Once upon a time, we lived alongside Legends. Creatures of myth. Centaurs, fauns, gorgons, kelpies, gnomes, and more. They were spectacular. Majestic. Powerful. Peaceful. Pure. In comparison, we were ugly. Weak. Warmongering. Rotten. Is it any wonder we could not live alongside them any longer? After driving these Legends to the fringes of society, an uglier form of mythos takes shape in the form of rumors of live snuff shows for dark web high rollers. When a mysterious young woman, Nessa, enlists the help of a hacker to take a tour of the grisliest corners of the Dark Web, she sets in motion a war between those who peddle to mankind’s darkest fantasies and a world that transcends imagination. Trojan is a fantasy thriller full of wonder and horror in equal measure.
AWA Studio’s newest title, TROJAN, follows the story of a young woman, Nessa, who lives in a world where creatures of myth and legend are real. This is not a story of wonder and joy though, this is a story about the worst people the world has to offer. Trojan #1 introduces us to its main character in the back of an alley, while a man with horns is beaten to a pulp. Nessa is on a journey of her own which involves embroiling herself in the seedy underbelly of the internet, the dark web. As the issue continues, we start to get familiarized with this universe which mirrors that of the world we live in. The dark web is full of all of the illegal horrors that many people associate with it. The twist here comes when the fantasy aspects cross over with this and we start seeing snuff shows where these creatures of myth and legend are tortured and killed, live on camera for people’s enjoyment. As the issue wraps up, we learn the motivations behind Nessa, setting up a story that definitely will not be suitable for all audiences.
As a fan of mature comics such as Preacher, The Boys, and Saga, I was completely and utterly shocked by TROJAN #1. This title lives up to its mature rating exponentially. Usually, mature comics feature blood, gore, swearing, and nudity; but it’s rare to see a comic take this all to the next level, featuring all of the aforementioned as well as torture. Readers who may find any of those topics triggering may want to steer clear of this book.
That being said, this book is facinating.
Daniel Kraus is no stranger to writing in this sort of world. He has previously worked with Guillermo del Toro on the “Shape of Water” novelization and completed an unfinished George A Romero novel, “The Living Dead.” He’s also written his own novels such as “Rotters,” which includes horror elements such as grave robbing and other macabre activities. Needless to say, Trojan takes all of that to the next level. The way this issue is crafted shows how familiar Kraus is with this kind of story. Based solely on the premise, one could easily dismiss Trojan as a typical, “fantasy meets the regular world with a twist,” kind of story, but the way Kraft tells this narrative really makes it wholly unique. Kraus definitely wants to talk about the things going on behind the scenes of everyday life that many people may not be aware of, but also wants to make this a story about the lengths people may go to protect the ones they love.
The concept of exploring the world of the dark web is interesting alone, adding in the mythical elements is what sets this story apart and will make readers want to come back to see where this goes. Laci’s art is gorgeous to look at, even when he is drawing graphic torture scenes. Laci is a Serbian artist who many fans of US comics may not recognize, but after reading this issue, many readers will want to keep an eye on him. It’s a shame that Laci didn’t draw the cover as well. The cover art is serviceable and does a good job highlighting the different themes that Trojan explores, but the art inside the book is what really is going to sell it. Much of this first issue takes place in a dirty alley and Laci really makes it feel dirty through the depiction of the main and background characters, but also in subtle imagery such as the graffiti on walls. Laci also takes the time to draw Christmas decorations and lights along the walls and across the alley, to remind readers that people who live in these areas are real people. It’s small things like this that help paint the world these characters are living in and bring a sense of familiarity.
Trojan is a dark and twisted glimpse into a world of fantasy that depicts some of the darkest desires humanity has to offer. This issue will definitely not be suitable for all audiences but anyone willing to take the dive in will become hooked by the end.
AWA Studios TROJAN #1: Explore Humanities Darkest Desires
- Writing - 9/109/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Art - 10/1010/10
- Color - 10/1010/10
- Cover Art - 7/107/10
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