FromSoftware and Bandai Namco Entertainment, creators of the Dark Souls series, have seen their acclaimed video games come to life in the comic book world. Titan Comics has brought together a collection of dark and deadly short stories to Dark Souls: Legends of the Flame #2. Each story presented in this comic book has its own similarly styled warrior at the center of its plot; however, their fates are quite different. One might choose a path leading to fighting a grotesque, spider-like creature, while another is thrust into battle because it is his sole purpose: to entertain the masses in a fight to the death.
The cover depicts this life-or-death theme perfectly. Artist Ben Templesmith crafts two figures summing up the premise of each story onto one page. In the forefront, an armored knight kneels before a fire with his sword plunged into the bright light. The background is hauntingly different with a demonic beast wielding two deadly, spiked ball and chains, while flames scream from its horrifying face. This ghastly cover image lets the reader know what kind of epic struggle will be had within.
Each story has its own author and illustrator presenting a different take on the world captured in Dark Souls. The introduction and the final story represent opposites within this frightening world. One has its knight choose what path to follow, ultimately determining his fate, while the latter pits one captive in an unrelenting struggle for survival, fighting monsters one after another, where he’s not given any choice whatsoever.
Writer Dan Watters and artist Caspar Wijngaard create the second story capturing a hero’s tale of wanting to fight for true love and destroy a claw-like and “callous monster.” Greens and reds highlight the hero and the villain, emphasizing a single perspective that makes this legend stoically unique. The third tale is also unique as writer Cassandra Khaw and artist Daniele Serra showcase a world blurred by those who are expected to be the hero from those that protect the world from darkness. Morbid creatures represent a terrifying glimpse into a world struggling to survive, with those bravely wielding swords embodying “that which hold us human.”
Legends of the Flame pulls its readers into a vivid, imaginative world with gruesome characters and action sequences. The comic book displays violence similar to the “Game Play Footage” published for Dark Souls III: Ashes of Ariandel, which makes this comic book for mature audiences only.
Dark Souls: Legends of the Flame #2 is available for print and digital form.