Marvel’s Spider-Man Leads Heroes Against Apocalypse in Dark Ages #6

Dark Ages #6 draws the apocalyptic story to a rushed if satisfactory conclusion, with stunning artwork and almost every Marvel hero and villain.

When the heroes of the Marvel universe first felt the earth-shattering tremors, no one knew that a mechanical giant, corrupted by dark energy, was trying to break free from the Earth’s core. To stop this Unmaker, Doctor Strange, with his dying breath, opened a portal to a realm emanating perpetual electromagnetic pulses. While this stopped the machine in its tracks, it also plunged the world into total darkness and prevented the operation of any electrical equipment. Gradually, society adapted to these changes and unified under the leadership of the superheroes to create their own corner of Utopia. in the Dark Ages series, dark forces are plotting as Apocalypse wants a taste of the Unmaker’s powers. Spearheaded by the talented team of writer Tom Taylor, artist Iban Coello, colorist Brian Reber, and letterer VC’s Joe Sabino, Dark Ages #6 takes the fight to the first mutant and his formidable lackeys.

Dark Ages #6 opens with Miles Morales explaining how he met Venom after the world went dark. Eventually, the symbiote Carnage merged with them and since then, they have been working for Apocalypse with the promise of a way out of the planet once the powers come back on. The story then cuts away to the Louvre Museum in Paris, where En Subah Nur is forcing the world’s greatest minds to find a way to block the electromagnetic pulse. Tony Stark has drafted a plan, but he needs a strong metal like adamantium. Luckily, Apocalypse has one three-clawed adamantium deposit in his dungeon from him. Meanwhile, Spider-Man and the other heroes, including Doctor Doom, have reached Paris, where familiar faces welcome them.

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Wolverine fights Cyclops in Dark Ages #6

Since the first issue, Dark Ages has been a story about survival. Be it an onslaught by Ghost Raiders or impending doom brought on by the tyrant Apocalypse, Tom Taylor’s writing speaks of the human nature to fight back against all odds, especially when the lives of loved ones are at stake. The heroes have suffered insurmountable losses, as well as regained old comrades during their journey to Europe, while the villains anticipate the successful completion of their insidious plan. This makes for interesting exchanges between characters of both camps as the atmosphere charges up for war. Despite the banter and witty quips, the narrative falls prey to cliched tropes, turning characters into one-dimensional cardboards, as the rush to reach an amicable ending becomes the utmost priority. Although Spider-Man’s first-person narration serves as an exposition for readers, his tense play-by-play account reduces the visual storytelling to a mere montage of action scenes.

Artist Iban Coello’s clean contour lines and bold inking add animated energy to the panels. There is a definite influence of Japanese manga art in his pencil work, but the way he wraps the characters in grit and grime, using profuse amounts of hatching, gives an intense look to the visuals. Almost every Marvel superhero and supervillain makes an appearance in this issue in a climactic tale that is reminiscent of old-school, all-out battles. Coello gives each of them a weathered look and additional pieces of garb to account for the time-lapse. Colorist Brian Reber uses muted tones in the background and vivid shades on the characters to create a distinctive feel of an apocalyptic event.

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Moon Girl planning with Doctor Doom in Dark Ages #6

Barring the glaring narrative and pacing issues, Dark Ages #6 is an entertaining alternate universe tale set on an excellent premise that has the right amount of action and suspense. The story also does not shy away from showing a bit of gore and violence, which adds more flavor to the visually stunning artwork of Coello. However, there are moments in the book where fan-favorite characters meet an anticlimactic end out of nowhere that could rub fans the wrong way. While such graphic imagery showcases the ruthlessness of the antagonist, the sacrifices do not actually contribute to the plot. Still, Dark Ages #6 gives the miniseries a satisfactory end and is a must-have for all comic book enthusiasts.

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