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June 17, 2011

Dark Horse Reviews: Dark Horse Presents #2

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Written by: AHudson

Title: Dark Horse Presents #2
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writers: Paul Chadwick, Robert Love, David Walker, Neal Adams, Carla Speed McNeil, Howard Chaykin, Michael T Gilbert, Patrick Alexander, Chuck Brown, Richard Coben, David Chelsea
Artists: Paul Chadwick, Robert Love, Neal Adams, Carla Speed McNeil, Howard Chaykin, Michael T. Gilbert, Patrick Alexander, Sanford Greene, Richard Corben, David Chelsea
Cover: Neal Adams

After quite the hiatus (at least with physical publication), Dark Horse is back once more with Dark Horse Presents, the comic that started it all. The classic Dark Horse Presents is one of my all time favorite comic book anthologies/series of all time. It had some of the greatest and most original comic book stories of all time, ranging from sci-fi to horror to crime and even humor. Dark Horse Presents brought us such Dark Horse Comics staples as Aliens or Sin City. So when they re-released the series again, I was more than excited, and Dark Horse Presents #1 did not dissapoint. But the question is, can it keep up the good work with Dark Horse #2?

Well, good news is that this is more of the same, not much of a change in quality. So if you loved issue #1, you’ll love this one; and conversely, if you hated #1 (which I doubt anyone would), you’ll probably hate this one.

Dark Horse Presents did a good job mixing up the variety here. But it is a box of chocolate here, just like any anthology. There will be some you will love and some you will scratch your head at. To go into detail for each one would take too much time, so instead, I’ll give a quick recap for each one.

  • Concrete: In a Wound in the Earth – Classic Dark Horse Presents staple. Hard not to love, Paul Chadwick has not forgotten how to write a good Concrete story.
  • Number 13 – New story. Can’t reach a conclusion yet, but I’m enjoying what I’m seeing here.
  • Blood (Chapter 2) – Honestly, I’m not too crazy about this one. If you disliked Neal Adams’s Batman Oddysey, then there’s a good chance you won’t be too crazy about Blood either. A bit chaotic in storytelling. But we’ll see how it goes in the next chapter.
  • Finder: Third World (Chapter 2) – Interesting story about a criminal who’s going to the good side by just simply being a delivery man. Unique twist to the classic redemption story (and doesn’t take itself too seriously).
  • Marked Man (Chapter 2) – It’s Howard Chaykin and if you’re a fan of his work like myself, than you’ll enjoy this. So far it’s a pretty solid story; I don’t think there’s much to worry about come next chapter.
  • Mr. Monster vs. Oooak! (Chapter 2) – Bronze age styled superhero goodness. Proving that not everything here is a violent sci-fi/crime story.
  • The Wraith – Humorous but gorier (in a silly way) than the other humorous stories here. More like a comic strip from the funnies. Not bad all in all.
  • Rotten Apple (Chapter 1) – This one was…OK. Not bad in quality, but honestly I’m getting tired of the zombie genre, even when they try to make a twist on it (like every other zombie story out there).
  • Murky World: The Treasure – Closest thing here to the classic Dark Horse Presents in the sense that it’s black and white and has a Dune-esque sci-fi story. Just like the classic Dark Horse Presents, this is both artistic and well written.
  • Snow Angel (Chapter 2) – I love Snow Angel. Definitely in my top three Dark Horse Presents stories here. It’s not a story that’s childish. Rather, it’s a story that brings out the inner child in you.

In case you haven’t noticed, there hasn’t been a single story here that I absolutely hated. There’s a good mix here and I’m curious as to what they’ll do next time. Original, artistic, bold. Just like the classic Dark Horse Presents. If you’ve picked up Dark Horse Presents #1 and liked it, make sure you pick up this one. If you haven’t read the new Dark Horse Presents (or even the old one), buy Dark Horse Presents #1, and maybe while you’re at it Dark Horse Presents #2. There are not many books I’d recommend all comic book fans to buy, but with the level of variety here, I’m sure there’s at least one story out there for everyone to like.

Andrew Hudson




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