February 7, 2013

Dark Horse Reviews: Dark Horse Presents #20

Dark Horse Presents #20
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writers: Michael Oeming, Gabriel Hardman, Duane Swierczynski, & others
Artists: Michael Oeming, Steve Lieber, Eric Nguyen, & others
Colors: Nick Filardi, Ego, & others

Yes! Another installment of The Victories is upon us! In this month’s issue of Dark Horse Presents, Michael Oeming has treated us to a chapter in the lives of these strange superheroes that begin their day by fighting a “six-titted-horse-Egyptian-machine-gun-chimera.” Yes, folks, you have to see it to believe it (image below)! It’s a hilarious intro, but we actually get to see the insane Jackal first! He’s taken a hostage and has a grudge against…NASA? Will he kill the hostage? Will he kill everyone? Read and find out!

This was the funniest, craziest story yet by Oeming. The Jackal is an absolutely unhinged psychopath, with seemingly no direction at all other than to create chaos with wild theories that make a mental patient seem ordinary. As we’ve come to expect, the artwork is phenomenal, and the best part was probably the behind the scenes look at the Jackal’s terrible childhood. It was dark and scary, but that’s exactly what it should have been. When you see what happened to him, it’s no wonder he’s messed up.

Next was another chapter in the Alabaster Wolves story. It was a chapter 3, so we’ll move along to the next story, and that was “Journeymen,” by Geoffrey Thorne and Todd Harris (image below). This one was very cryptic, but definitely in a good way. A huge beast is terrorizing some kind of office building. It kills everyone in sight except a lone girl. She runs away with the crazed animal right behind her. She’s eventually rescued by a strange looking dude in a trench coat.

“Gamma” chapter 3 was the following story, and then “Ghosts” (The White Suits). Ghosts was pretty entertaining even though it was another story that was on its third part. Lots of guns and mystery. It almost felt like an episode of Alias. “Station to Station” chapter two was next, and that was a great monster story co-written by Gabriel Hardman and Corrina Bechko, with Hardman on art. Very Godzilla-esque feeling to that one.

The seventh story, “Redacted,” showed a piece of the past when Captain Midnight was a WWII hero. It basically revealed the day that he went missing on a mission out at sea fighting Nazis. Good story and fantastic artwork on that one. Then we see another installment of the Peter H0gan (writer) and Steve Parkhouse (art) narrative “Resident Alien.” Our own Mike P. did a little write-up on the beginnings of that series, so check that out!


Two more stories round out the book. The last one was a chapter seventeen, so we’ll skip that one, but the next to last piece by Duane Swierczynski and Eric Nguyen was fantastic! It showed a bunch of thugs at a meeting with their boss, but before you know it, he’s running for his life from X! Very gritty story here, and that goes for the artwork as well! Bullets flying and blood splattering is on the menu, so if that’s your thing, don’t miss out!

Overall the book was solid from front to back. These anthology books are always tough to jump on with multiple stories all in different chapters, but if you’re a fan of any of these properties, then it would be a good idea to start now! Rating 4/5

Billy Dunleavy



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