So what does one do when he hasn’t been to the comic store in three weeks? He looks to the pile of reviews that life has been keeping me from! So here are a hand full of reviews of some great things on the shelf from Dark Horse.
Deadlander #1 (Darkhorse – Ferrara) IGN.com says “In legend, the Deadlander is a ghostly outlaw shrouded in mystery. A weird gunslinger stalking the desert landscapes of Nevada. But in reality Jacob Bierce is nothing more than a rotting corpse of a man, dead in more ways than one-a loner on the run from the law, turned into the living dead and controlled like a puppet by the sinister Bog Witch. Now, as the witch’s evil hold threatens to entrap him forever, the Badlander sets in motion a desperate plan to destroy the witch and regain his soul once and for all!” That’s the crux of the story, but real question is, “Is it any good?”
That answer would be yes, it’s pretty good. I’m usually not into western comics, but this one puts a twist to the average western and makes it interesting. It’s not everyday I get to read about cursed undead gunslingers. What did jump at me the most was Deadlander’s art. This book looks period, right down to the faux parchment look with the skeletal boarders
Over all, Deadlander is a great little read that I think would clean up as a trade.
Star War: Dark Times #5 (Dark Horse – Harrison / Wheatley) -Dark Times is set during the Rise of the Empire era in Star Wars lore. For those non-geeks out there; it’s set nineteen years before the Battle of Yavin (Episode IV) and immediately after Revenge of the Sith. We find a young Darth Vader still struggling with the death of his wife, the eradication of the Jedi, and the death of life as he knew it. But that’s only half the story…the other half focuses on the exploits of the rag-tag crew of the Uhumele. In this issue, we see a crew member tracking down his daughter that has been sold into slavery and discovering the stomach churning truth of her fate.
Hiding among the crew of the Uhumele is Jedi Dass Jennir. He survived the initial Jedi purge by his clone troopers ignoring Order 66 and letting their Jedi general live. Dass Jennir is now on the run and slowly slipping from the Jedi ways as he finds out that the Jedi code and his survival are not always in-line with each other.
Overall this is great story telling with great art backing it up. We are living in a new age of Star Wars comics, where style is not over substance.
Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite #1 (Dark Horse – Way / Ba) – Dark Horse describes this new mega title as “Once, the Umbrella Academy was unstoppable. Under the tutelage of their guardian and mentor, Dr. Reginald Hargreeves, its members spent their childhoods fighting evil and honing their extraordinary gifts.
Until something went terribly wrong.
Now, nine years later, the estranged members of the Umbrella Academy are reunited by the death of the only parent they’ve ever known and the rise of a new and terrible threat. Will they be able to overcome their history for long enough to save the world-one more time?
Conceived and written by Gerard Way (of My Chemical Romance), Umbrella Academy features interior art by Eisner Award-nominated artist Gabriel Ba (De:Tales), colors by Eisner Award-winning colorist Dave Stewart, and covers by multiple-Eisner Award-winning painter James Jean (Fables).”
With a creative team compiling that much star power things, this has be a sure fire hit right? Well, not so much. Maybe I built up too many expectations that no book could deliver what I was expecting. After reading the first issue, the only thing I cold think of was, “Dr. Reginald Hargreeves was a crappy father and overall @$$” I was intrigued with Gerard Way’s ability to craft a story, but couldn’t help but wonder if this was yet another way an angry rocker could lash out at his unloving father or an attempt to give our protagonists “real issues”. Either way, it just didn’t click with me..yet. I’m not giving up on the book because there are hints of potential greatness (the Eiffel Tower fight and the cliffhanger) that make me want to stick around.