Dark Horse Presents #9


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Dark Horse Presents #9


  • Words: Mike Mignola, Brian Wood, Paul Pope, Tony Puryear, Edgar Allen Poe, Rich Johnston, Alan Gordon, Steve Horton, Caitlin R. Kieman, M.J. Butler
  • Art: Joe Queno, Kristian Donaldson, Richard Corben, Simon Rohrmuller, Thomas Yeats, Michael Dialynes, Steve Leber, Mark Wheatley
  • Colors: Dave Stewart, Dave Stewart, Thomas Yeats, Lori Almeida
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
  • Price: $7.99
  • Release Date: Feb 22, 2012

A combination of stories makes Dark Horse Presents one of the most dynamic books out on the market, but dynamite can have its breakouts and breakdowns.

Dark Horse Presents could easily be one of the best books you're missing. Every issue features a host of talent, ranging from established creators to those new to the field, and covers a litany of genres. This issue alone features murder mysteries, pirate tales, sci-fi post-apocalypse, hilarious warrior stories, and more. At $7.99 and nearly 80 pages, the value might not be the best if you only find one story you like, but the chances are high that there will be something that catches your eye. Picking up a random issue will give you a few single-issue stories, but you'll also be jumping into the middle of a few tales; thankfully, most of the stories in this anthology catch you up rather decently.

Obviously, Mike Mignola and Brian Wood stand out as the most notable writers in the pack; they've made names for themselves at Dark Horse and beyond (and Edgar Allan Poe is Edgard Allan Poe). Amidst the other writers in the book, one stands out, and that's M.J. Butler's story (drawn by Mark Wheatley) that brings up the end of the book, and wraps it up on a hilarious note. Their Skultar story has fun with the comic book medium, showing how someone who blanks out for days at a time sees the world, alongside the humorous notion of the Trademark "™" appearing at the end of licensed character names. Skultar, despite being a third chapter in the story, demands to be read in full, if only to see the further adventures of this metallic bra-wearing faux-Conan and his "violent blackouts," as expertly depicted on the final page. Reminiscent of the "What's different in these pictures" games, Skultar and his companion haven't changed places, but the swath of blood and dead bodies across the background does indeed confirm that he had one of his "violent blackouts."

Alabaster and Amala's Blade have great art, with the latter reminiscent of Becky Cloonan, always a good thing, from Michael Dialynes. The Many Murders of Miss Cranbourne's art is uniquely traditional; the flat colors and almost serious-humorous designs seem as if it's straight out of the Sunday newspaper. Richard Corben shows that he can draw a decent story (when he's not exactly writing it), and proves that he can at least tell a tale with the visual medium.

Dark Horse Presents features a few standouts. They might not be worth the price of admission, but flipping through the book would at least give someone a good idea of what trades to collect down the road.

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