Dark Horse Presents #8


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Dark Horse Presents #8


  • Words: Mike Mignola, John Arcudi, Evan Dorkin, Rich Johnston, Brian Wood, et al.
  • Art: Duncan Fegredo, Jill Thompson,Kristian Donaldson, et al.
  • Inks: Various
  • Colors: Various
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
  • Price: $7.99
  • Release Date: Feb 1, 2012

An amazing anthology that teases a new storyline for B.P.R.D. and Brian Wood’s The Massive.

Dark Horse Presents #8 is a gigantic offering, packing ten quality stories into over 85 pages of content.  For the #7.99 price point, readers should be well aware of the steal they’re holding in their hands.  With new a B.P.R.D. storyline teased, an all-too-brief introduction to Brian Wood’s The Massive, as well as several other fantastic stories, Dark Horse Presents #8 is a must have for any fan.

Mike Mignola and John Arcudi’s B.P.R.D.: An Unmarked Grave teaser is quite outstanding.  Knowing little about the series, Mignola and Arcudi must be commended for their short story carrying such a heavy emotional weight.  Building off of the recent sacrifice and death of Hellboy, the short conveys several incredibly strong emotions, reflected in the gloomy setting of a British graveyard while the heavyhearted characters, Alice and Kate, mull over their loss. 

Adding to the dreary tone of An Unmarked Grave is artist Duncan Fegredo and colorist Dave Stewart, whose combined effort of simple pencils and mild colors reinforces the depressed feeling of Alice and Kate.  For those with little knowledge of B.P.R.D., this short story is an enticing introduction to the series and a great jumping on point. 

Following B.P.R.D. is Beasts of Burden: The View from the Hill from Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson.   Thompson’s beautiful painted art brings to life the story of four dogs and a cat who stumble upon a ghostly flock of sheep.  The interaction between the cat, dogs, and sheep is top notch, and until the haunting end, their matter-of-fact conversation definitely elicits a smile or two.  The quite serious discussion about “The Great Dog” and “the endless fields in heaven,” on the other hand, which leads up to a ghastly ending, is certain to pull the heart strings of readers with the coldest of hearts. 

Later in the anthology, and offering a hilarious change of pace, is Rich Johnston’s The Many Murders of Miss Cranbourne: Chapter One.  Miss Cranbourne, no stranger to murder with over twenty-five slayings under her dress, brings her special blend of revenge to the wandering eyes of Reverend Seeling.  Not only is the murder itself quite humorous, but Miss Cranbourne’s transformation from confident killer to meek elderly citizen in the presence of the authorities offers several moments of comedic gold.  Drawn by Simon Rohrmüller, Miss Cranbourne has a look all its own.  Rohrmüller’s facial expressions, moreover, add to the hilarity, with Miss Cranbourne’s devious eyes deceiving several over-confident inspectors at every possible turn.  Chapter One of Miss Cranbourne is another wholly unique offering, one that must be followed with more tales of the wicked old lady.

Though every individual story of Dark Horse Presents #8 is great in its own right, the most exciting and enticing short of all is the introduction to Brian Wood’s new series The Massive.  Following Specialist Callum Israel, a member of the privately contracted security firm Blackbell PMC, The Massive is mysterious, action-packed, and apocalyptic in scale.  With equal amounts of eco-terrorism, politics, and the lethal power of Mother Nature all working against Israel, The Massive is everything you could expect from Wood, and more.  With the entirety of the story taking place on a deep ocean oil-rig, moreover, artist Kristian Donaldson was able to truly stretch his artistic muscles. 

A beautifully rendered and insanely detailed double-page spread of the rig amidst an endless ocean and tumultuous storm makes the epic scale of The Massive more than clear.  Wood and Donaldson have created the perfect introduction and tease to their new series, one which will surely entice readers to return and find out more about Israel and the mystery behind The Massive in the next Dark Horse Presents.

Dark Horse Presents #8 offered so much quality content for such a reasonable price.  Almost every page of the whopping 85 total featured great storytelling and art.  So many standout stories can be found within Dark Horse Presents #8, more than just the four examples discussed.  Though Mike Mignola and John Arcudi’s B.P.R.D. and Brian Wood’s The Massive are sure to be the biggest titles, there is much more for readers to discover and love within Dark Horse Presents #8.

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