Welcome back to another edition of New Release Reviews for Dark Horse Comics.This is a fairly solid week of titles from Dark Horse. We try to cover other media comic book news, here, and one thing that caught our eye was big news coming from the Cannes Film Festival. A comic book took the Palme d'Or award this past weekend. Le Bleu est Une Couleur Chaude won the big prize this year with the film titled Blue is the Warmest Color.
The story, not yet published in the US, is about a girl who falls in love with a woman. Congrats to the film makers. Dark Horse hopes to maybe win some awards with the four releases that we reviewed this week. On a side note, IDW Publishing's review copies came later than normal and they'll be reviewed later this week. 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
Angel And Faith - Issue 22
SPOILER!!!! I need to just knock this out as just about all of the issue (and series) revolves around Giles-Quest and Angel's attempt to bring him back to life. Well, he succeeded. But, like all good stories, they didn't quite get what they wanted. Well, what he wanted which was Giles they way he was right before he was killed by Twilight. After two years of issues, Giles is back but he's a bit younger than he was. Like three plus decades. All the knowledge, twice the hormones. This creates some excellent character drama. Faith, clearly is uncomfortable with what happened to her surrogate father. And it's nice to see Angel smile for a change. END SPOILER.
Assuming they hold off the coming apocalypse, this should create some good stories as the only Watcher is younger than the thousands of slayers running around. I just wish this apocalpyse made more sense. I still couldn't tell you what's going on with it. The issue's title is just about perfect. As is the interior art which is stylish, and full of personality. The layouts flow and the coloring is just excellent. Much like the covers. Rebekah Isaacs cover is as good as the interior art. Steve Morris's cover is lovely.
Score: 8.5 out of 10
B.P.R.D. Vampires - Issue 3 (of 5)
This is an alright issue in this series, though it does leave a few things to be desired. The biggest point is that it feels as though little happened. There was a lot of walking around and then angry talking between the lead and the vampire. And there appears to be a betrayal. I guess the biggest problem is that there is so little connection to the characters that the drama has almost no meaning or value. The reader just doesn't care if the characters live or die. Which makes stories like this less than enjoyable to read when the danger is boring.
This series, also, takes place in the past so it's not clear how it will tie into the greater B.P.R.D. arcs going on. At least there were some revelations about the characters that might pay off later. For now, it was kind of dull. The creative team does manage to create some sense of dread that is influenced by the moodiness of the story. The interior artwork is very hip, and it seems atypical of the rest of the series in this universe. The cover is cool and dramatic, and seemingly less like a Mike Mignola story.
Score: 8 out of 10
B.P.R.D. Hell On Earth - Issue 107
Two things jump out from the pages of this issue. The first is the excellent, and unusual art work. Detail is fantastic and faces are extremely expressive. The other thing is that maybe, things aren't what they seem. Maybe the mutated humans aren't all mindless monsters. The things that remain on the page are the lack of identifiable characters and virtually non-existent motivations. The cover is interesting and kind of freaky.
Score: 7.5 out of 10
Conan - Issue 16
This is the all psychadelic drug addled edition of Conan. Well, it's one of because this trippy issue part one of an unclear number of issues in this story-line. The short-hand is that Conan and Bêlit go to town and end up at some sort of pleasure house where they have a lot of sex and watch other people have sex. Then, some guy offers them psychotropic drugs. Not showing any sense of being aware of dangers around them, they drop some and spend the rest of the issue hallucinating. It's not clear how this is going to play out. Will this be cathartic given all the problems they've had or will this drive them further apart?
Their reactions couldn't be any different, though it's probably important to remember the POV of the story is more Conan's. He's under constant siege in his hallucinations. It's dark and violent and it manifests the anguish and guilt he feels about their recent relationship issues. Bêlit is pretty relaxed, encouraging him to live right now instead of in the past. As stated, this might be more a matter of how he's perceiving things. Perhaps he sees her as a care-free person. Perhaps he sees her as damaged goods and is emotionally building a case to leave her.
Regardless, it didn't seem like much happened but it does feel as though it will build up to something of importance. The narration was helpful and it's clever how it's presented as something on an old type of parchment. The issue has solid inter art, with just the right amount of detail. The art contains attractive characters without cheesecake. The art is complimented by the soft coloring which is lovely but emotional.The issue has a gorgeous and sexy cover that contains lots of drama.
Score: 7.5 out of 10
Not a bad week from Dark Horse Comics. Not bad at all. Angel And Faith in all its spoileryness was the high-water mark. Everything else was solid, if not a must-read. Still, nothing was reviewed that will disappoint. Stop on back next week for more New Release Reviews for Dark Horse.