Comic Review: The Secret Land #1 (Dark Horse Comics)

The Secret Land #1, a new four-issue miniseries from Dark Horse, offers “Love and terror at the edge of the world”. Writer Christofer Emgård starts us off in the East […]

The Secret Land #1, a new four-issue miniseries from Dark Horse, offers “Love and terror at the edge of the world”.

Writer Christofer Emgård starts us off in the East China Sea during World War II, in June 1945. Hitler is now dead, so focus turns to the remaining Allied action in the Pacific Ocean. Ben has heard that his fiancee Katherine has been killed during a spy operation in Germany. However we readers learn that Katherine is indeed alive, and working underground in the last battles against the Third Reich. It ain’t over til it’s over!

It’s a spy love story, with plenty of great dialogue and plot development. Emgård has a good grasp on how to keep us interested in his characters. It’s “show, not tell” at its most entertaining. Both Ben and Katherine are in danger 24/7 in their respective battle zones. The ever-present threat of being discovered, shot at, or both! And wait… there is a horrible experiment underway in an underground bunker!

Artist Tomas Aira (art and colour) has a nicely descriptive line style, descriptive that is, without gloss. The characters are well-rendered, the panels have air around the figures, cropping things just right. The colour is full palette, lush and atmospheric. There are some nice face modeling subtleties too; light breaking across the facial features, hair highlights, and so on. Plenty here to enjoy!

Lettering is by Mauro Mantella

Dark Horse, The Secret Land #1 (of 4), $3.99 for 30 pages of content.

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!