Dark Agents, Book One
Violet and the Trial of Trauma
Published by: New Harbinger Publications
Imprint: Instant Help
This spellbinding graphic novel follows the adventures of Violet—a young witch whose parents were murdered when she was a child. As she wages war against necromancers and demons, Violet learns to overcome her internal monsters as well.
In this groundbreaking comic book for teens and young adults, we meet Violet—a witch whose parents were murdered by an evil necromancer when she was only six years old. Running from country to country, as well as from herself, Violet never gets a chance to fully process her traumatic experience.
When she turns 19, Violet begins training at the Underworld Intelligence Agency (UIA) in hopes of becoming a Dark Agent—someone tasked with keeping the balance between the world of the living and the world of the undead. During her training, Violet hopes to finally overcome her fear of death and take control of her emotions, but instead she finds that mindfulness, vulnerability, and acceptance are the skills most necessary to help her succeed.
Blended seamlessly throughout the story are elements of a powerful and evidence-based treatment called acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). Whether or not you’ve experienced a traumatic event like Violet, you’ll find valuable skills you can apply to your own life to help you conquer your demons and hone your unique superpowers.
Note for therapists: Dark Agents presents the core skills of ACT in a fun, narrative format to appeal to teen readers. In this comic, teens will learn all about mindfulness, defusion, self-compassion, and values-based living. The book doesn't feel like a therapist recommendation—which is exactly what makes it perfect for your teen clients!
“A young witch trains to become an agent of the Underworld Intelligence Agency....Violet and her fellow recruits learn how to use their powers, engage in the art of combat, and, most importantly, understand their emotions. Scarlet draws from her experience as a psychologist to offer this self-help graphic fantasy that blends Greek mythology and education with a strong focus on the principles of mindfulness. Violet's PTSD and the other recruits' mental health struggles are addressed head-on and compassionately explored as the most meaningful lessons in their training....While the focus is on the psychological background of the characters, the worldbuilding is fun, fast-paced, and engaging. Violet is white, and there is diversity in the rest of the cast. Thoughtful, fun, and educative.”~Kirkus Reviews
“Dark Agents is a classic tale with a contemporary edge. Through this work, Scarlet has given the world a gift by which to better identify, understand, and overcome our own monsters.”~Christine Boylan
—Christine Boylan, television writer and producer of The Punisher, Once Upon a Time, and Cloak & Dagger; and cofounder of Bespoke Plays
“In Dark Agents, through Janina Scarlet’s skills and expertise in helping her patients cope with depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), she has managed to craft a fun, adventurous, and compassionate story that is not only engaging, but quite educational, too.”~Deric A. Hughes
—Deric A. Hughes, writer and co-executive producer for Arrow, Scream: Resurrection, and The Flash
“Not since Yoda trained Luke has a story so accurately addressed the importance of a hero training not just their body, but their mind. Scarlet weaves real therapeutic practices seamlessly into her narrative so the reader can grow right alongside Violet and her friends.”~Lora Innes
—Lora Innes, author and artist whose works include The Dreamer and Wynonna Earp
“Janina Scarlet entertains, educates, and enlightens with Dark Agents! Fun and fast-paced, this graphic novel will start a lot of important conversations! Brava!”~Jonathan Maberry
—Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of Black Panther: Doomwar and V-WARS
“It’s a rare gift to have a great fantasy story that teaches valuable real-world lessons about coping with trauma. Dark Agents gives you all of that and more.”~Greg Weisman
—Greg Weisman, creator of Gargoyles, and writer and producer of Young Justice
“Maybe you feel broken by the things that have happened. But what if you knew that every single one of us, everyone, has a superpower. And, what if your superpower is there to be discovered in the midst of your deepest fears. Read Dark Agents and let the discovery begin.”~Kelly G. Wilson, PhD
—Kelly G. Wilson, PhD, author of Mindfulness for Two, and coauthor of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
- ABCT Self-Help Book Recommendation