Thursday, October 20, 2011

80-Page Thursdays: Dark Horse Presents #1!

For the next stretch, as long as I can find them, every Thursday we'll check out an 80-page comic! Not 64, not 100, 80-page giants only! Today, a non-DC one! Dark Horse Presents #1! I got the Paul Chadwick Concrete cover version at Hastings for $.99; no way to pass that up! Featuring Richard Corben, Neal Adams, Frank Miller (in a short preview and interview) and more.

It's an anthology book, and as usual, some of the stories are going to work for you, some aren't. I kind of liked Howard Chaykin's "Marked Man," but it was the first part of however many, and the lead's home life just looks punishing. Harlan Ellison's short story "How Interesting: a Tiny Man" is a damning indictment of the public's mass indignation over things that shouldn't matter to them. Michael T. Gilbert's "Mr. Monster vs. Oooak!" was perfect for this sort of book, like a good side dish, maybe not something you would order by itself, but great with the meal.

Carla Speed McNeil brings a chapter of "Finder," that reads just fine by itself; no mean feat for an anthology. But, perversely, my favorite this issue may have been Randy Stradley and Paul Gulacy's "The Third Time Pays for All." It's an intro to Star Wars: Crimson Empire III, and I can't recall if I've read the previous volumes.

Ten years after the Emperor's death, former Imperial Guardsman Kir Kanos is trailing a bounty and planning on killing Luke and Leia; but his narration is a love letter to Mirath Sinn, a girl he's fought with and against the previous two volumes and is now Leia's bodyguard. Sure, Kir likes her, but he's got revenge and all planned, so...contrasting the two gives the story a weird, John Hinckley feel. Anytime you're writing a love letter that includes the murders you have're probably doing it wrong.

I know a recent DHP issue has an Eric Powell story, but I'll probably start reading it regularly when B.P.R.D. comes in.

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