Wednesday, October 31, 2012

New Release Reviews For Dark Horse Comics, for 24 October, 2012

Article first published as Dark Horse Comics - New Release Reviews For October 24, 2012 on Technorati.

The greatest super-hero of all continues to make the news for not so pleasant reasons. Family members of one of the creators of Superman recently lost a court case involving the Man Of Steel. Co-creator and original artist Joe Shuster's heirs had sued DC Comics over rights to the character.

The judge in the case ruled the agreement signed by Shuster's sister and brother invalidated the law-suit under Termination Rights. It's believed the family will appeal the ruling. While that plays out, Dark Horse Comics has five new releases and one collected edition this week. Titles are scored on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the very best possible. We take the time to read these books so your time isn't wasted.

The Shaolin Cowboy Adventure Magazine - Issue 1

This is a strange and wonderful collection of prose stories about The Shaolin Cowboy. Writer Andrew Vachs' tales are funny and weird, with plenty of furious action. 

The artwork, by creator Geoff Darrow, is beyond description. Beautiful is understatement. A true master.

Score: 9.5 out of 10

Dark Horse Presents - Issue 17

The newest collection of serialized stories is another decent offering from Dark Horse Comics. One of the best of this issue is the new, and possible, last portion of Concrete Park which should be a stand-alone comic. It's gorgeous and building in intensity. Also, Deep Sea has a great European look and wonderful writing.  Edgar Allan Poe's The Sleeper is creepy and beautiful.

The middle-ground tales are aplenty. Mr. Monster is goofy and fun. Sacrifice has a good look but is killed by bad lettering. Girl With The Keyhole Eyes continues to be well told but pointless. Aliens is stunning looking and very ambiguous in structure. Not clear when the lead became with child .

At the bottom end continues the baffling, critically praised Finder. Though the artwork is lovely and there is obvious skill in the writing, the execution is bizarre and impenetrable. A new storyline called Crime Does Not Pay has a great look but it's a brutal tale and it's not told very well. And then there is the story UXB which is not meant for a serial publication as it makes almost no sense.

Score: 8 out of 10

Ghost - Issue 1

This issue was the first new story in this revived series, and a step above the story that was serialized in Dark Horse Presents. However, it still is a mixed bag. The artwork is gorgeous, even if all the males are virtually identical in appearance. The writing has silly dialogue, reminiscent of the worst Quentin Tarantino homages. The conflict is strange, and the villains alternate unevenly between tender and sadistic.

Score: 6 out of 10

Spike - Issue 3

This was a charming issue as characters ... charmed one another. The history lesson was an interesting exploration of Spike's time as a vampire without a soul. And the new Succubus could be a great little way for Spike to get over Buffy. The art is excellent. The writing just as good. Even the recap of prior issues was great.

Score: 8 out of 10

The Untold Tales Of Dog Mendonca And Pizza Boy - One-Shot

This one-shot reprints the story original serialized in Dark Horse Presents and adds a new story about the Loch Ness Monster. The comic book has some great art. Vivid and stylish.

The stories, themselves, are rather weird with foreign humor interspersed. However, there is a subtle maturity that is bursting with sadness. A layered story that's not easily dismissed.

Score: 8.5 out of 10

Star Wars Agent Of The Empire : Iron Cross - Collected Edition

This collected edition might contain the best Star Wars tale since The Empire Strikes back. This is an amazing story that just happens to take place in the Star Wars universe.

It's exciting, fun. intriguing, and sexy. The politics aren't boring and the aliens aren't overwhelming. Plus, no Jedi! A great, great value.

Score: 10 out of 10

This was a Super-week from Dark Horse Comics. Star Wars and The Shaolin Cowboy are definites and there are several other books worth a good look. Stop on back next week for more New Release Reviews for Dark Horse Comics.