the story really took off but the story was hurt somewhat by the lackluster art (in the second-half of the book).

Our Score:

6/10

A Look Inside