Review - Ark

Space is a big place, begging to be explored. That exploration leads to missions where crews are cut off from mass populations and are forced to enjoy the company of those on the mission with them. Sometimes, those crews feature a few individuals with more independent motives, leading to events such as those in Ark from Arcana Comics.

The graphic novel is written by Peter Dabbene and illustrated by Ryan Bayliss.

The spaceship Explorer has traveled for 13 years, past the orbit of Pluto, until finally its communications are cut off from Earth. Despite this, they still manage to receive a message that comes with shocking news. As such, some crew members handle the news better than others, leading to intrigue, murders, betrayal and revenge.

Dabbene doesn't really tread on new ground with Ark, relying on the tried and true space exploration formula. The passengers are an interesting twist, reflecting a mix of human crew and hybrid. The hybrids are combinations of animals/plants and humans, struggling to fit in amongst the rest of the crew. Why they're on the ship though isn't really explained and they seem to play a part in some random murders and mutinies. The dialogue is fairly wooden throughout, but it's enough to move the story along, despite a readily obvious influence from Mass Effect.

The art by Bayliss is shiny. The finish is very glossy and really accents the relatively nondescript art. There's some creativity in the hybrids, attempting to present the variety of the beings throughout the universe. Other than that though, the art lacks any intense detail, with most panels presenting the character in focus with little attention paid to the background settings.

Ark is an intergalactic story of beings trying to find commonalities. The crew has to contend with everyone representing some of the dirtier aspects of humanity. Despite that, the crew of the Explorer manage to find some sort of resolution as an ending, concluding the 140-page graphic novel.

Ark is available digitally via comiXology now with interiors below.