Dark Souls: The Complete Collection feels like a random collection of stories set in that world, like a bunch of unexpected dishes people bring to a potluck. However, fans of the games will only recognize one of them.

As the name implies, Dark Souls: The Complete Collection is a collection of various Dark Souls comic books, all set within the universe of the Dark Souls games by FromSoftware. Specifically: Dark Souls: The Breath of Andolus, Dark Souls: Winter’s Spite, Dark Souls: Legends of the Flame, and Dark Souls: The Age of Fire. George Mann is the writer for Dark Souls: The Breath of Andolus and Dark Souls: Winter’s Spite, with Alan Quah as the artist. Ryan O’Sullivan wrote Dark Souls: The Age of Fire, with Anton Kokarev as the artist. Various writers and artists, too numerous to name, were responsible for Dark Souls: Legends of the Flame. Lastly, Titan Comics is the publisher of the entire collection.

Dark Souls: The Complete Collection went on sale on November 9, 2021. You can purchase print copies at either your local comic book shop or directly from Titan Comics themselves for that sweet paper feel. If you’re fine with the digital version, though, you can download it from Titan Comics as well. Depending on your preferences, you just get redirected to either ComiXology or Kindle.

Warning: spoilers for Dark Souls: The Complete Collection below. If you want to find out what sort of tales from the Dark Souls universe, stop here and return once the bonfire burns low.

Dark Souls: The Complete Collection ~ Plot Summary

Dark Souls: The Complete Collection cover art.
A scene which, unfortunately, does not happen exactly like this in the comic.

Due to the anthology nature of Dark Souls: The Complete Collection, the plot naturally varies between individual stories. Therefore, any plot summary has to be divided by story. In order, they go as follows:

Dark Souls: The Breath of Andolus:

Dark Souls: The Breath of Andolus cover art.
Is it just me, or does this sword look a bit overheated to you?

A female knight named Fira quests to free her kingdom from the undead plague alongside a mystic named Aldrich. Dark Souls III players might recognize the latter name. After fighting monsters, the undead, an evil witch, and demons in various orders, Fira reaches her destination. She revives the dragon Andolus, who she’s supposed to slay to bring her kingdom prosperity again. However, she decides that killing an innocent dragon for her kingdom was too much and lets him live after roughing him up a bit. Andolus leaves the kingdom to fall to darkness, and Fira wanders off after beating up Aldrich to keep him from killing Andolus. However, the epilogue states that Andolus intends to light a new fire for humanity at some point in the future.

Dark Souls: Winter’s Spite:

Dark Souls: Winter's Spite cover art.
I thought this was the Age of Fire?

A knight named Andred heads into a frozen land called Winterspite, locked in a crystal ball. His purpose is to find his family’s magic fire sword that someone stole from him. Unfortunately, he gets captured and is forced to be a gladiator for some undead noble. Fortunately, he breaks free and continues his journey. Then another undead noble catches him, but he breaks free too. Boy, these undead aren’t good with security. Anyways, Andred’s journey ends in a castle owned by a White Lady who created Winterspite. The guy who stole Andred’s magic fire sword comes in trying to kill the White Lady, only for Andred to kill him and take his magic fire sword back. Andred then heads back to his world, but the White Lady promises to keep a spot open for him in Winterspite.

Dark Souls: The Age of Fire:

Dark Souls: The Age of Fire cover art.
The one and only comic to actually take place in one of the games’ settings.

This comic is a prologue to the first Dark Souls game. The story follows a Silver Knight named Arkon, who fought with the gods against the Everlasting Dragons in ages past. Unfortunately, he flubs his first dragon kill, only for Artorias to rescue him. Arkon even accidentally takes credit for the kill, leading to no small amount of shame from him.

The story then fast-forwards some ages later, where Arkon and a group of his fellow Silver Knights are sent to Izalith to investigate rumors of demons overrunning the city. Those who know about Dark Souls’ plot understand what happened to the city. Anyways, the rumors turn out to be very accurate. Arkon and his Silver Knights try to clear out the city. They manage to fight to the Bed of Chaos, where they’re all turned into Black Knights. Arkon heads back to Anor Londo by himself, only to find that his god Gwyn has sacrificed himself to rekindle the First Flame. With no lord to serve anymore, and his friends dead or worse, Arkon eventually loses his mind. More ages passed, and then the Dark Souls protagonist kills him. The end.

Dark Souls: Legends of the Flame:

Dark Souls: Legends of the Flame cover art.
I think this guy is the Dark Souls protagonist, but I’m not certain.

An unnamed knight who may or may not be the Dark Souls protagonist meets an old woman with a black cat at a bonfire in some ruins. She tells him many assorted tales (complete with magical special effects) before he continues his quest through a mist door. Sometime later, he comes back to that same bonfire. Only the old woman is gone, and it’s just her cat. As it turns out, the kitty can talk, though, and happily continues the tale-telling. Unfortunately, the kitty turns out to be evil and wants to devour the knight’s soul…for some reason. Fortunately (?), the knight kills the evil kitty, and continues on his merry way.

Dark Souls: The Complete Collection ~ The Good

Dark Souls: The Age of Fire Kokarev variant cover.
You can tell from the cover alone this is the best of the bunch.

I can sum up the good of this collection in one sentence: Dark Souls: The Age of Fire. No, this isn’t the only good story. The Breath of Andolus is pretty good too, and it even features a female main character to boot. BUT. It just doesn’t hold a candle to The Age of Fire. The distinct art style combined with the epic dark fantasy story makes it stand out from all of the other comic series. Add in the fact that it’s the only one of these comics to actually take place within the game’s storyline, and you’ve got one heck of an adventure here. It’s definitely my favorite out of all of the tales here.

Dark Souls: The Complete Collection ~ The Bad

Dark Souls: Legends of the Flame #2 November 2016 variant cover E.
Not nearly as cool as this cover makes it look, unfortunately.

Out of all the tales in Dark Souls: The Complete Collection, Legends of the Flame is arguably the weakest of them all. It’s not exactly bad. It just feels like it’s the weakest of all the stories. Part of it is, I think, the anthology nature of Legends of the Flame. It’s already an anthology within an anthology, which makes it slightly redundant. The stories also vary wildly in quality. You have tales with amazing and/or unique artwork combined with good stories right next to the tales that are mediocre in both art and story. It feels a bit jarring, to be honest, and why it’s the worst of them all.

Source: Titan Comics