Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Dark Horse Preview Review for December

Lee: With Jim taking a sabbatical, I have enlisted the aid of fellow team members to cover the previews this month. Let’s give a warm round of applause for Sunday regular, Thomm!!!!!
Thomm: Hey, I get to play on the team! Enough splinters from the bench.

AGE OF REPTILES OMNIBUS VOLUME 1 by Ricardo Delgado (W/A), James Sinclair (C), and Jim Campbell (C)When Ricardo Delgado—a prolific development and storyboard artist who has worked on such hit films as Men in Black, The Incredibles, WALL-E, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and the Matrix series—first set his sights on creating comics, he crafted an epic tale about the most unlikely cast of characters: dinosaurs. Since that first foray into the world of sequential art—which earned him an Eisner win for Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition—he has returned to his critically acclaimed Age of Reptiles again and again, each time crafting a captivating saga about his saurian subjects. This volume collects the long-out-of-print Age of Reptiles and Age of Reptiles: The Hunt, and the never-before-collected third series, Age of Reptiles: The Journey. FC, 400 pages, TPB, 6” x 9” , $24.99
Lee: This is one of those series that was never appreciated when it was released. I believe the whole thing is wordless but it doesn’t matter in the least. This is a book filled with pictures of dinosaurs doing what dinosaurs do best, chewing each other to bits. I can’t wait to get my copy. Thomm: So, what distinguishes this from the film strips I saw as a kid in science class? Better pictures, sure, but eh? I’ll stick to my National Geographic.

B.P.R.D.: PLAGUE OF FROGS VOLUME 1 by Mike Mignola (W), Christopher Golden (W), Geoff Johns (W), Michael Avon Oeming (W/A), Guy Davis (A), Ryan Sook (A), and othersIn 2001, Hellboy quit the B.P.R.D., leaving Abe Sapien to lead Liz Sherman and a bizarre roster of special agents in defending the world from occult threats, including the growing menace of the frog army, first spotted in Hellboy: Seed of Destruction. Mike Mignola and Dark Horse present the complete Plague of Frogs saga, from Hollow Earth to King of Fear. This first book explores the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense after Hellboy’s departure, cracks open the secrets of Abe Sapien’s origin, and sets the war on frogs in motion. Over 400 pages, collecting Hollow Earth, The Soul of Venice, and Plague of Frogs. FC, 408 pages, HC, 7" x 10", $34.99
Lee: I cannot even begin to tell you how long I have been waiting for this! I’ve heard so many good things about BPRD for so long that I’ve been dying to read it. Now, in one giant, fancy hc, I get my wish. Excellent.
Thomm: Now this is more to my interest. I’ve only read bits and pieces of Hellboy and BPRD over the years. What’s kept me from continuing with all the monthly stuff is just the usual enemies of time and money. What I have read has always been very good, though, and the very idea of frogs as some world ending threat is both radically bent and highly ironic, given the serious decline of actual frogs from human pollution. Something I’ll definitely take a hard look at getting.

12.5" tall, $149.99 Limited edition, packaged in full-color deluxe packaging with a certificate of authenticity, hand numbered on base. We are shambling forward from our musty crypt with a fabulous companion piece to the Uncle Creepy statue—none other than his good pal Cousin Eerie. Crafted by master sculptor Tony Cipriano, this sinister-but-engaging statue is a genuine labor of love. Be warned! No detail was suppressed. The statue captures Cousin Eerie warts and all …
Lee: Are you kidding me? DH wants me to pay $150 for a statue of a fat man with warts. I don’t think so.
Thomm: Not a toys or statutes guy, so not the least appeal here for me. The only comics related junk like this that I have are free rings that came with comics. Oh, yeah, and a free single that Tim Truman recorded and attached to a Scout comic long ago. The $150 price is just the nail in the coffin.

FINDER: VOICE by Carla Speed McNeil (W/A)
What you find isn’t nearly as important as what finds you . . . Since 1996, Finder has set the bar for science-fiction storytelling, with a lush, intricate world and compelling characters. Now, Carla Speed McNeil’s Eisner Award-winning series comes to Dark Horse with the original graphic novel Voice. In a society defined by its intricate network of clans, Rachel Grosvenor has grown up an outcast, straddling worlds. Now, her quest for admission to a highly exclusive clan sends Rachel spiraling into the dark underbelly of Anvard and a paradox that holds the key to her future: How do you find a Finder? Rising star Carla Speed McNeil has been nominated for seventeen industry awards, winning five times, since 1998! Voice won the 2009 Eisner Award for Best Webcomic.“Completely fascinating.” –Warren Ellis, b&w, 208 pages, TPB, 6” x 9” , $19.99
Lee: I’ve talked with Carla McNeil the last three or four times I was at the Baltimore ComicCon. She is one of the nicest creators I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. As for the book, it’s excellent. It’s an excellent comic and sadly under the radar.
Thomm: Certainly sounds interesting. Not sure if this is the best point to jump on with no prior experience of the series. How does a Finder find a Finder? I don’t know what a Finder is. (How is someone who’s had 17 industry nominations and 5 wins still a rising star and not an actual star?)

