Dark Ark (Vol. 1): Forty Nights: A ship of horrors

Dark Ark (Vol. 1): Forty Nights by Cullen Bunn (writer) & Juan Doe (artist)

DDark Ark volume one by Cullen Bunn and Juan Doeark Ark is a wonderfully disturbing horror story about the flood of forty days and forty nights. But this story is not about Noah’s ark. This is about a different ark — one that we have never heard of. Noah’s ark saved the natural creatures for the new world, but the dark ark saves the unnatural creatures. It’s a great premise that allows Cullen Bunn to put a bunch of vampires, monsters, and other unholy beings together in one place.

Issue one gives us the backstory, which explains why these creatures do not go ahead and feast on the animals in Noah’s ark: The counterpart to Noah on the dark ark is a sorcerer commanded by Satan, or some such demonic being, to build this ark. If he does not, he and his family will suffer eternity in hell. However, if he successfully builds the ark and saves the creatures aboard, making it through the flood, he and his family will be free of their allegiance to this evil being. The sorcerer is also commanded to protect Noah’s ark so that there is plenty of food in the new world for the inhabitants of the dark ark. The creatures have the run of most of the ship except down below deck in a closed-off room, where the sorcerer has a circle of human sacrifices chained in the ship’s hold, one of whom is best friends with one of the sorcerer’s daughters.

There is much to like about volume one: a mutiny, visiting angels, a murder mystery, swimming vampires, and two out-of-place unicorns. The only downside is there is not much closure at the end of the five issues collected in this book. You will be left wanting more, and luckily there are two more volumes of five issues each. And if that does not satisfy you, Cullen Bunn has started a new story about the Dark Ark, beginning over again with an issue one. Solid storytelling and appropriately dark art make Dark Ark worth checking out.


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BRAD HAWLEY, who's been with us since April 2012, earned his PhD in English from the University of Oregon with areas of specialty in the ethics of literature and rhetoric. Since 1993, he has taught courses on The Beat Generation, 20th-Century Poetry, 20th-Century British Novel, Introduction to Literature, Shakespeare, and Public Speaking, as well as various survey courses in British, American, and World Literature. He currently teaches Crime Fiction, Comics, and academic writing at Oxford College of Emory University where his wife, Dr. Adriane Ivey, also teaches English. They live with their two young children outside of Atlanta, Georgia. Read Brad's series on HOW TO READ COMICS.

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2 comments

  1. It’s certainly an interesting idea!

  2. Sandy Ferber /

    A terrific premise, indeed!

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