Wednesday, April 24, 2013

New Release Reviews For Dark Horse Comics, for 24 April, 2013

Welcome back to another edition of New Release Reviews. It's a fine week in comics from Dark Horse Comics but that's not the biggest news of the week. Not with the premiere of Iron Man 3 happening, today. Reviews are in and they're very positive. Which is a good thing for Joss Whedon (director of The Avengers), who has a new comic this week from his Buffyverse, as he needs momentum to make the next film even better.

Dark Horse has four new releases to look at including Angel And Faith. As always … 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.

Angel And Faith - Issue 21

As this series continues to wind down, the end goal seems to be in reach. Will Angel and Faith be able to resurrect Giles? The way things are going it sure looks like it, though, that may not be a good thing. There have been enough hints along the way to suggest that this sort of magic isn't a good idea. The leads probably aren't spending enough time asking themselves why they really want this. The Giles replacement Alasdair seems to echo this though his motives are kind of murky, as well.

This issue was a mixed bag. The continuity between this series and Buffy is great. Especially in how they're dealing with Dawn's predicament. Not so great is all the angsty stuff with Angel as well as the argument with Alasdair. The battle at the end was kind of confusing as well. The interior artwork is solid with excellent layouts. The cover is lovely. It has a great style to it and does and outstanding job of conveying Angel's emotion.

Score: 7.5 out of 10

B.P.R.D. : Vampire - Issue 2 (of 5)

This issue, though moody and atmospheric, was mostly a rather dull history lesson about the owner(s) of a house keep. The investigative aspects of the tale were enjoyable but it didn't seem to need all the space devoted to it. The next issue should be more exciting. The interior art was fine. It was stylish and simple, though it handled backgrounds well. The cover deserves a lot of praise for design even if the actual line-work was soft.

Score: 7.5 out of 10

The Massive - Issue 11

This issue continues an arc about survival and characters coming together or drifting apart. The most pronounced aspect of this story concerns the second greatest predator on the planet. Sharks. The issue spends a fair amount of time exploring the ecology of sharks and it was extremely interesting. And extremely terrifying, especially the grand-daddy of them all that appears in this issue.

The last third of the issue is nerve-wracking and not all the characters make it through. It was, also, horrific given the ecological impact the crash had on life in general. Here was the apex predator of the seas and there's no sign they're going to last much longer. As this book is a warning to reality, this particular issue is very sobering.

The dialogue has a unique pace to it but the words spoken ring true. The interior artwork is solid and expressive. The cover is very stylish with inventive layouts and an odd color palette.

Score: 9 out of 10

Dark Horse Presents - Issue 23

This was probably one of the weaker editions of Dark Horse Presents in it's current run. There were only a few stories worth your time and rest were just alright or worse. There was an unusual and violent cover. The gem was Nexus: In the Past. This was beautiful, meditative, and slightly horrific. Villain House was funny and kind of weird. King's Road : The Long Way Home seems to have a fun set up, though it's not sure what's happening with Resident Alien.

A few were off the mark, and that made it more disappointing. Bloodhoud : Plain Sight is alright but it assumes the reader knows more than it wants to tell. Brain Boy has a faux hipness hinting at something better, but it's still very common. Gabe And the Sandpiper is probably the most disappointing given that it's well drawn and well written. It's just extremely derivative of just about an Humphrey Bogart film ever made and something more could have happened.

In the weak section are several stories. Arcade Boy is fun when action is happening but is dull the rest of the time. Eden is just about as cold, miserable, and cynical a story as ever published.  Journeyman is very abstract, though this Doctor Who knock-off feels like it could become something. Tiger Lung looks great but is utterly pointless.

Score: 6 out of 10

Overall a decent week from Dark Horse. The Massive is the comic with the most potential this week and it's quite good (or, in the case, not in danger of jumping the shark.) Everything else is alright but you can go either way on them. Stop on back next week for more New Release Reviews from Dark Horse Comics.