Dark Horse Saddle up: Digga’s Got Bad Blood in the Chapel of Bones

Digga D   February 5, 2014   Comments Off on Dark Horse Saddle up: Digga’s Got Bad Blood in the Chapel of Bones

DarkHorseSaddleup

And we’re back with another Dark Horse Saddle Up with Digga D, the ongoing journey of one man reading comic books from Dark Horse Comics and his report of each adventure. Join us, won’t you?

Bad Blood #2

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Script: Jonathan Maberry
Art: Tyler Cook

At the start of the story we had a late teen riddled with cancer recants of his life so far. He’s got a best friend that will do anything for him and then the spiral. Friend is attacked by a vampire and so is he. He’s bitten, but the vampire doesn’t like his poison blood. Jonathan Maberry brought the pain to the feels with the start of the story. It was masterful. Here, we get him meeting a goth and going from Vampire club to S&M bar, to… worse? His goth buddy took him under her leathery batwings (metaphorically) as they investigate the night clubs of the children of the night.

This book is still great. Sure, it may not have been the emotional roller coaster the last issue was, but this one was fun. I enjoy the play between characters as Maberry writes amazingly compelling dialogue. Sure, it’s a vampire book, swimming in a sea of vampire books, but a fresh idea like this is something to behold. Just like zombies and pirates are played out to the max, this book doesn’t feel like it should be lumped there. It’s definitely worth a read. The art fits the lighthearted and sorrowful feel of the book. Don’t start with this issue. Go back to the first. It’s worth it.

Baltimore: Chapel of Bones #2

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Story : Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden
Art: Ben Stenbeck

Baltimore is one of those comics that is always kind of the same… but then pretty dang different every time. You’ve got vampires, some other kind of walking dead… sprinkle in some human misery… but then some weird thing makes each issue pretty dang amazing. How do you do it Mignola? I mean, you would think it would be vastly formulaic, but it’s so fresh every time. DAMN YOU!! So last issue, Big B is meeting with his friends in some run down crap-shack when upstairs some insane painter has painted the most ghoulish painting of the kind of the dead. This issue we get a bit of clarification, some fun action and a crazy ending that I wish I could spoil because it was awesome.

Yeah, Baltimore ends up being a fun ride every time. The art in this run is great. If you are fans of undead vs some weird 1910’s style steampunkery, than this book is for you. The action is spot on, the humor is good, and the writing is smart. If you were interested in this book, pick up the first and second issue of this run. It will give you a good enough feel for how good it is, you’ll be looking for the rest in no time.

Grindhouse #5: Bride of Blood Part 1

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Script: Alex De Campi
Art: Federica Manfredi

YOU CAN’T MAKE A GRINDHOUSE MOVIE IN MEDIEVAL TIMES?! Well, apparently you can, which would make A Game of Thrones the Grind houseiest. This issue is set in what could be a different world… or not as rape and pillaging can be done by modern warmongers. Kind of like Kill Bill, this story starts at a wedding slaughter. The bride is taken by force… a lot… and all the guests are slain. Then somehow a couple are still alive… including the bride of blood. I don’t know how, but I guess it doesn’t matter.

This is like another fantasy wedding slaughter that I won’t ruin for anyone that doesn’t know what I’m talking about, but this cuts right to it and gets nasty. I don’t cringe a lot while reading, but the rape scene in here was awful to watch (as it should be) (I’m looking at you Conan…) So far Alex De Campi has written all of the Grindhouse comics that I have read, and they have all been fantastic. It’s great to see her take Grindhouse out of the normal tropes and do things with it that low budget exploration films could never do. If you are a fan of fantasy, grindhouse or good old revenge comics, this might be for you. I felt a little confused with why things were happening, but I don’t know if that’s going to bother my enjoyment of it in the long run. We’ll see.

Juice Squeezers #2

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Art and Story by David Lapham

So, I’m fairly certain Juice Sqeezers is aimed to be a kids book. I don’t know why I expect otherwise (probably because I just got done reading enough sexual assault to make Anthony Davis blush. See, I get sports.) Town with a semi secret of massive bug problems turns to kids to make right. Don’t know why and that’s what bugs me (snort). I mean, as a kids book, I guess I should just let it go, but it’s too wordy to be a normal kids book. I don’t get the demographic of the book… okay? So kids fight bugs, a kid moves onto land infested with bugs, A Nick Fury lookalike teaches kids to keep bug fighting secret. Girl likes kid that bugs are going to attack.

