Comics Review: Archeologists of Shadows

Posted: November 7, 2012 by Andrew Keleher in Art, Comicology - Comic Books, Independent Comics
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Cover for Issue 1 of Archeologists of Shadows

Cover for Issue 1 of Archeologists of Shadows

Wanna read a comic about humans trying to escape a robot infested dystopia while trying to keep all of their limbs intact? Yeah, writer Lara Fuentes and artist Patricio Clarey thought you might…

With the increasingly advanced technology surrounding us in this day and age, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t occasionally joke about robots taking over the world. In the first volume of Archeologists of Shadows by Septagon Studios Inc., this nightmare scenario is reality.

The reader is introduced to two characters who seem to be half robot, half person. My initial thoughts were: “Sweet! These  two androids must be supreme badasses who use their robot-enhanced limbs to go Jason Bourne on their pitiful human enemies!” Turns out though, everyone else is nearly ALL robot (bad sign) and the robot gestapo has instructions to catch our heroes and turn them into full robots (REALLY bad sign) which obviously isn’t going to happen without a fight!

Right off the bat the first thing you’re going to notice about Archeologists of Shadows is the art. Patricio Clarey has a style that is dreamlike and gorgeous. His combination of fantasy based environments and character designs with nearly photo-realistic machine parts create a very Steampunk-esque atmosphere (prententious blog writing, holla!) The action sequences make you feel like you’re watching a particularly exciting movie and are definitely a highlight of the comic.

An example of Patricio Clarey’s character design

The writing by Fuentes is solid, albeit a bit cryptic (as most first volumes tend to be). There are no annoying characters and the dialogue seems both intelligent and intriguing.

Expectantly, there are a few flaws with Archeologists of Shadows…the blaring one for me being that I couldn’t even remember what the main characters’ names were. This may not seem like a big deal, but it speaks to a deeper problem: the characters’ personalities are not very interesting. Sure, the story is extremely interesting, but all of the character’s seem stoic and cryptic. I couldn’t tell you the main characters’ names to save my life because they didn’t stand out from the crowd at all.

The art suffers from a very similar problem. It is VERY hard,especially at the beginning, to differentiate between characters because everyone (seriously every character) looks like a robot.

Don’t get me wrong, the first issue of Archeologists of Shadows was still a worthwhile read, and if nothing else buy it for Clarey’s fascinating artistic style. If you like Steampunk you’ll probably enjoy it, if you like Sci-Fi you’ll probably enjoy it, and if you like robots…you’ll probably sleep with it under your pillow.

I just hope that everything becomes less cryptic in Volume 2 and Fuentes lets us in on some of the secrets of this interesting world.


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