Dark Horse Comics Round Up – 10/02/2013

Monte Williams   October 2, 2013   Comments Off on Dark Horse Comics Round Up – 10/02/2013

This week’s Dark Horse Comics Round Up is a bit different in that guest reviewer Monte tackles a few issues and head Robot’s Pajama guy Vincent tackles some. The reviews done by Vincent start with “Vincent’s Viewpoint” just to keep it more clear who is saying what. Enjoy!

The Star Wars #2

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Vincent’s Viewpoint: After Matty’s beat down of The Star Wars #1 and my extreme like of it, I wondered what the next issue would hold.

This issue features more dudes with beards action and more shades of the actual Star Wars movies, retold in a different way just like the first issue. One thing I found interesting is that if this comic follows at all what George Lucas had originally scripted, this film would have been prohibitively expensive.

I still like this take on Star Wars, but it is a bit confusing with all the characters and a lot of new terms being thrown around. It’s a little less like watching Star Wars and a little more like listening to a Coheed and Cambria album and trying to make sense of the story.

Also the young hero guy punches Leia (I think?) in the face. Weird. So far we really don’t know much about the characters and it’s been two issues. I have no idea who the young hero is as a person and I know almost nothing about Leia, so it’s really shocking to see this young man punch and knock out a young woman with almost no context.

The art really works for this series. Again the 1930s era tech mixed with sci-fi really works for this. Some of the appearance of prequel stuff is a little disheartening, like a dead on ringer for the Droid army tank. Love the look of the Death Star as it seems like it’s based on the original concept art.

If you’re a Star Wars fan you might want want to check this series out still, but I didn’t dig this issue as much as the first one.

Catalyst Comix #4

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Joe Casey, Paul Maybury, Ulises Farinas and Dan McDaid team up to embiggen my bad mood with a baffling, none-too-satisfying, off-puttingly unattractive anthology with a “Previously…” blurb that features the phrase “digital hangovers”, which seems like a transparent attempt to evoke Grant Morrison.

In an interview from several years ago with a publication I no longer recall, Daniel Clowes was playfully invited to offer a verdict on his fellow comic creator Jim Davis, of Garfield fame. With a chuckle, Clowes suggested “Consistent.”

In a similarly heroic bid for diplomacy, I will offer a one-word appraisal of Catalyst Comix: “Different.”

Or, in light of the fact that it felt as if this comic—sorry, “comix”—would never end, perhaps I shall go instead with “Generous.”

Vincent’s Viewpoint: Oh boy, well as mentioned on this site before both Matty and I know (and are friends of varying degrees) with at least one of the creators of Catalyst Comix, so I thought after Monte’s take I’d have to take another look at this one. I’ve previously (and genuinely) enjoyed the other issues of Catalyst Comix that I read and this review made me think that the series has taken a complete turn from what I’ve previously read.

After having missed last issue, I’m a bit lost. At some point I’m going to go back and re-read all this stuff from the start.

Of the three stories, I find myself attracted the most to what’s going on with Frank Wells, but now that some action is going to happen with the super group I want to know what happens next. Are they actually brains in jars? Wait, don’t tell me. I’ll have to figure it out myself.

I’m still liking Catalyst Comix, though the Amazing Grace storyline is the one I find the least interesting right now. I’m hoping she kills the Rico Suave dude and moves on to other things.

This is not a comic for everyone, but I’m not with Monte on this one. Of course, that could be my bias too.

Grindhouse #1

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The cover promises “Bee Vixens From Mars” and assures us that the contents are “Sleazeball Tested, Pervert Approved”, and it’s already more amusing and charming and self-aware than Catalyst Comix.

Also, there are two cats humping on the first page. Truly literary.

Chris Peterson’s artwork is the primary reason to pursue this comic. It is stylish and confident, and it ranges in style from a sort of vivid cartoon realism (particularly when establishing a setting or conveying action) to a wildly exaggerated pop feel (mostly for the sexy bits, wherein Betty and Veronica analogues drip honey all over each other and get half-nekkid).

Ideally, Grindhouse would be the anthology this week; bee girls from Mars is a cute idea, but one could exhaust its possibilities (and the reader’s patience) with a much shorter story than this.

The Occultist #1 of 5

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The cover caption reads “From the creators of Revival!”, reminding me that I am completely oblivious to the hype of the comic book medium.

The Occultist concerns the supernatural misadventures of a teenage boy bonded with a magical talisman. The tone is light and playful, but there is not much in the way of cleverness; our hero utters the phrase “Survey says” in an early scene. Soon after, the love interest displays her wit thusly: “The Occultist gonna shove a spell up your dead butt.” Finally, a ghost cries, “How dare you disturb my rest!” to amp up the cliche level even further.

Here is the love interest again: “Witty one-liners aren’t really your thing.”

How meta.