has it's cake and eats it and then
cake and eats
that as well. It gets a lot of comedy out of its evil dynamic, its fun when the hero to see the hero get backstabbed whilst monologuing and refreshing to follow people who'll just take the money and run. But why it works is that at the same time, the people in the group have a lot of good in them too. They clearly care for each other and it stops their deeds from becoming too disgusting to follow along and enjoy . Gort, their leader, is constantly spouting about being the Lord of Hellfire and slaying those who gets in his way and at the same time it's obvious that he's insecure, he's aware that hes not very intelligent and has a lot of respect for his companions, the bravado is their to stop him getting hurt (of course he does get caught up in it sometimes). And in fact towards the middle of the story, there's an absolutely gut wrenching reveal about Gort, that brings an air of tragedy to everything if you really think about it.
-And yet at the same time, these people are evil and so they've all got their own motivations and are all willing to plot and connive to get their own way in interesting ways.
-AND if you think all this is a bit cheap, having evil guys but also making them sympathetic, there are some moments towards the middle when things get dark and you get a glimpse of how this isn't all fun and games and there's fallout from it
The creator was learning along the way with Darken, the art gets better rapidly and really hits its stride when the colour starts coming in and she's not afraid to experiment with different storytelling techniques, unreliable narrators and even a mystery story(with a solution in the post below) right up until the end (which is pretty satisfying).
Darken never pretends to seek importance, it's not trying to change your life. It's fun little jokes and pages that combine to make fun little short stories and sidequests that combine to make complicated twisting and turning arcs about a group of people who just want to get rich, gain power and conquer the plains (and maybe beat up an archdemon whilst they're at it), that just so happens to have these power emotional sucker punches along the way and who doesn't want that?