And Then I Read: DARK HORSE PRESENTS 25

DHP25

Image © Dark Horse Comics, Inc.

I’ve never watched a minute of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” I read the cover-featured story in this issue hoping to find out what I’ve missed. I’m still wondering. The writer seems to have assumed that everyone reading will know who these characters are, what their relationships with each other are, and what their situation and their world is about. There is absolutely no explanation of any of that. I’m guessing the blonde woman with the stake is Buffy, though no one refers to her by name, and she attacks zombies. Beyond that, I learned nothing useful.

“The Time Ben Fell in Love” by Matt Fraction and Christian Ward is complex and challenging, but in a way I love: a tangled web of time made by one time traveler trying to fix things in his own past. Like the art, too.

I like the “Brainboy” story that winds up in this issue. The writing by Fred van Lente is entertaining, and the art by Freddie Williams II is appealing. There was one character that puzzled me, though. I couldn’t figure out if it was a female midget or a child with odd anatomy. The storyline is a mix of police work and ESP.

“Trekker” by Ron Randall is my favorite series in this issue. Both the writing and art are excellent. Ron has been doing this character for a long time, and it shows. The bounty hunter on vacation—only she can’t really go on vacation—is a good hook, and the amount of trouble Mercy St. Clair and her girlfriend get into on their supposed holiday is amazing and entertaining.

“King’s Road” tries hard to entwine mundane life with epic fantasy, and never really clicked for me. The art by Phil Winslade is well drawn, but much of the painted color lacks contrast, making it hard to “read.”

The “Nexus” storyline now running is getting weirder all the time. Here H.G. Wells offers Horatio a time machine to chase the villain, but it needs a very rare fuel.

“Bloodhound” wraps up its police action against an invisible man story well. Liked it. “Blackout” with another sort of invisible man, this time the main character, is pretty good, too.

Recommended.

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