Artist: Dimmu Borgir
Title: “Dark Fortress”
Publisher: Terminal Press
Release Date: June 2009
Genre: Comic Book
I have been a comic book geek since the earliest days of my youth when I remember being focused on the Adam West “Batman” TV show from days long passed. I watched it intently and am pretty sure that at one point during these formative years that I actually wanted to be Batman but of course life circumstances and a healthy dose of something called reality this would never be a pursuit that I would follow. Of course the love of comic books continued and I religiously followed the adventures of Spider-Man, Green Lantern and far too many more than I can outline in this brief space. My passion for music grew at the same time and when my favorite band KISS was forever immortalized in a Marvel Comics Super Special, I thought I had died and gone to heaven and think that I read these adventures no less than 100 times. Musical artists in comic books were not something entirely new, but in the past decades had been immortalized more as themselves making guest appearances in a particular title as opposed to carrying out their own adventures. We would eventually find The Beatles and Alice Cooper doing Marvel Comics releases and then KISS would return for a follow story which was god awful in comparison to the first incredible story but beyond that we would not see many bands crossing over into the four color realm. That is until the last few years at least. Believe it or not KISS returned for a new comic that presented them as an elemental force of mysticism and for the most part this was a solid read and the better thing about it was its being able to present the band as something much more than we know them to be. This leads us to the subject matter of “Dimmu Borgir: Dark Fortress”.
Delivered by Terminal Press, “Dimmu Borgir: Dark Fortress” gives us the Symphonic Black Metal band as we have never seen them before – as evil forces of Hell during Medieval Times. I had the chance to peruse the comics preview edition this afternoon and wanted to give you some thoughts about it. The setting of the story begins in a forest where several warriors of good are on a quest to obviously face our antagonists in Dimmu Borgir on their own land. The artwork is provided by Narek Gevorgian and is rather different from the kind that I am used to in the comics and almost appears like paintings and photographs that have some animated style over them. It’s unique but might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Brian Ferrara handles the script of the book and the way that the dialogue flows it seems as though we are reading one heroes thoughts as well as “hearing” his conversations with his comrades. The preview edition leaves the reader hanging on the brink of curiosity about what they will actually encounter as the three warriors reach the outskirts of the damned region that Dimmu Borgir call their home. Presumably, this is the Dark Fortress that the comic is titled after. From the looks of it, it is a bleak and sinister place that one would do well to avoid. We don’t actually see Dimmu Borgir in their malignificence in the preview edition in terms of the storyline, but we do have several posters of the band instead that make this version a true collector’s item. There are four such posters and I think that I liked the first two the most since they are the most dramatic. While the posters are a welcome treat for the readers it would have been nice to see the group decimate the knights because you know that something like this is in store for them as the story goes forward in some fashion. This isn’t an Archie comic after all.
So what are my thoughts on the premise of Dimmu Borgir being stars of a comic book you might ask? Well, given the overall popularity of bands like KISS who managed to make a series last for a number of issues and the recent juggernaut of a television series that focuses on a mythical Death Metal band called Dethklok on “Metalocalypse” then the probability for success is potentially high. My hope is that the writers use the elements of evil that the band sings about and blends this with a bit of a Hellraiser aesthetic and finds the band showing no mercy on their enemies and being as sinister and black hearted as their image presents them as being. Since this is not a kiddie comic book they can utilize the gore factor a little bit and will probably not worry too much about expletives from time to time. That would work because how often does a person say “oh my goodness” when his limbs are ripped from their body? My preview edition only ran with eleven pages of story and my guess is that the group makes their appearance not too much farther in. I just didn’t get the chance to see it since the ending was like something out of those serials where you must tune in next week. In the end I hope this comic book increases the bands popularity and helps to sell more music since they are one of the best providers of the Symphonic Black Metal style these days. I can hardly wait to see how Shagrath and the boys are presented in the actual storyline and am certain that this mythical world in which they will walk shall never be the same. Be sure to lock your doors at night should you be a resident of these parts. Not that it will help you much in the end. This comic book can be ordered from the Terminal Press website which is listed for you below.
Dimmu Borgir’s real life adventures in music have been documented on the PiercingMetal.com site where we have reviewed many of their releases. Clicking this LINK will bring you to all of this content which we hope you will enjoy. We have also presented the bands last headlining appearance in NYC that we covered back in 2007 via this LINK. Infernal Hails mortals. Don’t be afraid of the dark and instead, embrace it………
Oh and for the curious ones out there, “yes I still have that KISS comic book” 🙂
UPDATE: This comic’s release has been put on hold based on the fact that a number of lineup changes had affected the band shortly after it was completed. Late in 2009 both ACS Vortex and Mustis were fired from the Dimmu Borgir lineup and their likenesses are in this comic book. One can only wonder if we shall ever see it released with this being the case.