Comic Picks By The Glick

Dark Horse Previews Picks: June 2019

March 29, 2019

Above-the-Board Recommendation:

Snow, Glass, Apples HC


This is the latest entry in “The Neil Gaiman Library” from the company.  Coming back for her second tour of duty on this kind of project is Colleen Doran, best known for her epic creator-owned series “A Distant Star.”  She’s also worked with Gaiman directly on a couple of issues of “Sandman” and previously adapted his “Troll Bridge” story for the “Library.”


“Snow, Glass, Apples” has a simple high concept that makes it sound like a lot of fun.  Assuming your definition of “fun” aligns with Gaiman’s. In this case, fun is flipping the script on “Snow White.”  Instead of the evil stepmother trying to get rid of her stepdaughter, it’s the other way around and the queen is trying to do this for the benefit of her kingdom.


“Troll Bridge” was one of the more overlooked entries in the “Library”...  In the sense that a few months had passed before I found out it existed and finally got around to ordering and reading it for myself.  It’s a melancholy, sad tale about the potential and pitfalls of growing up and making the most offered to you by life. An actual troll is involved, of course.  It’s worth checking out if you’ve overlooked it for longer than I did and a good reason to not sleep on “Snow, Glass, Apples” when it comes out.

Aliens:  Resistance:  It seems like it was just last month that I was writing about an “Aliens” miniseries written by Brian Wood.  Which it was since those solicitations featured the first issue of the follow-up series to this one, “Rescue.”  “Resistance” is the ostensible successor to the “Alien: Isolation” game featuring Amanda Ripley. Except that it’s also continuing the story of Wood’s “Defiance” series as it features that title’s main character, Zula Hendricks, who recruits Amanda to take out secret xenomorph-related bioweapons program.  Even though I’ve yet to get around to playing “Isolation” I’ll still be picking this up because I liked “Defiance” and am curious to see what Zula is up to now.


Anthem:  Strong Alone, Stronger Together HC:  Collects the three-issue prequel miniseries to BioWare’s latest game, which has had a very rough launch.  Actually, that’s putting it mildly given that it has had all of the technical issues you’d expect from an online service title coupled with some half-baked game design.  Witness the loot-em’-up that didn’t know how to distribute interesting loot or in a way to keep fans interested! And whose patches introduced new problems even as they tried to fix new ones!  Then you’ve got the fact that BioWare’s traditional strength, character development and storytelling, was placed firmly in the backseat for this title and “Anthem” -- which was described as a make-or-break title -- looks to be well on its way to breaking the company.  I feel bad for both BioWare and Dark Horse in this situation. The latter more than the former since they’ve had a fruitful relationship with the game company for the past decade with their “Dragon Age” and “Mass Effect” comics and artbooks. Hopefully BioWare can change the current narrative around “Anthem” and this will just be regarded as a low point in the ongoing relationship between the companies.


Black Hammer:  Age of Doom #12:  The final issue of the series.  In which we’re promised all the answers regarding what put the heroes on the farm in the first place and where they go from here.  Given how vol. 3 wrapped up, I figured that this series would be heading to a conclusion sooner rather than later. It’s good to have some validation here, particularly after vol. 3 provided some concrete answers regarding the title’s key mystery after stringing the reader along for a bit.


The Borgias:  The family-friendly read of any year finally gets a softcover edition!  I’m kidding, really. DON’T BUY THIS FOR ANY CHILD! It’s as raunchy and explicit a story as you’d expect from writer Alejandro Jodorowsky and artist Milo Manara giving us their spin on the most infamous families of the Renaissance..  That being said, it’s pretty entertaining read if you’ve got an appreciation of either creator’s talents even if the “We gotta wrap this up NOW!” ending keeps it from being among their best work.


Danganronpa Another Episode:  Ultra Despair Girls vol. 1:  Just wanted to point out that the “Danganronpa” manga has apparently been really successful for Dark Horse.  How else do you explain the fact that we’re getting the manga adaptation of the videogame spinoff that took place between the first two games.  Speaking of things that have been really successful for the company…


Eerie Archives vol. 27 HC:  When it was announced that Dark Horse would be reprinting the seminal horror anthology series in a series of oversized $50 hardbacks collecting seven or so issues in a volume, I figured that they’d get through maybe a third or even half before the releases stopped.  After all, what kind of audience exists for this kind of thing? A much larger audience than I was expecting, obviously. Vol. 27 collects the final seven issues, #’s 132-139, of the anthology and the company can pat themselves on the back for a job well done. I’d have more to say about this, except that the format and price point has always put this series outside my realm of interest.


Emanon vol. 2:  Emanon Wanderer:  Something to consider:  Vol. 1 of this series hasn’t come out yet and we’ve already got the solicitation for vol. 2 here.  Yet there was a six-month gap between the release of volumes one and two of sure-fire hit “Mob Psycho 100.”  They seem to have fixed that problem as vol. 3 of “Mob” is arriving three months after vol. 2. Still, it makes you wonder…


Hellboy and the Beast of Vargu:  Mike Mignola re-teams with artist Duncan Fegredo for what’s described as the first story in a new era of “Hellboy.”  What does this new era involve? The title character heading to Romania for a pair of tales involving a sinister puppet show and a demigod’s ill-fated dinner.  So… this new era looks a lot like the old one. Right down to how Dark Horse would publish random issues of “Hellboy” only to collect them later. That’s not a bad thing, as most of the best “Hellboy” stories have been delivered in this fashion.  It’s also good to see that Mignola is still planning to keep the character in circulation after the events of “Hellboy in Hell” and “B.P.R.D.”.

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