Sunday, December 9, 2012

New Release Reviews For Dark Horse Comics, for 5 december, 2012

Article first published as Dark Horse Comics - New Release Reviews For December 5, 2012 on Technorati.

There has been a recent explosion in the growth and strength of smaller publishers including long-running Dark Horse Comics. However, in the past few weeks there have been some changes in that market. The biggest was the announcement that Karen Berger, the Executive Editor of DC Entertainment's award winning Vertigo line is retiring after nearly twenty years at the helm.

Equally monumental was the announcement that Gary Groth, the founder of Fantagraphics, is looking to sell the publisher [note, originally this said he was retiring. Luckily, there are diligent people that are eager to correct others. Thank god they're here.]

Much like Vertigo, Fantagraphics has been a long time publisher of more intelligent comic books as well as the publication The Comics Journal, which brought high-brow literary criticism to comic books. The industry will not be the same without these two.

For now, Dark Horse Comics continues to bring high-quality comics books to the market including five new releases 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. 

Hellboy : In Hell - Issue 1

Hellboy has been dead for what feels like forever in contemporary comics. No one really stays dead, it seems. But, he's been gone for a while and it's assumed that most long-time readers expect him to return from hell. If you don't want to see spoilers, skip ahead to the Willow review.

First off, it's been a while since Mike Mignola graced and issue with his artwork which is a joy to behold. Writing, art, and cover are always top-notch and this issue does not disappoint. As for the story, it's not completely clear that Hellboy is alive. He seems to start in Hell, and is in a lot of
trouble.

Someone comes to help him out, and new readers may not grasp everything that is going on. What is clear is Hellboy is no different in the after-life. He's in way over his head and finds punching to be his best solution. It's a fantastic (possible) return of one comic books' best characters.

Score: 9.5 out of 10

Willow
- Issue 2

This issue was great because it showed off the dynamic qualities of one of Buffyverse's best characters. It's reinforced that Willow is smart, powerful, and  very sexy.

Everything was coming together a little too easy so the ending was a nice reveal, and the threats were more existential. The interior artwork is excellent and the covers were superb.

Score: 9 out of 10

Colder - Issue 2 (of 5)

Though, the foundation of the story is rather common by comic book and scifi  standards, this series has a remarkably unusual antagonist that is one of the most unique villains the grace a page in some time. It's not even clear if it's a villain.

The rest of the characters are a little more annoying, especially in their reactions to the situation which seems cliched. The artwork is amazing. Full of details and style, and vivid coloring.

Score: 8.5 out of 10

House Of Fun - Issue 0

This issue collects three chapters previously serialized in Dark Horse Presents. They're short little stories and several one-off with just a hand-full of panels. It's wildly vivid with imaginative artwork. The stories are crazy and weird/funny but not for kids!

Score: 7 out of 10

Star Wars Purge : The Tyrant's Fist - Issue 1 (of 2)

This issue has a solid look to it, even if a few spots were clunky. The coloring is exceptional. The cover is just OK. Much like the story which isn't interesting and is, at points, confusing. And it manages to make one of the all-time great villains seem more like a buffoon. Too many Jedis weaken the story. Maybe the human officer could bring some connection for the reader.

Score: 4.5 out of 10

There are a lot of changes happening at smaller publishers, but Dark Horse continues to give readers some great comic books. Including the new Hellboy story and Willow. Stop back, next week, for more New Release Reviews.