The Whispering Dark by Christofer Emgard and Tomas Aira

The mission goes off the rails when the helicopter is wrecked behind enemy territory. Yet, the mountains should protect them from the encroaching Russian soldiers. The collected squad must find their way to safety with nothing but limited ammunition, a pocketful of go-pills, and fear. They travel through small outposts witnessing the atrocities of war on their way. Promoted to lead the crew on the death of the Captain, an untested officer, Hannah Vance, must test her faith in god and all the good of humanity.

How far will they go to save themselves? And what evils will they release from the Pandora’s Box of their souls? The devil rears his head and becomes a vivid character in the narrative. Feedings of guilt and unmasked aggression.

With not so subtle nods to Apocalypse Now, The Whispering Dark is a graphic novel that looks directly at the ills of modern combat. And the innocents that military goals are so easy to trample on civilians as collateral damage.

I found the plot to be intriguing with an underlying current of the unknown possibilities of this team of desperates. The immediate demands of the group intensify as the plot continues and they fight their way further into the peaks and valleys. There’s a point at which the reality becomes twisted and the story goes to a different and dark, surreal place.

My main criticism is with the artwork that I found to be heavy. Every character is outlined with a hard black that was distracting and didn’t allow for the full view their place in the scene.

The Whispering Dark is an exploration in the evil and darkness of humanity. A soldier’s escape becomes a test of inner courage and faith.

3 out of 5 stars

Thank you to Edelweiss, Dark Horse Books, and the authors for an advanced copy for review.

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