Dark Horse Presents #123

Comic book, 1997

This issue of Dark Horse Presents contains the second part of a John Arcudi two-parter called Imago. It’s why I bought this issue and the one before it, being a longtime fan of his Mask and Major Bummer comics, and a huge fan of his recent B.P.R.D. work. It’s a short story exploring the superhero/ sidekick relationship. Like all of Arcudi’s solo writing it’s got rock solid characters and heavy emotion, but is probably a little too straightforward. Arcudi’s a great writer though, and his lack of success is an indicator of some of the things that are wrong with the comic book industry. He can’t write a good superhero book, or at least one that people want to read, so that’s it for him. Or it was, until he started churning out B.P.R.D., the best book on the stands. But even then, people didn’t talk about Arcudi much, they mostly attributed it to Guy Davis’ art. I’ve only recently, after years and years of great comics, seen people start to casually mention that Arcudi could be a part of what makes that formula work. Anyway, I liked this story because it’s so clearly meant only to be a short. The characters are Batman analogues that wouldn’t support any additional material. But the story sets up it’s scenario, makes it’s point and ends. It’s point, while seeming a little plain, strikes a cord and sets up a character rich with the regret of a lesson hard learned. 4

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