Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Dark Horse Presents #2

I should start by saying that I'm really enjoying the new Dark Horse Presents (and I enjoyed the original version, too), but I do feel a bit conflicted.

On one hand, it's a book that's loaded with great artistic talent - Neal Adams, Howard Chaykin, Paul Chadwick, Richard Corben, Michael Gilbert - the comic includes veterans and some talented up-and-comers. There's some strong writing here, although the length of the stories limits that element. The production values are top-notch, and you get a lot of comic for your money.

On the down side, it takes a lot of money to buy this comic, even though your eight bucks buys a lot more than any three regular-sized comics combined. There's some variation in quality, of course - some stories are strong (Concrete, Number 13, The Treasure), some are silly (The Wraith, Mr. Monster, Snow Angel) and some are almost impenetrable (Blood, Rotten Apple, Finder) - but they're all enjoyable.

I do think the eight-page limit on each story makes it difficult to get a story rolling - it really seems to be holding back Adams' Blood and Chaykin's Marked Man, for example. Only Chadwick's Concrete seems the thrive at that limit. It would be nice to see occasional stories that are longer (or shorter, for that matter).

Still, overall it's an outstanding package, and if you can deal with the price tag, it's a rewarding purchase.

Grade: A-


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