Dark OneBrandon Sanderson’s Dark One

Story: Brandon Sanderson
Writers: Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly
Artist: Nathan Gooden
Colorist: Kurt Michael Russell
Letterer: Deron Bennett of AndWorld Design
Designer: Tim Daniel
Publisher: Vault Comics

Paul Tanasin is struggling. He is haunted by hallucinations of a strange world and has a ghostly companion of a sister he doesn’t remember having. No amount of therapy is helping his mental state. In Brandon Sanderson’s Dark One, the teenager discovers that he isn’t crazy— he is seeing prophecies from a strange world called Mirandus. And he’s the villain.

Based on a story by New York Times Bestselling, Hugo Award-winning author Brandon Sanderson, the Vault Comics original graphic novel is written by Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly and illustrated by Nathan Gooden. Colors are by Kurt Michael Russell, letters are by Deron Bennett of AndWorld Design, and designs are by Tim Daniel.

The story dances between two worlds: the earth we know and Mirandus, a fantasy plane that follows The Narrative, a history where the Dark One and a Champion of Light rise for an epic battle. This idea of duality flows throughout the story: light and dark, good and evil, real world and fantasy. While it is not the first story to tackle this concept, it does take an interesting perspective. Our expectations, especially our view of heroes and villains, are turned upside down. Paul, despite being the protagonist, turns out to be the next incarnation of the Dark One, a formidable foe that must be put down.

The story goes meta with the concept of The Narrative, the history that the people of Mirandus believe and follow without question. Diverging from it is a frightening thought and when The Narrative is challenged, the inhabitants struggle and rage against any change. It mirrors what happens to the reader as they dive deeper into the story and realize everything you expect from the actual narrative is obliterated.

Lanzing and Kelly deftly transform Sanderson’s plot into an exciting, layered adventure. Gooden and Russell create a beautiful combination of line art and colors, but they are frightening when they need to be, and the whole book is tied together by Bennett’s lettering choices for each character. The visuals make a clear distinction between the universes as they exist side-by-side.

Brandon Sanderson’s Dark One works on all levels. Whether you isolate the story as-is or you delve deeper into the author’s commentary woven throughout, there is plenty to absorb and love about it. Even if you just like great art, it is worth picking up.

Dark One

Head over to Vault’s website to preorder Brandon Sanderson’s Dark One today.