Digga didn’t have time to cover all the comics this week so he did a laser like focus on the big four titles out this week from Dark Horse Comics.
Story: Mike Mignola & John Arcudi
Art: James Harren
It’s amazing to me that BPRD has gotten over 100 issues. I mean, at this point, they’ve kind of done everything. They’ve thwarted toad dudes, big baddies, and then any other weird thing that came their way. They’ve had members die, members leave… some come back, others don’t. However, the group that remains seems rather non-descript in comparison to the early days of Hellboy, Abe and the rest. In this issue, they are smack dab in the middle of another war. There’s combat ready monsters and innocents and passersby. This issue is the second issue in a five issue arc and it feels like it. Nothing really of note happened here.
It’s disappointing that this issue felt as lackluster as it did. However, without anyone really that cool in the party, it’s just like a crappy X-men. It’s like if Cyclops, Havok and a bunch of new mutants all were in charge of saving the day… It’s boring… That’s kind of what’s happening here. It’s hard to root for the team when you don’t care about any of them or there’s nothing inspiring about them. It’s just another team book. I have liked a couple issues in the last couple months, but this one has no charm. Don’t start here. You’ll be bored. Pick up an issue for a buck if you can find it.
Story: Joshua Hale Fialkov
Pencils: Manuel Garcia
I missed issue #1, but I remember Sky-Man from the pages of Captain Midnight. If Captain Midnight is poised to be Dark Horse’s answer to Captain America, then Sky-Man is a pretty good Iron Man, maybe even a better Iron Man, at least on paper. One thing that’s great is the fact that the hero uses walking aids when not in costume. That’s huge. I don’t know why, but it’s great. Yeah, sure Tony Stark has this whole heart thing, but this is real hero kind of stuff. Not only that, but this issue is peppered with backstabbing intrigue and a healthy amount of doubt.
So far I really dug this run. Sky-Man has some potential to be a great run. A bit of a critique: The art could be turned up a notch. It’s not horrible, but I think it just needs a bit of polish to make this an A1 book. I know I compared this to Iron Man, but in a time when “it’s all been done”, it’s easy to do. I don’t think it takes away from the cool things going on here. If you missed the first issue, like me, this wouldn’t be an awful book to start on. If you can, go back and start with number one. I may do that myself.
Story: Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan
Script: David Lapham
Art: Mike Huddelston
New York is over-run by classless vampires. There is some kind of Hierarchy of the vamps, one that I’m not entirely sure of, but here we see when one makes a mistake. One older vampire that looks both kind of eerie and total ridiculous with a hankie on it’s head is punishing another vamp for something. All of the survivors are tuning in to hear the latest news and a kid gets messed about from vampires on the move. This issue finally had a bit of action and momentum to it.
Now, I’ve read I am Legend and I love it. It’s a great story of a dude who is surrounded by vampires and just gets wasted on Whiskey and tries to tame a dog. But that book has more action than this series. I’m not saying that every issue needs to be a Michael Bay film, but when I can’t seem to remember characters from month to month, something is wrong. I love the art and some issues have been great, but some issues, like this one, feel like filler. If this would be your first issue to The Strain, do not start here. Start at number one for a buck. If you like it, keep going… maybe buy the trade… because issues like this one won’t be as disappointing.
Script: Frank Barbiere
Art: Toby Cypress
You have to love a book opening with the line “A memory is like a scab.” White Suits is about a group of ex-Cold War killers that are somewhat Urban Legend. The book starts kind of like Kill Bill, but ends somewhere like Dark Horse’s other book MIND MGMT. The art is EXTREMELY stylized and in bold blacks, whites and reds with maybe some other color just touched in there.
This was a great first issue. It has a lot of elements in here that I really like and the art is awesome. I can’t wait to see where this series goes. It’s an open ended first issue so it can be a Kill Bill style tale of revenge, or a MIND MGMT tale of “who do you trust?”. All of these the would be great. If you’re looking for another Sin City style story with great stark artwork, THIS IS YOUR BOOK.