And Then I Read: DARK HORSE PRESENTS 20

DHP20

Image © Michael Avon Oeming and Dark Horse Comics.

The cover feature this time begins a new serial by Michael Avon Oeming, subtitled as “raunchy” and “shocking.” Those adjectives refer to ideas described in the dialogue, not the pictures, which are typical superheroics in an animated style. For subject matter, Oeming brings in the story of Nazi scientists as satan worshippers and holocaust exploiters, as well as US space program employees later, and the one about Jack Parsons, JPL founder, also a satan-worshipper, all this in the mouth of a terrorist about to blow things up. Kind of over the top for this type of story, I thought.

“Alabaster” by Caitlin Kiernan and Steve Lieber continues to be quite good and clever, and well-drawn. Love it.

“Journeymen” begins a new serial that drops us into a fierce battle between people and monsters without any explanation. Narrative captions by someone we haven’t met yet comment sarcastically. Not a great opening in my opinion.

“Station to Station” is a monster tale that might fit well in the Hellboy universe, though it isn’t in it. Not bad.

“Captain Midnight” continues to develop the story of the WW 2 hero’s sudden return and his determination to continue the mission he was on back then. Well done, though the art in the quiet conversation pages is not as good as in the action scenes. Final chapter in DHP, continues in his own title.

“Resident Alien” is still the best thing in the book for me, as our alien gets back on his feet just in time to begin investigating another murder.

“Finder” continues to intrigue and or baffle me, alternately. This one I liked, some clever ideas about a place full of very ill people trying desperately to pass on their particular illness to anyone they meet.

The other stories didn’t do much for me, but as always it’s a nice variety of things and well worth a read. Recommended.

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