It’s time for another Dark Horse Comics Saddle Up where Digga D reviews the newest Dark Horse Comics releases! Secure your ten gallon hat, this is going to be a wild ride.
Script: Fred Van Lente
Art: Ariel Olivetti
Hey, do you guys remember Pearl Jam? The whole Black Circle thing made me think of “Spin the Black Circle” from them. I wonder if I would like some of those old albums now that I’m older. I mean Ten was a great album back in the day. Versus or whatever the next one was was good. Vitalogy was good… if I remember. I mean, I think I was a sophomore when that came out… Huh… weird. Oh yeah, Conan… Conan beats some stuff up. Crosses a misty moat and stuff happens. Rides away with a girl. Then fights some more stuff, yadda, yadda, yadda.
What the hell, Digga? Half of this review was your idiotic ramblings on Pearl Jam! Well, it was admittedly to fill space, which is exactly how I feel about Van Lente’s writing. Everything is rushed and then things are just thrown in to fill space. Luckily this comic read fast. The art is great, but good gravy does it feel like the kid that wrote Axe Cop wrote this thing. At first when Conan was killing a bunch of stuff I thought “Wow, I might like a Conan book TWO WEEKS IN A ROW!” Well, that thought ended quickly. If you’re a fan of Conan and are looking for a new one, don’t start here. I don’t know if a standard Conan fan would be into this book. I mean, it’s got all the things that Conan should have, but it’s just missing something for me. I think this is the last in the storyline, so pass on it if this would be your first foray into Conan-land.
Written By Bryan J.L. Glass
Art By Victor Santos
Furious appears to be about the fame getting to the head of superheroes. This issue focuses on The Beacon, or as the media refers to her as “Furious.” Apparently in a life she’s trying to run from, she lost it and things went amuck. The media was there to exploit her story and now she’s trying to put back the pieces of her life by doing some good old fashion crime fighting. In this issue she’s taking out a woman who smacks her kid? At least that’s as far as I can tell. The world seems to be almost tired of superheroes. The actions of Furious or Beacon or whoever, aren’t flushed out very well as they usually end up with further calamity.
I don’t know if I can say I like or dislike this comic yet. I think the first issue was a bit jumbly, but I like the take on the media with superheroes a lot, so I’m interested to see where it goes. I thing Bryan Glass has some skill at writing, but things were just a little chaotic for me. However, that being said, the fractured storytelling matches the fractured mentality of our mentally tortured heroine. I would recommend this comic to someone that isn’t so much into linear storytelling and can be okay with being confused almost all the way through the first issue. I’m thinking this could grow into an amazing title, but it just needs to get there.
Written By Adam P. Knave and D.J. Kirkbride
Pencils by Robert Love
Last issue left us with the Never Ender with his powers being taken away by his arch-nemesis. This issue we get to watch him deal with a life more ordinary. The comic still jumps around with the time frame to give more background for our main hero. He still has thugs and aliens to deal with, but now he’s just a dude.
I don’t know what changed with the art, but this issue looks fantastic. I love the attention to detail in Knave’s storytelling. There are little touches that make this book a great treat to read for anyone that has been reading superhero comics forever. There are quiet moments where there needs to be and even as the hero learns to be normal, it’s totally fascinating. I love this book. I think it’s extremely well crafted, a fresh take, and continues to be just as good from one month to the next. The art seems to be getting drastically better as well. Don’t start with this issue. I would check out the first issue and move on from there. This isn’t a jump in the middle kind of comic. This is a comic that demands to be read from page one.
