April 3, 2013

Dark Horse Reviews: Wild Rover and The Sacrifice (one-shot)

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Written by: Billy
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Wild Rover & The Sacrifice (one shot)
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writer: Michael Avon Oeming
Artists: Michael Avon Oeming & Victor Santos
Editor: Jim Gibbons

On the heels of his great series, The Victories, Michael Avon Oeming brings us a tale of psychological self-repair! In “Wild Rover” we meet a man who is battling an inner demon of epic proportions, and it’s one that he believes has been passed down genetically from his parents. This tortured soul believes that this demon can only be satiated with alcohol, or debauchery of some kind. By story’s end, this man will have to make a choice. Either face down this demon or die drowning in a pool of self-pity.

The other story in the book, “The Sacrifice,” shows a young warrior about to reach the precipice of manhood. He’s brought by his mentor to a tree that houses a multitude of swords. His mentor tells him that there is one just for him, and if he chooses it he’ll live, and become a great warrior. If he chooses wrong, though, he’ll die! You will not be ready for how this one ends, trust me.

Anyone who’s been reading The Victories knows that Oeming is on a roll (Powers, too), so this book being completely awesome isn’t shocking. You can tell that some of this story is coming from personal experience, and that is a teacher that knows no limits. When you can draw from something that led you down a certain path, that can be painful, but also set you on a path of healing. It seems that both were probably the case here. Two great stories of stark contrast are what made this book an absolute winner that people should grab.

The artwork in the first story (as well as the cover) was by Oeming, and as usual it was great. He has quite a unique style that you can identify immediately. Let’s be honest about that for a moment. Any time you can recognize an artist that quickly, they’re doing something right! The second story was penciled by Victor Santos (Mice Templar, Godzilla), a great change of pace for the book, and he really makes an impression with his work. His characters have a slightly rough look to them, but not so rough that they look hurried.

Overall, this was a fantastic read with such an emotional and mental roller coaster ride, you’ll be both impressed and feeling very introspective at the same time. Looking for a book off the beaten path? Look no further! Rating 4/5

Billy Dunleavy



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