LET ME IN: CROSSROADS #1 (of 4) by Marc Andreyko (W), Patric Reynolds (A), Dave Stewart (C), and Sean Phillips (Covers)Being forced to spend eternity as a vampire—trapped in the mind and body of a child, with slaughter the only recourse for survival—is torture enough. But when Abby finds herself faced with a ruthless real-estate tycoon willing to do anything to get at the property she and her caretaker call home, far more monstrous torments await. In a small community torn apart by vicious men who are consumed by greed, wrath, and envy, she will learn which deadly sin is truly deadliest. Taking you even deeper into a tragic world of sophisticated horror with Let Me In: Crossroads, a chilling prelude to the highly anticipated film Let Me In. Featuring a regular cover and a foil-enhanced photo variant cover! FC, 32 pages, Miniseries, $3.99
Lee: On one hand I eagerly look forward to this, but on the other hand it depresses the heck out of me because I think it will be junk. The problem is that the book this is based on, “Let the Right One In,” is an absolutely fantastic vampire novel in the Dracula, let’s chew on people, vampire vein. Wait, to be clear, the first 300 pages are a fantastic vampire novel. The last 150 pages wildly veer off the tracks and come dangerous close to ruining the whole experience. So, you can understand my trepidation over this story. Couple that with the fact that I know key plot elements will, or have been, changed for American mass consumption, and I really have my doubts. Hopefully it’s similar to the first 150 pages of the book.
Thomm: Enough already. I’ve had my fill of vampires as misunderstood or tortured souls. Anne Rice started this. Buffy flirted with it, then dove headlong with Spike. Twilight killed it. Bring back the unrepentant Dracula already.

MIGHTY SAMSON #1 by Jim Shooter (W), Patrick Olliffe (A/Cover), Dan Jackson (C), and Raymond Swanland (Cover)Five-hundred years after the end of the world, amid the ruins of a once-great city scourged by mutated monsters, marauders, and savage subhuman predators, the primitive N’Yark tribe ekes out a meager, fragile existence. But from among them rises a champion, gifted with prodigious strength—a warrior who can strike dead the most fearsome beast and stand alone against an army. Singlehandedly, he holds at bay the ravaging barbarian hordes of Jerz, thwarting the dark ambitions of beautiful, ruthless Queen Terra. At stake is the future of the world. Mighty Samson is the last, best hope of humankind. For the first time in a quarter century, Mighty Samson returns to comics This bonus-sized first issue includes the very first Mighty Samson story from 1964! FC, 48 pages, $3.50
Lee: With this solicitation, I am convinced that DH is trying to start their own superhero line again. You think they would have learned their lesson after the collapse of the Comics Greatest World disaster. I love old comic characters but Mighty Sampson never interested me as a child. If the source material doesn’t appeal to me, lover of all old comics, who will it appeal to? I wish the title well but I see stormy clouds ahead.
Thomm: It’s Kamandi without the talking animals? Planet of the Apes without the big reveal (or the talking apes)? I do like the idea that New York and New Jersey are still battling 500 years after our civilization has ended. (And let’s be clear, the world hasn’t ended if the planet’s still here. Sorry, got a thing for accurate use of English.)

ROBERT E. HOWARD’S SAVAGE SWORD #1 by Marc Andreyko (W), Mark Finn (W), Roy Thomas (W), Paul Tobin (W), Tim Bradstreet (A), Robert Atkins (A), Tim Conrad (A), Barry Windsor-Smith (A), Esad Ribic (Cover), and othersContinuing our tradition of bringing Robert E. Howard’s incomparable characters to life, Dark Horse is proud to present the inaugural issue of Robert E. Howard’s Savage Sword! Each eighty-page, perfect-bound issue will showcase the exploits of Howard’s heroes in new comic adventures and restored reprints of classic tales, and include a wide range of bonus material too! Some of these characters have never before appeared in comics—you’ll see them here first, folks! Featuring the work of industry legends and today’s top talent and hottest rising stars, this is a can’t-miss series for fans of action-packed adventure comics! Includes Roy Thomas, Tim Conrad, and Barry Windsor-Smith’s acclaimed Savage Sword of Conan epic, “Worms of the Earth,” recolored and reprinted in its entirety! FC, 80 pages, $7.99
Lee: Just when I think that I am done with Conan, DH finds a way to reel me back in. This has it all, good writers, good artists, and it’s square bound. The only thing that gives me pause, I already have the “Worms of the Earth,” story in three or four other formats. Don’t get me wrong, it’s absolutely fantastic, but I already own it.
Thomm: Kind of lost my Conan affection 20 years or so ago. Just sort of wore out on it.

STAR WARS OMNIBUS: A LONG TIME AGO. . . .VOLUME 3 by Chris Claremont (W), Michael Fleisher (W), Archie Goodwin (W), David Michelinie (W), Walter Simonson (P), Al Williamson (P), Tom Palmer (I), and othersThis third volume of Star Wars Omnibus: A Long Time Ago. . . . collects issues #50–#67 of the Marvel run—nearly five hundred pages of action and adventure at a bargain price! FC, 480 pages, TPB, 6" x 9", $24.99
Lee: Does anyone know if these stories are any good? I’m interested because of the artists attached but I’m not sure I care about Star Wars enough to actually invest the money.
Thomm: I bought some of these books back in the day. Don’t recall a single thing about them, though. If the freebie I recently got is any indication, there’s not much appeal. ‘Course, I’ve never found any of the stories outside the original three movies all that interesting.

Lee: DH went through a lull but they really seem to have been picking it up lately. Between BPRD and Dinosaurs, DH is taking a chunk of my money this month.
Thomm: There’s a couple things here I’ll look into, but nothing I’m rushing out for. BPRD’s collection has the best chance of finding its way to my home. I’m more likely to get another Goon TPB, though.


  1. Splinters indeed! OW! Ouch!

    Actually Lee, that Star Wars volume will be excellent! Those are some great stories, especially when Lando returns to Cloud City and the Shira Brie storyline is awesome. It's easily the best run of the entire series.

  2. The previous volumes would be good too. However, you can probably still find the full-size trades on-line somewhere. 6"x9" is too small for material this dense.

  3. The problem is that the full size ones are expensive because they are out of print. Or at least they used to be. I wonder if the price will come down now that the omnibus's have been released.