Script: Zack Whedon
Pencils: Georges Jeanty
I came late to the Firefly party, but man am I glad I came. I went to see Serenity in the theater and thought, “Hot Dang, I like this ‘verse!” So I went out and bought the Firefly DVDs soon after and instantly I was just like the rest of the people pissing and moaning about there being no more Firefly. Well, Dark Horse has been giving us pretty solid stories since. Now granted, I have only read a couple of the other issues, but the ones I’ve read lightly scratch that ever present itch… kind of smoking an e-cigerertte when you just need to smoke something. It kinda does it, but really there’s that… craving. Right… FIREFLY! This issue starts with something we didn’t get to see much of in the movie or shows, the media. I mean, yeah, there was a little, but this issue is rife with it. And like all governments that want to keep things hidden, they are trying to spin the exploits of Serenity into either a hoax or something worse. No one has heard peep of the Serenity in a good long time, and the Alliance and more are looking for them. This issue also has a very pregnant Zoe… Which, no spoilers, is very sad indeed. Ugg
This comic was fricking fantastic. It hit all the feels. Great Sassy Malassy, do I want to talk about spoilers, but just know, as a Firefly nerd, this does feel like a Camel wide unfiltered when you want a smoke. It seriously is giving that fix. It takes place AFTER the movie, and keeps expanding the ‘verse. The art has a couple issues from time to time, but it doesn’t matter. Zack Whedon’s writing never misses a beat. It has all the charm of the show with the way characters are introduced, witty banter… and hitting you in the crotch of emotions. I would REALLY recommend this to that friend of yours that starts going on and on about how they gotta bring it back. Well, they did. Maybe not in a form you want, but all the things you love are here. If you don’t like the show, this won’t turn you into a fan. Maybe you’ll be like me reading a Halo book and pissing all over it. Knowing our luck, Dark Horse will pull publication and then we’ll be f’ed again.
Story: Mike Mignola and John Arcudi
Art by: Laurence Campbell
Last issue of Sledgehammer! So we finally get the conclusion and the battle with skull Nazi-guy. So far we know that Sledgehammer is a old dead soldier that has seen the beyond and his soul has been injected into a lead suit by the US Military. He’s sent to release a couple of GI’s that are being held by Nazis and there’s this skull Nazi-guy that’s a total beast. We get a bit of tying of the loose ends and some left open.
I’ve liked this series a lot, but I think it would be better read in a complete volume. There are certain nuances that are lost with the weeks in between that I think would be better paced when read together. One thing I like is the issue with spirituality. Now, being someone that has faith in something, this book doesn’t mock or belittle it, but it certainly doesn’t make it all peachy-keen either. It tows an amazing line that is satisfying to read. I’m glad this book had the balls to deal with the beyond in it. Being about a soul in a suit, it needed to, but it still allows for a interpretation as to what the beyond could be. I was curious how Mignola was going to land this sucker, and he did… Maybe some might be disappointed with the final battle, but I don’t think that was the point all along. I hope they continue with this, because I want to know about this character if possible. Obviously don’t start with this one. Get the first, or if Dark Horse gets a trade paperback, give it a shot. The art and story are worth it.
Script: Dan Jolley
Pencils: Leonard Kirk
This issue of Bloodhound starts out after the EXPLOSIVE conclusion to last issue. We all deal with grief in different ways, but Clavenger has shaved his head and looks FAR MORE B-A now. I don’t know why, but the locks before drove me nuts. Anyway, his partner Saffron goes to check in on him, and the figure it’s time to hit the beat. They’re out loping for Morgenstern … and blood (if you can go back and re-read “…and blood” with a 1980’s voice-overs that would be great). After a search, they are there and wouldn’t you know it… baddies; souped up and ready to go.
Once again, this comic surprises me each issue. I always like it by the end, and even though it might be totally superficial, maybe the new look will get me over the initial “why does he have to look like a 70’s porn star?” reaction I always have. If you’ve been reading the series, there is a good amount of payoff going on. If you haven’t read the series, this really isn’t a good place to start. I would recommend this comic to anyone that enjoys action that’s paced slower than most comics, but right on for where it should be. It’s not a dude-bro comic. It does have heart AND action.
Various Artists and Writers
Once again, I couldn’t get through it. This is an oversized comic with spotty writing and sometimes good artwork. I started several of the stories and nothing gripped me in the slightest. I feel like these are comics for little boys that are having masculinity issues. I love fantasy, but having read fantasy titles for over 25 years, there is nothing new going on here. The storyline of “Black Agnes” is barely readable. In fact, that’s the first one I gave up on. These books are not for me. I usually like multiple stories in one book, but not here. Savage Sword has so much overly compensating testosterone, that I can just assume the print versions have hair.
(Editor’s Note: Digga is reviewing digital copies, so his versions do not have hair.)