Synopsis: Lake Of Fire starts in 1220 AD, and the gears of the Albigensian Crusade grind on. When an alien spacecraft infested with a horde of bloodthirsty predators crash-lands in the remote wilderness of the French Pyrenees, a small band of crusaders and a Cathar heretic are all that stand between God’s Kingdom and Hell on Earth.
Review: Written, Coloured and Inked by Nathan Fairbairn and drawn by Matt Smith. ‘Lake Of Fire’ is an adventure series published through image comics, which takes the reader back to the Crusades in 1220.
The story kicks off in the middle of night when a sleeping shepherd witnesses the landing of an alien vessel, but does not live long enough to tell any tales.
After a grim beginning the story flips to elsewhere in France as two riders. A knight and his Squire are making their way to enter service. A fools errand is constructed to send the foolish young Knight on a mission to seek out heresy in the borderlands. But instead of finding heretics our group of knights and their one monk find hungry vicious Aliens. Which serves to be truly a trial by fire for the rookie knights. Their party is forced to retweet back to the keep.
At its core this feels like a somewhat classic oddball hero story. In that it is sort of a rags to riches story with a touch of that very dry sort of humour that you’d often find in the 70’s ‘Bad News Bears’ movies. The story has a real serious undertone to it.
I found it a little difficult to read if honest. Which was due to the fact that I felt a little detached from the characters and the plot seemed to not really feel very tightly constructed. The humour and camaraderie among the knights was well written and thought out and a fun read. But from the story point of view. I think Lake Of Fire needs a little more time to figure out exactly what sort of story it is trying to tell. The humour and the somewhat serious plot felt a little at odds to me.
As far the the Art Work goes. I love what Matt Smith has done here. The aliens put me in mind of some of the aliens that you’d see in a ‘Men In Black’ movie. But the facial expressions on the characters as well as the close ups of eyes and such worked really well and played as very dramatic. Fairborn’s colour work on the book is wonderful and by far the best aspect of the book.
Over all though. This story has got off to a bit of a mixed start. But I’m intrigued enough to come back and try the second issue.