With summer almost being over I made a point in getting this done before school starts...
I'm gonna break this down into several categories which will also give points for the final talley of which wins in my opinion. The categories being: Characters, Quotes, Plot, Theme, and "Likeness".
The majority of the characters in Darkness Before Dawn , aren't specifically new to the album, with a few exceptions. We have many characters that play an important role to the story line and conflict of the plot. Knowing that we already know most of the characters at this point in the show, it's easy to portray a concern for the characters we've grown to love. Such as; Richard Maxwell almost dieing by flying out of the back of a moving car, Jason almost being put in jail, and Jack almost getting caught in an explosion with Regis Blackgaard. The bad guys here are ones we've pretty much grown to loathe and love both at the same time.
In The Green Ring Conspiracy, we're hit with a plethora of new characters, some of which were introduced in 51 and 52, such as Matthew and Emily whom we've had some time to grow attached to. But the "plethora" includes; Penny, Detective Polehaus, Agent Tanner, Derk Beggs, Dr. Graham, Archie Haggler, Buck Oliver, Mr. Skint, and maybe some I forgot. But as well as the norm recurring characters, it brought Katrina, and Jason whom we hadn't heard from since 50 or before. Another character that was brought back from way back when is Monty Whittaker, a huge surprise there.
Darkness Before Dawn has mostly characters that we already knew including the bad guys. The Green Ring Conspiracy has an overload of new characters, but counteracts this with action and intrigue. Though DBD wins in this category for it's usage of characters that we've had time to love and fear.
Quotes- For this section I have scanned through the quotes on aiowiki, picking the ones that stand out to me and compared them against each other.
"Rodney Rathbone: Thanks Pop, you won't regret it.
Bart Rathbone: I already do regret it. I still don't like any of this. And don't call me--
Rodney Rathbone: Hey, I'm on the phone Pop." -Angels Unaware
"Bryan Dern: (on the radio) Ladies and Gentleman Dr. Regis Blackgaard!
Connie Kendall: WHAT!!
Jason Whittaker: No it can’t be!
Regis Blackgaard: (on the radio) Hello, Odyssey, I’ve come home.
Connie Kendall: I can’t believe it!
Jason Whittaker: This is impossible, he’s, he’s dead!" -The Return
"Bernard Walton: Well, stuff me with feathers and call me a pillow!" - The Time has Come
"Jack Allen: I'm not here to save the world Dr. I'm here to save Odyssey nor even Whit's End. I'm here for you. For you're soul. That's the only thing that matters right now. Not money or power or computer programs or viruses or world terrorism. It all comes down to your soul."
"Jack Allen: So, you're...taking over the Israelites.
Jason Whittaker: Yeah.
Jack Allen: Well, I can't stop you...any more than I've been able to stop you from anything you've done over the past few months.
Jason Whittaker: Well, you always said I was stubborn like Dad.
Jack Allen: (chuckles sadly) Stubborn, yes...but not like your dad.
"Emily Jones: That's not the only thing, Eugene. You have to see what's inside this back pack.
Eugene Meltsner: Now this isn't a trick I hope. I wouldn't want to be surprised by a spring loaded snake or a collection of badly played banjo music.
Emily Jones: No, it's [the backpack] full of money.
Eugene Meltsner: Allow me. &lt;Gasps&gt; Loudly exclaimed euphemisms escape me! This is... &lt;whispers&gt; This is a lot of money! ~ Part 1
"Don Polehaus: I once kidnapped a cow after hitting my head in a car accident, but that's another story for another time." ~Part 3
"Buck Oliver: What are you doing?
Jay Smouse: Ahh! Me? I was just admiring your truck.
Buck Oliver: This truck?
Jay Smouse: Yeah, it's ...um... big!
Buck Oliver: You have a thing about big trucks?
Jay Smouse: Oh yeah. Ever since I was a kid, you know, (makes truck noises)
Buck Oliver: If you want to make friends, don't ever do noises like that again, OK?
Jay Smouse: Yeah." ~ Part 5
"Wally Haggler: Did you write everything down?
Jay Smouse: I think so, but I had to scribble on [the front of this] receipt from the hardware store, so it's kind of mixed up.
