Clothing optional, but it must be ripped

21Aug08

The very cool Randy Queen sent me a copy of the Darkchylde trade, as I mentioned before. Since it’s not new, it’s really not that relevant to post on GEN, so I figured I’d put my review on my own blog for you guys to read (although JC, if you want me to tweak it for ComicNerd that’s no problem-o, just let me know!).

So here we go, wheeee!

Darkchylde is original and fun; a heartwarming (err, in a way … you’ll see) yet heartbreaking story of a young woman named Ariel Chylde. At seventeen, she’s gorgeous but she carries a haunted, sad aura about her that makes her even more enigmatic—especially to a character named Perry Stodghill. Perry’s a rare specimen himself: a high school jock who actually genuinely has a heart and is perhaps mature beyond his years.

Let’s backtrack. The trade—spanning five issues (although I did some digging and there’s more Darkchylde out there, which I definitely want to check out)—literally starts out with a nightmare, a nightmare not unlike the ones that have been haunting Ariel for some time now. However, Ariel will soon discover that her “nightmares” aren’t just figments of her imagination, and by the end of chapter one they literally manifest in reality.

A man—more like a demon who has taken an outward human form after being banished from the Nightmare Realm—named Kauldron is interfering in Ariel’s life, causing her to summon and transform into demons from her nightmares. Or from the Nightmare Realm, to be exact: an alternate plane of existence that is embedded within us all.

There are HUNDREDS of these buggers, but Queen turns what could be mindless creatures of darkness on their heads and gives a bunch of them (the main demons in the story) distinct personalities. I think my favorite is Flatulence … all right?! 😉 (Darkchylde joke, Darkchylde joke!)

This might all seem a little far-fetched (although it IS fiction … yeesh ;D ), but the story is interesting and so are all the characters. As the plot unfolds, we learn more about Ariel and how she factors into Kauldron’s scheme. We get a better idea of how things work in the Nightmare Realm and the demons in it (there’s some light, believe it or not, even in the darkest places).

Perhaps the most interesting dynamic of the story is Ariel and Perry’s relationship. It starts out as typical flirting, but quickly is forced to become something more mature (and dangerous). Perry steps up, protecting and comforting Ariel when she needs him—or any human being, for that matter—most. (And dude, how many guys would a) not go all stupid when they see a beautiful naked girl several times over and b) not freak out and run away when she turns into a horrendous demon? Answer: just Perry, and he rocks for it.)

More beautifully, though, is how Queen handles these two characters in particular. Despite how they feel about each other—on a spiritual and emotional level, really—they never kiss and they don’t get a happy ending. Kudos to you, Randy. I admire that decision, and it worked very well for the story.

Darkchylde might boast a stunning, practically naked (and sometimes just plain naked) girl that would make any fanboy drool, but beyond the pretty pencils and alluring colors (which are both great) there’s something deeper than what you see on paper. Darkchylde is something special.

So thank you, Randy, for giving me the opportunity to read it. I’m glad you did, and I can’t wait to see what you do on Starfall. I’m sure it’ll be great!

Anyway, pick Darkchylde up! It’s worth it.

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2 Responses to “Clothing optional, but it must be ripped”

  1. 1 Reay

    Ok, so I’m confused.

    Ages back, when I worked in a local comic shop(pe), I recall reading about a character I thought was called Darkchylde and she was… Colossus’s?… sister. Or somesuch. And she was red skinned and black haired and I think black eyed. And hooved. Or not. I may totally be making that part up. But it sounds good, at least.

    And the last I recall seeing (or hearing) of her was with her death, and it was apparently all sad because she looked evil but was really nice and the whole thing was a tragedy.

    So am I totally misremembering that character (and hey, I may well be), or is this a reboot of the character, or is it just a carried over spirit from back then, or a whole different take on the same brand name (like the next Slayers in line after Buffy), or what’s the deal?

  2. 2 WITA

    LOL run-on comments are fun. ;D

    Good question! You’re halfway correct. Colossus does have a sister named Illyana, and one of her aliases is Darkchylde—but more notably, Magik.

    Randy Queen’s Darkchylde, however, is totally different—not a reboot, not a reincarnation, just a completely separate comic chica. 🙂


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