Writer/Artist: Ted Naifeh
After the Night and her comrades saved the City of Umber from the army raised by the Cult of Uhlume, things have returned to normal. “Normal”, being the city on the edge of riot, with political disputes coming to a boiling point while people starve in the streets, barely able to afford bread.
In the aftermath of their adventures, the heroes who saved Umber are in various states of running to their previous lives. The magus Wikan has taken to the streets, hoping to make a living by selling the tales of how he saved Umber to the people, but no one seems to care to listen. Corentine has begun practicing medicine in the temple, much the the ire of another priest who does not see the gods in science. Azmeer seems to be adrift, no longer welcome as one of the Asps after his conscious caused him to fail a mission, but his former master, his father, reaches out to him with hopes of reconnecting. The Night has since retired, with no goal now that he brother is dead, but she’s soon contacted by the Furie, who has uncovered a plot involving the Asps using the political upheaval in Umber to their own advantage.
The second season of Night’s Dominion has a slow start that nevertheless manages to be engaging by leaning heavily on the likeable characters of the first season and setting each of them up with their own storylines to follow in future. A few of these tie into each other, The Night protecting a politician outside the bar she works at from Asps leads her to cross paths with the Furie, who is at the center of everything, and it’s easy to see how Azmeer will get involved now that his father, the master of the Asps, is trying to reconnect with his son. For the most part, the characters are on their own, and while each only gets a brief appearance in this first chapter, they’re no less compelling individually than they were as a group.
That’s what really shines in this first chapter, the strength of the characters. Ted Naifeh’s art is of course still excellent as it paints a picture of the City of Umber and the people within with great personality, though it still struggles with making action clear, but it’s the strength of the characters that makes this comic compelling.
If one element is short-changed it’s the world-building. The plot seems to be revolving around the current political situation in Umber, and there are a handful of references to the state of affairs in the city, but it’s all done through hints and dialogue so far, nothing is shown or understood about how Umber has changed since it was attacked by the Cult of Uhlume.
Still, Night’s Dominion has a strong cast of characters that are compelling individually and as a group, and it relies on those characters in setting up a new conflict for our heroes to deal with.
Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.