I don’t know why I expect more out of this book. I know Lapham’s previous books are supposed to be good and all, but I’m just not interested in Juice Sqeezers. I remember the exterminators with art by Tony Moore didn’t even hold my attention and this is doing less than that. As the second issue just passed, I still don’t care about really anything going on with it. Giant bugs… great concept, but it’s missing something. The colors are about the best part in this book. They are bold and bright and almost overshadow the once in a while okay artwork. Maybe if you’re a bug-aphobe this might be a hell ride for you, but it doesn’t do anything for me… at all. I would be interested to see if a kid who loves bugs would like this comic. It’s probably not written for me. I mean, if I were young again, I would love a book about big gross bugs. It’s just gotta be the case… WHAT IS YOUR GOAL DEMOGRAPHIC YOU DAMN JUICE SQUEEZERS BOOK, YOU?!

Lobster Johnson: Get the Lobster #1

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Story: Mike Mignola and John Arcudi
Art by Tonci Zonjic

Wait… is this going to be a monthly Lobster Johnson book? That would be awesome. Lobster Johnson is normally written as a Nazi fighter in the Big One, but here he’s fighting a couple of wrestlers that opened fire on their audience. There were a few characters that I don’t know who they are supposed to be, but maybe that’s trying to answer who is the Lobster. Pretty clever if that is what Mignloa and Acrudi intended.

This issue was a lot of fun. In the same way that a lot of superhero noir is coming out, this issue beats to the same beat. Not that it’s generic, but it’s a guy who isn’t afraid to open up on a criminal that is acting up without a lot of guff from the law. The art in this book is awesome as it totally fits the nostalgic feel. This issue of Lobster Johnson had a lot of momentum going. While reading, the pacing kept up with demand. I would recommend this book to any fan of silver age Batman (who wants a darker crime noir. This being a first issue, you should check it out. It’s a fun read!’

The Occultist #5

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Story by Mike Richardson and Tim Seeley
Art: Tim Seeley

My goodness do I hate this book. I have tried for several issues to get something rewarding out of this, but this comic takes me right back to the horrible writing of early Image. I had to check for Rob Liefeld art, as this book is about as poorly written as Youngblood #3.

Occultist has gone from “Friendship is magic” to “weak sauce faith lesson” in a flash. It’s like the writers got together and were like “DUDE, WE NEED SWEET LOOKING GUYS IN ORDER TO SELL BOOKS!! MAGIC HIM UP, BRO!” and then proceeded to hump their own hands until they had a script written. There is no follow through, there is no reason for anything. It’s just “Problem bro? Magic!” I mean, sure Harry Potter is like that, but this makes Harry Potter look like Voltaire. I believe this was the last issue of this series and thank all the Gods.

The Star Wars #5

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Script: J.W. Rinzler
Art: Mike Mayhew

Oh man, do I love seeing Dark Horse flog the dead horse with this comic. I think they are using it, like Halo, as their advertisement butter-train. When a book is so convoluted that it needs it’s own making of while it’s coming out to help explain things, you’ve got a problem. This book is far better in concept than it is in execution. From Swamp Thing Han Solo to Legolas or whoever the long hair is, to all of the other mess that’s going on, this The Star Wars isn’t doing anyone any favors. Maybe since Dark Horse knew it’s loosing the Star Wars franchise to Marvel, they were holding this title and thought it would’ve done better. Who knows… this book makes Jar Jar look like a brilliant addition to the Star War universe. A part of me just died writing that.

This book is awful.

Terminator Salvation: The Final Battle 3 of 12

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Script J Michael Straczynski
Art: Pete Woods

I want to like this book. It’s a well-made Terminator comic book… but then there are moments that drive me right away. I like Straczynski, but I feel totally lost. Granted I missed an issue, but I have no idea what’s happening. I tried reading it, and boom. Nothing. Last I knew they were looking for a doctor. I think…. I don’t know.
Vincent, did you read this one? How much sense does this make?
I doubt this comic runs the full 12 issues. It just seems totally not what Terminator fans would want. At least for me, a good Terminator story was more about resisting becoming the machine. Time travel is a special thing that shouldn’t be able to be done so easily, but each issue has to keep coming back to kill someone else… and it feels stale. It’s lost me. I guess I would rather just have stories in the future. I wouldn’t recommend this to Terminator fans. Some franchise books nail it (Serenity)… but this misses the mark to me.

Vincent’s Comments: Nope, didn’t read it.


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!