‘Dark Rage:’ Graphic Novel Review

On a normal day in a supermarket, people gather to partake in a daily tradition. Something we don’t even think about; it’s second nature. We’ve moved from hunters and gatherers to purchasers and complainers. Customer service has taken on the slowly evolving task of the big hunt. We hunt for coupons now: deals - the ability to go about our business without being bothered. This is how the story of Dark Rage - inspired by true events - begins. Moments later, men in white masks, armed to the teeth, lay waste to nearly a dozen shoppers. It’s bloody, it’s tragic, and it changes the lives of two women who become inexplicably tied together, forever.

Marielle Meyer is divorced, her son killed during the brutal attack. Stella de Finghini lost her husband and her child. It’s these losses that entwine them, along with the continuing brutal attacks at other supermarkets, that encourage them to take justice into their own hands.

Dark Rage isn’t your typical revenge story, because it follows the beating heart of film noir. (Think Chinatown, Detour, or Odds Against Tomorrow.) Nothing is as it seems, and not everyone is who they claim to be, nor involved for the reasons they say they are. The story peels back, layer after layer, revealing more and more, and the tension builds.

When the story came to a close and I read that it was inspired by real-life events, my only thought was, “Of course it was!” The turns that this story takes caught me by surprise in a way that only the events of a real-life event could.  In this way, it reminded me of Dog Day Afternoon. I don’t know which elements of the story were altered, but creators Thierry Smolderen and Philippe Marcelé have done an exquisite job of plotting and pacing this slow burn of a story that you don’t need to know. No matter how out of the blue some of the story beats feel, you buy it, because the emotional center of the story is so strong, and because reality is often stranger than fiction.

I love the look and feel of this book, too. The colors bring a very cool, 1960s vibe to everything. The palette for each location and situation is kept effectively simple with dashes of blues, reds, and yellows to give the book a swagger that it earns.

I’m very much in love with this book.


Creative Team: Thierry Smolderen (writer), Philippe Marcelé (art), Sophie Bernés (colors),
Publisher: Humanoids
Click here to purchase.



Go to top