And Then I Read: DARK HORSE PRESENTS 18

DHP18Image © Dark Horse Comics.

I love the Steve Rude cover featuring Captain Midnight, the lead story, and it’s off to a good start! Bringing back a very old character can be tricky — do you go with a period piece or present him as a man out of the past, as Marvel famously did when they brought back Captain America in the 1960s. Writer Joshua Williamson and artist Victor Ibàñez have gone the latter route, with the Captain suddenly appearing in today’s skies thinking he’s still in World War Two (I think), and picked up by Navy pilots. Nice start, let’s see where it goes!

“Finder” has gone psychedelic this time. Interesting art, the story is not clear to me, though.

“Gamma,” the first part of a new series doesn’t work particularly well for me, either in the story or the art.

Another great Richard Corben Poe adaptation of “The Shadow.” Not sure if the original is a story or a poem, I don’t recall it, and of course Corben uses the Poe framework to build his own story. Quite a good one.

“Memories of the Caspian” is an autobiographical tale, something DHP seems to do periodically, and a fascinating one about growing up on the shores of the Caspian Sea, and coming back to it much later as an adult. Fine writing by Dara Naraghi, great art by Victor Santos.

Still not warming to “City of Roses.”

A new “Resident Alien” story by Peter Hogan and Steve Parkhouse is very welcome to this reader, and it begins well, in a Native American spirit world of sorts, then cutting to investigators in the past trying to figure some things out.

“Alabaster” begins a new series written by Caitlín R. Kiernan, art by Steve Lieber, two solid pros. Like much of Kiernan’s work, it has a dark, southern feel that hovers on the border between fantasy and horror. Lieber’s art is fine, with a softer touch than some previous work. If talking, anthromorphic animals telling stories and ghostly companions appeal to you, here they are.

“UXB” continues to elude me, not sure what’s going on or why I should care, but the visuals are interesting.

Finally we have the first part of a “monsters under the bed” story with cute art by Ron Chan. A little too cute, perhaps, but okay.

Recommended.

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