Friday, October 21, 2011

Dark Horse Presents #5

Written by Eric Powell, Chuck Brown, Felipe Melo, Robert Love, David Walker, Peter Hogan, Steve Niles, Howard Chaykin, Andi Watson, Carla Speed McNeil, and Neil Adams
Art by Eric Powell, Sanford Greene, Juan Cavia, Robert Love, Steve Parkhouse, Christopher Mitten, Howard Chaykin, Andi Watson, Carla Speed McNeil, and Neil Adams

Let's number-crunch for a moment.  This book has 80 pages of comics, divided into ten stories, for $7.99.  In contrast, this week's issue of Avengers had 20 pages of story, of which 30% were single- or double-splash pages, for $3.99.  The value, even when subtracting stories that I don't like, is plain to see.

This issue begins with a great little one-shot story by Eric Powell about a robot who is designed to explore a distant planet which could be the best hope for humanity's survival.  The robot is made a little too human though, and so while traveling for hundreds of years, he begins to indulge in the gifts mankind gave him - weapons, religion, and porn.  My hope is that Dark Horse will continue to pepper this series with more of these one-off gems.  There is another in here, by Andi Watson, but I didn't like it very much.  I have no problem with young adult comics; they just don't fit very well in a series like this, the rest of which is pretty mature.

I loved the new chapter of Finder, which is no great surprise really.  In it, Jaeger starts delivering items from his courier company's dead letter office, a concept that reminds me of reading Clive Barker in high school and getting swept up in the idea of being able to read undeliverable mail.

I also enjoyed the latest chapters of Number 13, Resident Alien, and even Howard Chaykin's story, which has grown on me.  The werewolf private eye story is interesting too, if a little strange in its mixture of humour with pretty depressing story matter.

I still don't care for Rotten Apple, which I think is over now, and the Criminal Macabre story still does nothing for me.  Neal Adams's Blood remains one of the worst comics I've ever read.  Is anyone enjoying it?

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