Another endless installment of The Ark. Verheiden’s writing gets really padded here, especially with the conversations. With the long page count–sixteen pages an installment–I wonder if it was intended to be a limited series then someone at Dark Horse realized no one in his or her right mind would buy it. So instead they stuck it in Presents, figuring by the time the reader got to this issue–with The Ark taking up one half and the awful Western (I’ll get to it in a minute) taking up the other–it’d be too late for them to give up. Randall–who I just remembered used to do Trekker–is a fine artist at this point, sort of an almost Paul Gulacy.
As for Smith and Cariello’s Tres Diablos? I tried having an open mind and Cariello’s artwork’s quite good, but Smith is an awful writer.
This issue stinks.
The Ark, Part Three; story by Mark Verheiden; art by Ron Randall; lettering by Gary Kato. Tres Diablos, Spirit of the Badlander; story by Beau Smith; art and lettering by Sergio Cariello. Edited by Randy Stradley, Ben Abernathy and Terry Waldron.
For a Presents annual (or oversized special), this one has a lot of solid work.
Pearson’s Body Bags is a fun diversion. The art’s great and the story moves. It gets a little visually confusing, but it’s good.
And Verheiden (with Marrinan) finally produces a decent installment of The American. It’s a thoughtful story, very well written.
Arcudi and Musgrove’s The Oven Traveler is dumb. It’s a one page story dragged to four.
Aliens (from Smith and Morrow) is atrocious. It’s Aliens meets Westworld. If it weren’t terrible, it’d be an interesting genre mix—plus, Morrow can’t draw the aliens. They look awkward and goofy, not at all frightening.
Jillette and French’s Rheumy Peepers and Chunky Highlights is overwritten but mildly diverting….
Stephens and Allred’s The Stiff is decent, if too silly.
Then there’s a decent Pope finish. It’s a talking heads story, which seems like a waste of Pope.
Body Bags; story and art by Jason Pearson. The American, The Big Deal; story by Mark Verheiden; art by Chris Marrinan; lettering by Sean Konot. The Oven Traveler; story by John Arcudi; art by Scott Musgrove. Aliens, Tourist Season; story by Beau Smith; art by Gray Morrow; lettering by John Costanza; edited by Bob Schreck. The Adventures of Rheumy Peepers and Chunky Highlights; story by Penn Jillette; art by Renée French. The Stiff, Disappearing Act; story, inks and lettering by Jay Stephens; pencils by Mike Allred. Four Cats; story and art by Paul Pope. Edited by Jamie S Rich.
Posted in Aliens, American, Body Bags, Dark Horse, Oven Traveler, Rheumy Peepers and Chunky Highlights, Stiff
Tagged Beau Smith, Chris Marrinan, Gray Morrow, Jason Pearson, Jay Stephens, John Arcudi, Mark Verheiden, Mike Allred, Paul Pope, Penn Jillette, Renee French, Scott Musgrove