Dark Horse Presents #8 (2012)Posted: February 17, 2012
Comic book, 2012
I stopped buying the new Dark Horse Presents a few issues ago, due to the slog to gold ratio being insufferably high. Much too high to throw eight dollars a month at. But they pulled their trump card with issue eight- B.P.R.D. I didn’t buy the issue with a Hellboy story in it, and the jury’s still out on whether I’m going to pick up number nine for its Lobster Johnson story (the Paul Pope doesn’t hurt either), but B.P.R.D. is appointment television for me, and I’m going to show up any time they trot that shit out. Fegredo’s art is fine, but doesn’t really play to his strengths. I can’t imagine anyone who isn’t already a dedicated B.P.R.D. reader getting much out of this. I’ve always been kind of amazed at B.P.R.D.’s willingness to drop major plot developments in short stories obscured in hard to reach places. (Full understanding of the current issue of the main B.P.R.D. series, for example, requires your having read and remembered a short story from a Mignola-themed Free Comic Book Day issue from 2008 for chrissakes.)
Let’s fire though the rest of this turkey in order:
- Beasts of Burden remains a difficult read for me, as I’m one of those people who can’t handle seeing harm come to animals in entertainment, although that’s clearly a part of its power. And its quality is undeniable.
- Concrete Park plays it a little too straight for my liking, but at least there’s some nice art to soften the blow of the poor storytelling.
- BLOOD IS STILL HAPPENING GUYS. I’ve missed two issues, like twenty pages of story, and it feels like I only blinked my eyes (but maybe one of those issues was a flashback to the protagonist’s time as a character in the Golden Plates or whatever the hell.) It’s still JUST bafflingly crazy enough, like Gary Busey in comic form, to make this trainwreck worth looking at.
- Chaykin’s Marked Man comes to an appropriately Chaykin-y conclusion, Chaykin Chaykin.
- There’s like a future Tarzan story here or something? I guess if you’re predisposed to like Tarzan that would be a pretty cool idea. Don’t worry man, sometimes I strip down naked for my walk home too.
- Wood’s The Massive seems to me, like all of Wood’s work, to be an inspired idea stiffly executed. Some really nice moments and serviceable art and storytelling, which puts it head and shoulders above most other comics, but there’s something there that fails to hook me.
- Time to Live is so, so weird. Like, if you’re the writer of a story about a scientist who invents time travel and you honestly think they’re going to refer to it as a “time machine”, as if the way they phrase that isn’t going to undergo any development between the time they’re five and the time they’re thirty, then I think you’re weird. Also the artist, clearly not having the time to fully conceptualize what emotion the protagonist would be feeling at the last panel’s reveal, instead decided to have them spontaneously transform into a blow-up doll.
- The Many Murders of Miss Cranbourne, whoo, bad art. Like, in what world do you NOT make the blood on the second page a bright, vibrant red?
- Okay, I just feel like I’m heckling at this point, so I’m just going to not say anything at all about Skultar the Questionable.