Image © Dark Horse Comics.
As evident on the cover, Dark Horse is relaunching some of their superhero titles from years past, and sampling them in this anthology. I don’t buy many Dark Horse Titles other than the Hellboy-related ones, but I do continue to enjoy this sampler of what’s going on at the company. Nice to see that logo again, I believe it’s one I designed for the character in 1992. The story excerpt is one where crime bosses have been targeted by this vigilante assassin, and are sure their defenses will keep them safe…until they don’t. Well done, if violent by writer Duane Swierczynski and artist Eric Nguyen. (Glad I don’t have to letter those names!)
Part 2 of “Alabaster” by Caitlín R. Kiernan and Steve Lieber continues the story of ghosts and evil entities in a small town diner that makes the best BLTs ever. Even so, I don’t recommend eating there. Great stuff.
In Part 3 of “The Deep Sea,” the survivors of a deep dive have been unexpectedly rescued after decades under the sea, and the vessel that found them is under attack by huge, scary creatures. The story by Palmiotti and Gray is good, but the art by Akins and Mounts seems to have gone off the rails this time, very loose and sketchy, and confusing layouts and storytelling, leaving me unsure of what exactly happened in places.
Part 2 of “Gamma” is an odd mix of cute animals and monster hunters. Didn’t work for me.
Part 2 of Captain Midnight by Joshua Williamson & Victor Ibañez worked great on all levels, smart writing about a smart character who shows why he was a hero back when, ready to take advantage of the situation when the modern-day military underestimates him.
A segment of “Mind Mgmt” by Matt Kindt is well told, though I don’t care for the art style.
Part 4 of “Crime Does Not Pay: City of Roses” is well told and well drawn by Phil Stanford and Patric Reynolds. Crime fiction is not very appealing to me, but this story carried my interest anyway.
Part 2 of a new “Resident Alien” storyline by Peter Hogan and Steve Parkhouse is great stuff. There’s something intriguing about this soap-opera approach to the characters with only the reader aware that one of them is an alien, as seen very clearly in the art. Kind of the opposite of the old twist ending, here we start with the reveal, and then the story rolls along as if it wasn’t there at all, mostly. Looking forward to more.
Part 1 of “Station to Station” throws us into a disaster of epic proportions and then begins to unravel how it happened. Looks like scientific experiments gone wrong so far, but what’s that weird creature? Interesting opening by Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman.
“The White Suits” is a spy vs. spy story set in Russia that doesn’t appeal to me much, but the art looks good.
Overall, not a bad issue. I have to say the variety of material is less than in the past, and the number of continued stories make it hard to recommend this issue as a starting point for new readers, but in general this is a great anthology and recommended.