Dark Horse Saddle-up: Digga Strains with Buffy


Man, I’m so late with putting these reviews up, but damn it they’re fun to read so out they must go! This week Digga has a selection of Dark Horse Comics reviews for your enjoyment including Buffy, The Strain, and Skyman. Which comics make the grade?!

Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 10: #1


Script: Christos Gage
Art: Rebekah Isaacs

I’m a Joss guy. I’m a Joss guy insomuch as I love Firefly, Dr. Horrible, and Avengers. I’ve tried watching Buffy several times, to no avail. Maybe it was dating a really crappy girl that loved Buffy made me want to hate it all the more, but I just can’t get into it. I want to… trust me, I want to get it, but it doesn’t hit me. So starting out in Season 10 isn’t exactly easy if you didn’t even get through season one. This is definitely a Buffy fan’s comic, which is great for fans, but it won’t get any new readers. That’s okay, though. I think by this point, you know which side of the camp you are on. I’m not sure how a fan would like this, but I’m going to vomit my opinions about the book on you….

I wasn’t into it. I know Dark Horse loves the idea of Vampire/Zombie hybrids, since I can name at least 5 monthly comics with these critters as bad guys, but it’s getting old. The issue felt like it was written by Jeff Loeb, and that’s not a good thing. Too much going on right at the get go things just seemed to happen for things-happenings-sake. So far I’m digging the art. Isaacs pencil work replicates the actors well, so it really does feel like an episode of the show I could be wrong. Maybe this is how the series goes… If you’re a fan, pick it up! It’s meant for you. If you’re not a fan, this won’t change your mind.

Vincent’s Take: I just want to add that I’m not a Joss guy. I practically hate everything he does. His characters annoy the hell out of me, however… I liked Buffy a lot. I wish Digga did too. I’ve only read a few Buffy comics but overall that’s the impression that I got from them. If you’re an ultra fan, then they’re for you. If you’re a casual fan or didn’t get into the show, I don’t think you’re going to be won over by the comics.

Skyman #3


Story: Joshua Hale Fialkov
Pencils: Manuel Garcia

I was amazed at some of the great stuff going on in Skyman last issue, so I think I set my bar high for issue three. Last issue had a good amount of distrust and intrigue woven into it seamlessly and this issue, though with a good amount of dialogue seemed to be focused on action. So what do you do with a character that has a belt that lets him fly? Throw jets at him… and then guys that can fly with belts, too. If this sounds lackluster, it was.

I don’t know if a comic like this needs to be focused so much on action as it could be on espionage. There is so much corporate take-over stuff going on that Skyman doesn’t need to battle F-14 Tomcats and other flying guys. It seemed silly and forced. The baddies don’t feel villainous enough, as well. That could be me being jaded, but there was a chance for some real feeling in this issue and it was just glossed over. I wouldn’t recommend starting with this issue. Last issue was great, if you want to start there, go for it… Hopefully this comic doesn’t fall out of the sky.

Strain #9


Script: David Lapham
Art: Mike Huddleston

Strain is about right, because each issue I strain to remember what the heck is going on at all times. This issue was packed full of a lot more action than normal, but still was confusing as heck. I don’t know how well the monthly format works for this comic as maybe the subtle nuances that are written in are forgotten from month to month. In this issue, the old doctor guy and his team storm a hive of vampires and violence happens.

It’s so weird to make vampires so menacing, but then so easily taken out. While driving to the big hive, in one panel they run over several vampires like so many Border Collies. As this comic sludges forward, I seem to be getting less and less interested. It doesn’t feel like The Strain is building to anything, but just becoming a strain on collector’s wallets. Don’t start with this issue… Please lord, do not start with this issue.

The Witcher #1


Script: Paul Tobin
Art: Joe Querio

I love me some fantasy, so I’m excited to try fantasy comics. The Witcher starts with a lone warrior riding through the bog and finding a guy down on his luck. With a bit of exposition, they go to find the down man’s wife who has been corrupted by witches. It’s revealed that The Witcher had been imprisoned and must slay a giant to regain his good name. Though mostly an issue with no action, some cool things were introduced and a world that I want to read more about was established.

This was a good first issue. I love the idea of Grave Hags and some of the other more creepy elements. Thought this comic deals with a man alone as he rides from adventure to adventure, the feel of The Witcher was more Zatoichi than Conan (which for this writer is a good thing. The art in this comic is where it should be. It’s not tip-top AMAZING, but it’s far from crap. If you’re a fan of fantasy, this is a cool take. For some reason it feels fused with a Japanese style of story-telling and it gives this comic a little push from being just-another-fantasy-book.

White Suits #2


Script: Frank J. Barbiere
Art: Toby Cypress

White Suits is a book about two people looking for a sort of boogie-men group of highly trained killers. This issue starts with a bit of the violence of last issue and then goes into a bit of a cluster-frak. I’m sure this comic is trying to build somewhere, but after such a great start, I need issue 2 to be something more. By issue 2, I should at least care about one character. Just showing me these guys killing other guys, and then other guys hiring other guys, with our two protagonists talking about finding guys doesn’t make me care as a reader.

White Suits is a great idea, but it needs to tie down some of these ideas without just showing me these guys kill stuff. We get it… They’re totally tough, but I need to care why. I’m sure Barbiere is going to try and get us somewhere, but I need some sort of emotional attachment to… well… anyone in the story. Start with issue 1 and then maybe wait for issue 3. There’s not enough here that would make me want to pony up the $4 for this comic.

About Digga D

Dark Horse comics has always meant cutting edge adult comics to me. From when I was in fifth grade, rifling through the “mature readers” sections of comic stores and finding Geof Darrow and Frank Miller’s “Hard Boiled” comics I realized that this is what comic books could be. Bringing home issues of Grendel and Aliens and jumping right into a story that I may not get, I knew I loved the concepts and to this day, I think Dark Horse is still pushing the boundaries in the comic book field. With one of my favorite contemporary comics like The Goon, Dark Horse still gives me pause in local comic shops and at least take a look at what they’re doing, just like I did many years ago. I am super excited to read and review this publisher’s comics for Robots Pajamas!

  • Chris Piers

    I like the Gage/Isaacs team on Angel and Faith so I’m gonna try this issue of Buffy.

    Will The Strain make a good tv show?