Dark Horse Presents #1
Writers: Geof Darrow, David Mack, Peter Hogan, Brendan McCarthy, Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, Damon Gentry
Artists: Geof Darrow, David Mack, Steve Parkhouse, Brendan McCarthy, Andy Kuhn, Aaron Conley
Colors: Dave Stewart, John Rauch, Joseph Bergin III
Lettering: Peter Doherty, Steve Parkhouse, Nate Piekos of Blambot, John J. Hill
Dark Horse has had a Dark Horse Presents series for a long time now; as the preface states it’s nearly 200 issues if you go all the way back to 1986 when the series first began. Now that it’s back we get a grab bag full of comics to read, just enough to give you a taste. Are the tastes they give in this issue worth coming back for more? Is this a triumphant return? Let’s find out!
Right out of the gate, this book has collected some beautiful comics art. I found my first look through the book I would stop reading and just gaze at the artwork. Beyond the basic premise, “Big Guy and Rusty” had such great art, and really felt like a busy and weird near future of monsters and machines, and this story has both plus what must be dozens and dozens of beach goers. The story is a pretty basic beat ’em up with Rusty trying to get folks to leave a giant monster fight, while Big Guy handles the monsters.
David Mack’s piece was hypnotic, and it’s not so much drawings as it is a scrapbook to the extreme, and so I continued my look through the book before settling my eyes on any words. I just glided through this one admiring the placement of the words and images along with the backgrounds. The story is exposition, but with such a lovely way to convey, that’s just fine.
“Resident Alien” was the first story that had me stop and read the story, because while I could look in awe at the other two, this one had images where I was wanting to know more about this alien in Las Vegas. It turned out to look as great as it read, and was a fun story about an alien using his abilities to do the right thing while still technically doing the wrong thing.
“Dream Gang” was another story that was fitting for just marveling at the artwork since it was literally dreamlike in its design. Dream stuff for art will always pull me in.
“Wrestling with Demons” had great art, but it also had enough text to pull me in to read it as I went. It seems like it’s a cross country story until we find out the title is likely very literal, and that is when the art truly shines in variety. It has a horror film set up, but may get into some truly brutal fight scenes, here’s hoping.
The final story, “Sabertooth Swordsman,” was another one where I just plowed through looking at the artwork. It’s just an amazing little adventure that you can follow as it flows along, it’s great.
All these comics have stories that enticed me to want to check them out, and the art made me very happy. So I’d say that Dark Horse Presents did not only a fine job in general, but is an amazing return for the series. I want more and can’t wait for them to come out.
Dr. Alexander Bustos