Well folks, its the end of 2013, and Dark Horse put out a whopper of single issues this week. Here's a few things to look out for...
B. P. R. D. : Hell On Earth - Issue #114
Very cool issue. Liz Sherman has got her mojo back (BOOM-Headshot!!), and she's rejoining the Bureau at long last. It sounds like something big and exciting is going down in the NYC of the future, and the storyline's gonna go cross-country to check it out. I'm a believer - recommend you keep buying this title as long as you can. Plus, I have to say Tyler Crook's got a great style when drawing the undead. I would love to see him tackle something more ornate and elaborate, like a rendition of the Cthulu mythos.
Conan - Issue #23
Song of Belit, Part Two. Ok, for the previous issue, I think I said something like the writing felt phoned in, since Brian Wood's authorship of the title is coming to a close. I have to say, after a year's worth of reading the book, he finally threw out a decent surprise that I did not anticipate. That's a big spoiler, so I won't elaborate. However, it does still bother me, because a lot of the action happens off camera, and I think that's what proves to be so jarring. I can't tell yet if there's an explanation coming. So, I'm glad something finally caught my attention, but at the same time, I still can't wait to see what Fred Van Lente does next. This just took too long to get to this point, and as a reader it was often hard for me to sustain interest. I also bet some of the longtime Conan purists will see this issue's pivotal event as blasphemous - I'll be interested to see how their letters page responds next month. This is a maybe buy, if you also get Issue #22 for the context.
I waited until all four of these came out, and then read them more closely together. Definitely has the "Supernatural" TV show vibe about it, minus the Sam, Dean, and Castiel love triangle. I did like how the lead character outwitted the baddie, but I'm not sure what to make of the stuff with Frankenstein's eyes. I'm intrigued, may have to look for some more of this Criminal Macabre series so I can see what's happened before. Not bad, would recommend this as a buy if you've got the others in this mini-series.
Kiss Me Satan - Issue #05
We're clearly reaching the climax of this mini-series, so naturally its time for a blatant sex scene. But I suppose after the eyeball nastiness last issue, and seeing people get fried in front of you, better get it on before you're next. After reading this, mentally I started to compare it to the Criminal Macabre issue. This is the subject matter Dark Horse has done a great job with in recent years - a mixture of pulpy crime drama and horror. The painted look of this title adds believability to the swampy atmosphere. The only con I have at the moment is the caricature-like appearance of the bizzaro magician, Malcolm. This dude looks too much like John Waters to take seriously. I'm hoping for improvement there over time - if not with this villain, then with future deviants. Pretty good stuff, recommend it as a buy this week.
NeverEnding - Issue #02
This title was almost on my 6 Lousy Books list, but that would be harsh of me after one issue. Along comes issue 2, and unfortunately it hasn't changed my mind either. Not only does the premise of the story bother me by not being expansive enough - for example, what if this was more of a Benjamin Button kind of tale? - but I'm not shot in the pants by the artwork. Its not as polished as other Dark Horse titles, if you were to compare artwork in other books like Ghost, Trekker, or even this week's Captain Midnight. Not recommended as a buy from me this week.
Buzzkill - Issue #04
I stand by my pithy one-liner last week. I'm glad this mini-series is over. It should have been funnier, more ironic, more Withnail and I. The book turned dark almost overnight, and that felt like a betrayal of the cleverness of the first pages of issue 1. Not recommended as a buy this week.
Ghost - Issue #01
Wow, how many reboots of this title are there going to be? Isn't there already an omnibus in print for all the previous Ghosts?Despite the extensive history, this was a decent beginning to whatever the next chapter has in store for us. I will be interested to see how it varies from the Occultist, which I feel like is a metaphysical sibling to this series. This will be a good title to check out in the new year, so I'd take a chance and buy it this week.
Man, look at all of these other books!! - SHOOT First - Issue #03, Sledgehammer 44 - Issue #02, Star Wars - Dark Times, Star Wars - Dawn Of The Jedi, Star Wars - Darth Vader Cry Of Shadows, Star Wars - Legacy, The Strain : The Fall - Issue #06, Captain Midnight - Issue #06, Dark Horse Presents - Issue #31, Itty Bitty Hellboy - Issue #05, Mass Effect : Foundation - Issue #06, The Massive - Issue #18. Have fun!