Digga D’s Dark Horse Saddles Up With Lara Croft and Serentiy

DarkHorseSaddleup

Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #2

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Script: Zack Whedon
Pencils:Georges Jeanity

Like I mentioned last month, I’m one of those sniveling bastards that wants nothing more to get more episodes of Firefly. So sue me. The first issue of Serenity: Leaves on the Wind gave me all the emotional feels that I love about the show. Zack Whedon is able to bring back all flavor of the characters so that when they talk, it feels like an old friend. At the end of last issue, Zoe gave birth and there were complications. The doc couldn’t do much and they had to fly her to the closest med station. That’s where this issue starts, with the crew flying to help Zoe. Unfortunately, when they arrive and drop her off, they alert the Alliance. Jayne joins the crew of the Firefly again and an old villain comes back for revenge.

This is awesome. Issue two does not disappoint. There’s everything in here that Firefly uberfans are going to salivate over. In many ways, this comic is able to do what another season couldn’t do… start off with a bang.

Because Whedon knows that only fans are going to buy the comic, it allows him the freedom to mess with the characters and we all trust him to stick the landing. The art is great and the cliffhanger at the end of this issue is a killer. If you are into Firefly, this is a must read.

If you missed the first issue of Serenity: Leaves on the Wind, don’t bother starting here. If you’ve exhausted your resources and still can’t find it wait for the trade… it’ll be worth it to you. It’s like you walked into a movie at 30 minutes in. Keep the Firefly ‘verse alive Dark Horse! It’s fantastic.

Captain Midnight #8

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Story: Joshua Williamson
Art: Fernando Dagnino

Captain Midnight is an “interpretation” of Captain America. A man out of time, who, in this issue is meeting with an old flame… and by old, I mean pushing 80. While talking, Cap asks about his old best friend which results in the meat of the story about Cap’s old flame going to the Jungle to find Fury Shark. Along the way, she bumps into Cap’s best friend, a superhero named Helios and some baddies. This story may sound trite, but somehow… it’s not.

Every month I expect this train to derail. In my head, somehow, the carefully chosen plot points and man out of time adventure is going to implode upon itself, but month after month I’m wrong. Joshua Williamson is a fantastic writer and Captain Midnight is a great book.

Even though this issue doesn’t feature our main protagonist, it advances the story of our hero further. I love Captain Midnight and each month I am glad to be wrong. If this is your first month staring down the title, give it a shot. This would be a great jumping on point.

Furious #2

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Written by: Bryan J. L. Glass
Art: Victor Santos

This book has some serious pacing issues. I’m not sure how else to put it. The first issue was confusing at best and this isn’t much better. It’s hard to cheer for a character you care little about.

Last issue I tried to give this comic the benefit of a doubt, but it’s spiraling, I don’t know if it’s spiraling from too many daddy issues or just “too much, too soon” syndrome, but I was seriously done with this halfway through. I tried to finish it and I had to skip several pages to get somewhere that seemed relevant, and maybe that’s my bad, but there is nothing here that holds my attention. Not recommended.

The Massive # 20

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Written by: Brian Wood
Art by: Garry Brown

The Massive is one of my favorite books. I can’t even pretend objectivity with a book this good. I finally got to finish the second trade and the series gets better and better.

All of the things that make a great book are here: A hero with a finite end: Check. An incredibly engrossing story with well developed secondary characters: Check. A “Sci-fi” story line that is ultimately as relevant now as it could be in the future: Check.

The Massive is so good, that I don’t even know where to begin. Garry Brown’s artwork is amazing. It’s beautiful. It adds so much flavor to Wood’s amazing words. I love the fact that this book takes place in the future, but instead of flying cars we have environmental dystopia. It’s beautiful.

Each issue advances the plot forward slowly. Sure, some may think that not a lot happens, but the pacing is so well done, that it feels that EVERY encounter could be the last for any character.

Team comic books have A LOT to learn from The Massive and I will continue to look forward to each issue. If this would be your first month, this would be a fine issue to start on. It gives enough of what the major plot points are, but still doesn’t drown you in sea of irrelevant back story. No matter what, if you read comics, you should be reading The Massive. End of story.

