In desperation, alchemists on a cracked and ruined Earth—where dead men’s ashes rain down and a plague of spore-beasts terrorize the living—create Sym. She is their last hope, their Savior. The mysterious figure at the heart of the Image Comics graphic novel DARK ENGINE by Ryan Burton and John Bivens is a primal force. Her story begins in DARK ENGINE VOLUME 1: THE ART OF DESTRUCTION, due in stores this winter.
Sent back in time to save humankind, Sym is a relentless killer, with gore in her long hair, ribsword in her hand, and a skull as her helmet. But what her creators do not realize is that, though they created her, Sym will not necessarily do their bidding.
“I wanted a female Beowulf…a Gilgamesh…a Kratos that didn’t shy away from her instincts, that was violent, that was fury-born,” said Burton of his fierce protagonist in an interview at Women Write About Comics. “That wasn’t afraid to get hurt or make a incredibly violent gambit in order to cut down her enemy. I believe that all women are a force of nature — they are capable, they are adaptable, they are scary smart. So with all that, it felt natural to make Sym a woman.”
With visceral, hard-etched art and action spanning epochs, DARK ENGINE is a graphic novel experience that artist J.H. Williams III (Sandman: Overture, Promethea, Batwoman) describes as “an otherworldly horrific poetic movement that is immediately immersive.”
DARK ENGINE VOLUME 1 will be in comic book stores on December 24, 2014 and in bookstores on January 6, 2015. It is available for pre-order now.