Wally Haggler: Let's hear it.
Jay Smouse: They drove the big truck back to a very nice house in a 40 gallon trash can.
Wally Haggler: What?
Jay Smouse: Sorry. Brentwood Estates. Then, they took the sheets off the hex-head cap screws.
Wally Haggler: Jay!
Jay Smouse: Furniture! Furniture! I told you this was a mess. And then they drove the big truck down to a lot near Gower's Field where the Tub Shelf Utility Cart is set up.
Wally Haggler: Uncle Archie's Carnival
Jay Smouse: Yeah, that. Then they got into a PVC plastic fitting.
Wally Haggler: Pickup truck.
Jay Smouse: Pickup truck and drove here to an iron gate on chrome pike.
Wally Haggler: Gold Camp Road." ~Part 5"
"John Whittaker: So how long are you gonna wait?
The Stiletto: Wait?
John Whittaker: To take off that disguise.
The Stiletto: Disguise?
John Whittaker: You know what I'm talking about.
The Stiletto: Now that's very interesting. I'm afraid the beard won't come off without a razor. However the hat will and the sunglasses. How's that?
John Whittaker: That's much better. It's good to see you again." ~Part 8
"Wooton Bassett: You know, I've always found that running along the top of a train gives me inspiration.
The Stiletto: Good, then that's what I'll do." ~Part 12
In GRC there are many more humorous quotes that stand out, rather than serious ones. But not only that, my favorite quote is the one where we find out that Jason is the Stiletto. Compared to DBD, the ones in GRC are sometimes more comical, and more ..the word escapes me...but you get the idea.
This album starts with Odyssey getting hit by different acts of vandalism. It kinda hits home in a way, because Odyssey and different locations that listeners and fans have to know and love are being hit. But it goes much deeper than that. As it progresses, we also hear about the isrealites, and their battle against the Bones of Wrath, A.K.A good vs evil. One twist in the album is Regis returning to Odyssey. Glossman, Regis and a newcomer Jellyfish, thicken the plot by trying to take over Odyssey and Whit's End. Blackgaard runs for mayor, and Richard returns to town to try to stop his evil plans. This album is packed chalk full action and suspense, including Blackgaard blowing up Whit's End and Jack almost not getting out alive.
The GRC takes a different angle. Around Odyssey, there is a counterfeit ring planning to transport a ton of counterfeit money across the country. Monty and Derk Beggs crash in an airplane which begins stirring up things in Odyssey. This album is full of suspense as well, but seems to work in more comedic moments. The biggest plot twist was when the Stiletto was revealed to be Jason Whittaker. My all time favorite character in AIO.
Both albums are great in their own way. But DBD has way more scary intense moments that GRC lacks. GRC is presented in a very suspenseful and quick paced way. Which it is easy to miss details that prove to be important later on. DBD has such an interesting plot that can easily fill everyone with distress and hatred towards the evil wreaking havoc on our favorite town. And our hatred doubles as it reveals our favorite villain Blackgaard is behind it all trying to become mayor and reign over Whit's End.
The themes presented in DBD are: Stewardship, Salvation and Spiritual Warship.
The themes presented in GRC include: Friendship, Lies, Trust, Honesty, Wisdom, Discernment, Deception, Loyalty, Redemption, Hope, Fraud, Change, Survival, Evil, Money, Good, Potential, Affection, Justice.
The GRC covers a more variety of themes, and is presented in a very interesting way. DBD has good themes too, but in a different way. So with that, GRC ties it up. So we move on to the last match.
DBD: There are so many aspects to DBD that is liked by fans. The fact that it goes on from episodes before it adds to the "likeness" of this album. But besides this it also has lots of excitement, Jason, and an epic conclusion.
GRC: The GRC has alot to like as well. The action, the excitment, humorous lines/quotes, and of course Jason's return.
It was tough to call this one, but DBD beats GRC in Likeness by a just a bit. Some of the reason being that it's more intense for older listeners. GRC still is definitely a favorite in my book don't get me wrong, but DBD tops it by just a little. I can say that GRC tops Novacom though.
Overall Winner: DBD
By a score of 3-2 DBD tops GRC by such a small margin.