Mind MGMT #19

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By: Matt Kindt

Mind MGMT is about as paranoid of a comic as you can get. There are a group of people that can control all things mental, even down to the slightest manipulation. This story has started incredible engaging and this issue featured a magician… someone who’s obviously out there manipulating perception. Things go.. awry.

Crap. It feels as though MIND MGMT is going off the rails. I really hope Matt Kindt can bring it back on course, because as of now it feels like this plane has hit turbulence.

I’m not going to give up on it, because, so far, this comic has been amazing. One bad issue shouldn’t corrupt the bunch, right? Maybe Mind MGMT is better read as a collection. Maybe it’s one of those comics that looses a bit of steam in the weeks between readings and needs to be read as a volume.

If you are new to this issue, avoid it. You’ll be more confused than I was, and I’ve picked up all the subsequent issues. It makes me sad if this wonderful comic is going to start loosing steam.

Pariah #1

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Story by Aron Warner and Philip Gelatt
Art: Bret Wedele

Pariah is a book that’s kind of like what I imagine Gravity the movie to be- “We’re screwed in space.” This book takes place in the near future on a space ship outside of Earth that’s in ill-repair. The crew knows that something is messed up with the descent and the whole crew is in danger of being boiled alive inside this falling can. Turns out, someone has sabotaged the ship and that’s only the least of their problems at this point…

Pariah
was okay. I didn’t hate it, I didn’t absolutely love it. The artwork kind of reminds me of IDW books with the Ashley Wood covers (what happened to that guy?). The story took a little too long in the beginning to get to the plot, and I don’t know enough about the characters to care about them. I think this book could have potential, but by starting the book in crisis, everyone is at their worst, so it’s hard to feel for them. I don’t know how long this book can go, but hopefully it’s a slow start to ship burning conclusion.

Tomb Raider: Season of the Witch #1

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Script: Gail Simone
Pencils: Nicohlås Daniel Selma

I’ve never played Tomb Raider… I mean, I played a bit of the demo of the first one how many years ago when Laura Croft was still a cubist’s booby.

This latest run of Tomb Raider on the game boxes looks great, but I still didn’t buy it (here’s hoping it comes to PS plus!!), so I went in to this book thinking, “What kind of TnA crap is this going to be?” and I’m happy to report, it wasn’t.

This story starts with Croft escaping some militants and running into obviously dead comrades, and no surprise, this is a dream. She notices that live comrades are beginning to have weird dreams and one thing leads to another and she’s off looking for another compatriot and things get weird.

I’m so fricking glad Dark Horse had the balls to give Tomb Raider to a woman to write. This could’ve easily been turned into some crappy horn-ball teenage spank book (ahem… Clown Fatale), but it was a very well crafted story. I’m a bit confused by what’s happening, but I’m sure some of that will be figured out in issues to come.

Croft was never sexualized and was an incredibly strong heroine. This, far from other video game adaptations (ahem… Halo), focused on character building and not just throwing in stuff only fans know about. Not once did I feel like I needed to have played the games in order to enjoy the book. So, if you’re like me and haven’t tried the game and are looking for an Indiana Jones style adventure book, this is your comic! If you like the video game series, I’m not sure if this is what all of them are like, but I certainly am more interested in trying them after reading this book.

Vandroid #1

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Script: Tommy Lee Edwards and Noah Smith
Art: David McDaid

Vandroid is about an artificial intelligence put into a man, using the best technology a dude that made custom vans. It’s kind of wacky. The story starts with guys with a super-computer that has become aware, and much like HAL in 2001, it doesn’t want to die. So eventually it is given to an old washed up vanner and now roams the streets like a totally sweet Terminator.

I’m not sure what to think of this comic. It’s got some funny stuff going, but it wasn’t over the top enough to make it feel Grindhouse, but was silly enough that I didn’t take it serious. It’s in this weird nether world. It has the feel of a MacGyver.

I seriously don’t know what to think about it. I want to like it. I’m not going to make my mind up on this until after I see where it’s going. If you want to give it a shot, you may be into it, and maybe I’m missing something. If you like weird Macgyver-esque tales that feels like it’s actually trying to be serious, but not… give it a whirl.


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!

  • That’s exactly how I’ve felt about the Tomb Raider game. Played the demo and that’s it. I’ve been thinking about trying one of the new ones, though.