Review: Dark One Volume 1 by Brandon Sanderson/Jackson Lanzing/Collin Kelly

Rating: 5/10


Some worlds are made to be broken.

Paul Tanasin is a young man haunted by visions of a dark and fantastic world?visions he initially believes are hallucinations. But when he discovers they are prophecies from Mirandus, a world in which he’s destined to become a fearsome destroyer, he’ll have to embrace the fear, rise up as the Dark One, and shatter everything. Dark One examines the dual roles we often take on in life―the ability to be a savior as well as a destroyer.


I’m a big fan of anything Brandon Sanderson is involved with, and typically I’m engaged, impressed and enjoy his books. But somehow Dark One Volume 1 couldn’t connect with me.

The problems started with Brandon trying to mesh a narrative that gelled a present setting with a fantasy-driven grim world named Mirandus. Usually Brandon or similar graphic novels would present this world-building in a way the reader has time to grasp its rules, settings, etc. But the pacing in Dark One moved way too fast for (at least me) to digest where we were, why Paul was there, and ultimately the pending conflict in between the light and the dark factions. It felt rushed and I have a feeling this story was meant for a larger medium such as a novel or novella, but not a graphic novel.

There were also a few moments where Paul’s motivations weren’t clear and why is he blundering forward in this alien world. I just couldn’t wrap my head around the characters’ motivations and how they meshed with the main plot.

The line work and coloring was great and probably the one area I enjoyed in this graphic novel. The styles reminded me of your modern drawings in Mile Morales’s Spiderman. But unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to win me over the confusing narrative.

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