ARTFUL DAGGERS #11
Written by Adam P. Knave & Sean Williams
Art by Andrew Losq
Published by Monkeybrain Comics
Release date: April 30, 2014
The new arc of the Middle-Ages-thrown-about-with-modern-technology series continues to plant enticing mysteries for readers to solve. For those who do not know, Artful Daggers takes the premise that it’s been fifty years since the events of Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court have taken place. Now, future technology along with corporate structure and exploitation has wiggled it’s way into society, mostly affecting warfare.
The original arc, “Fifty Years Later,” now out in trade paperback, as well as on Comixology, introduced this society full of corporations and the espionage spy groups, such as the Tricksters, at war with one another. However, this new arc seems to be focusing more on the growing number of mysteries that have developed since the series began. There is an unknown assassin running around, whose movements have helped the Tricksters and Kent United seems to be gearing up for a major move in the war and Arden’s relationships with those around her do not seem to be on the most even footing. While reading past issues makes for a more enjoyable experience, each issue includes recaps at the beginning.
Knave and Williams continue to create a sense of tension and adventure by touching on the yet to be revealed assassin. There is also subtle references in the dialogue and tone of the characters to continue to grow the complex relationships that have been developing. While some conversations are obvious, other plot points might require even ardent fans to review of the previous volume. Reading the series from the beginning, or at least from issue ten is helpful due to all the schemes and plotting that are happening. With action and violence around every corner, there is plenty to move the intrigue along.
Losq’s art continues to be striking and beautiful. Traditionally, this book reads as one that would be just a black and white story. However, the dark swaths of inking are highlighted with specific color choices throughout. Oranges and bright pinks are used for skin tones. Most backgrounds are given solid colors or gradients that fall off into white. It makes this Camelot location take on a very modern art feeling, which is exactly the point, but might be a struggle for those who favor more traditional styles.
Those not reading this series are missing out on an explosion of creativity from both writers and artist.
The Verdict: 8.5/10
ARTFUL DAGGERS #11 is only $0.99 and is available exclusively in digital format through Comixology. Trade paper backs of each arc are published by IDW.