See the Review Rating Overview page for more information on how I rate each comic
This issues cover was done by interior artist John Bivens (The Grave Doug Freshley). It's an excellent portrayal of his art style and what you find in this issue.
Art, Colors & Inking 3/5
The art in this issue is provided by John Bivens and Kelly Fitzpatrick (Deceivers, Peter Panzerfaust, Suicide Risk) who was added this issue to provide colors. His art is interesting and fits the subject matter. Unlike last issue I had more issues with the overall quality of his work, there were several panels and scenes where symmetry was off and the art seemed rushed. I really enjoyed Kelly's use of style and techniques she uses for shading and coloring.
Layout & Flow 3/5
Unlike last issue this one did a little bit better job of explaining the story. It relied more on the narrative than Bivens' art. While I appreciated what they did in the first issue, I'm glad to see some actual story telling in this one. However there are still moments that are confusing for example the final pages aren't exactly clear until the very last page.
The creator of this series is Ryan Burton (Dead End Boys, The Adventures of Roopster Roux). I'm still holding out for this series and this one started to turn me around in favor of it. The story really starts to flesh out in this issue. We start the story with some monolgue about a demon and his control over a larger dinosaur or lizard or who knows what, before we are taken to where we left off last issue. It seems a group of nomadic people worship Sym. and the man and son who found her in the last issue are blackmailing and drugging people to come see the "Goddess". While interesting it still doesn't have much to do with the overall story. Burton then takes us back to the creators and we get a science lesson in spores. While again interesting even the others listening to this teachers lesson would rather learn about Sym and the Death Engine. It appears that they have lost faith and they believe the Death Engine and Sym have failed. We are eventually taken back to the nomads and Sym, before seeing the Death Engine activate once again. This was a point where the pacing got a little odd, we again are introduced to characters before eventually being left with a final page identical to last issue.
Verdict - 3 - (6/10) - (Buy Dark Engine) SAVE 10%
I really want to like this series. John Bivens' art is interesting and fits the story that Ryan Burton is trying to tell. The problem still lies in the actual story we are reading. This issue does better in fleshing out the story, but not enough IMO. We are told a story of a tribe worshiping Sym, before it goes back to her creators and learn about poison spores instead of Sym or the Death Engine. I hope things change next issue, or I for one will be dropping this series.