Saturday, December 15, 2012

New Release Reviews For Dark Horse Comics, for 12 December, 2012

Article first published as Dark Horse Comics - New Release Reviews For December 12, 2012 on Technorati.

Comic book creators spend much of their lives honing their craft within the world of sequential art. It is a rare event when their work crosses into other mediums. Usually, this happens when a film or television company purchases the rights to the creation. Eric Powell, creator of Dark Horse's The Goon, has been trying to get a Goon film off the ground for many years and he's taken a very big step in that direction.

Powell began a Kickstarter campaign to fund the creation of a story reel.  The campaign was wildly successful, bringing in more than what they needed. Now, production on the story reel is going to start and hopefully they'll be able to convince a company to finance the actual film. Dark Horse has nine new releases and several of them have been films already. 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.

Criminal Macabre : Final Night - The 30 Days Of Night Crossover - Issue 1 (of 4)

What is ridiculously obvious, once printed, makes the reader wonder why this hasn't happened before. The vampires are amassing for a war against humanity and only Cal MacDonald stands in their way.

It's the perfect blend of humor and horror. The artwork is lowfi, but it works for both these series.

Score: 9 out of 10


To Hell You Ride - Issue 1

This issue was an adequate set-up for what's coming but that is all it is. Set-up. There was a lot of flash-backs and very little to give the reader something to care about. Artwork and cover are both alright.

Score: 5.5 out of 10

Victories - Issue 5

There has been an underlying story element that has been hinted at and this issue confirms this element. Unfortunately, this very important topic is glossed over and discussed in an infantile manner, rendering it almost meaningless.

It's possible to argue the hero's decision to rise above revenge was the most important aspect but the creative team missed a great opportunity to delve into a painful topic. The ending was a bit vague, as well, though it seems like these characters might return. The cover was very literal and the interior artwork is solid.

Score: 6 out of 10

Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 9 - Issue 16

This is a fine issue that brings several long-time characters to the fore-ground and brings another back to the story. The theme seems to be affiliations as characters are torn in different directions. The interior art is excellent and the cover is fine.


Score: 7.5 out of 10

Conan - Issue 11

This series focuses as much on Conan's physical battles as it does his emotional battles. Since the story exists in his earlier years, he seems to be having a lot more trouble with the emotional ones. The tale is incredible, and his passion for BĂȘlit is immeasurable. The cover is not the best of this series but the interior continues to be outstanding.

Score: 9 out of 10

The Strain - Issue 9

This is, possibly, the most enjoyable issue of the series. The story is past the set-up and the protagonists are finally starting to take charge. They're even starting to gain competent allies. The art works with the story, even if it wouldn't be enjoyable by itself. The cover is disturbing.

Score: 8 out of 10

Ex Sanguine - Issue 3

This series is starting to make more sense, even as it takes on a strange philosophical tone. That back story about the serial killer does little to garner sympathy and actually is a bit confusing. The interior artwork is fine and the tattoo cover is kind of cool.

Score: 6 out of 10

The Massive - Issue 7

This issue starts a new arc which reaffirms that every encounter has the potential for peril, and even the most mundane situations are filled with tension. Though seven issues in, each character is changing and it's very obvious with Mary's back story.

A bit too much nautical jargon at the start doesn't impact this great tale, which is filled with moody artwork.

Score: 8.5 out of 10

Orchid - Issue 11

This is the penultimate issue and things have improved from the start of the series but not enough. Characters are generally one-dimensional and with unclear motives. The plot has improved but it took too long to get here.

The cover and interior art are both adequate.

Score: 7 out of 10




New Release Reviews wishes to run a retraction regarding last week's Dark Horse column. In it, we said that Fantagraphics owner and publisher Gary Groth was retiring, based upon information in a Comicbookbin.com article. An editor's note at the bottom of the article indicated that this was a fake story, and Groth isn't retiring. New Release Reviews apologies for the confusion.