Dragon Knight Gravis and Executioner Wurdow face opposition on the way to New Londo. Silver Knight Arkon and his regiment are assailed by demons and metal manipulation in Izalith. Channeler Liste must report these new happenings to the short-tempered and ambitious dragon, Duke Seath the Scaleless.
Dark Souls: Age of Fire #2 kicks off with more action and the subtle politics of Lordran and its lords. Things are changing, and these are creatures that are both adapted to and demanding stagnation. Their sins are coming home to roost, and it's a gradual change that they are helpless to stop.
This issue shows how the borders are changing, and Gwyn can't control those whom he has made allies. Izalith is unruly. New Londo and the Four Kings have made a pact with dark forces. Seath's corruption is poisoning the kingdom, and he does so with Gwyn's implicit blessing.
All of this is told with the frontline stories of the comic. It does help that I have a knowledge of Dark Souls lore, and you probably do need some of that to understand what is happening in this book.
Arkon is shaping up to be a compelling lead. He was established as a coward who failed to slay a dragon in the first issue, but he is shown a warrior true in this book. However, his failure and the adulation its cover-up as granted him continue to haunt him no matter how many victories he sees.
Anton Kokarev continues to conjure a dark and haunting world reminiscent of the game without simply copying the art style. The characters are sleek and textured, and that brings an unnerving realness to the proceedings. The color palette is off-kilter and off-balance, but that works for what atmosphere the story aims to convey.
The main complaint I have with this book is the paneling. It's repetitive and doesn't give the art a lot of space to breathe. That may sound granular as hell, but that did impact the way I experienced the comic.
Despite that, Dark Souls: Age of Fire #2 is still an excellent read and a far more intriguing entry than the first. There's plenty of action, intrigue, and decay from the game franchise that has made an artform out of decay. The story is still entrenched in Souls lore, but it still provides something for those not thoroughly familiar with the backstory. This one comes recommended. Check it out.