Dark Horse Presents 72 (April 1993)

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What a disaster.

Madwoman is probably the best entry overall and even it’s pretty weak. Moebius is drawing a melodrama–it’s a soap opera and not a visually interesting one. Once the talking heads section passes, there’s some nice design at least. He’s always capable, but it’s sort of pointless. Jordorowsky has one rather excellent scene, but he immediately follows it with a lousy one.

Nelson’s Highlander with monsters epic, Eudaemon, has decent enough art and terrible writing. Dark Horse Presents hasn’t published such bad writing in a while–it’s hard to get through a page without snickering. Nelson’s exposition is particularly bad.

The final story, Dominique, finishes the issue on a low point. Balent starts fine, but then gets weaker and weaker. First his anatomy goes, then his faces. It starts, visually, fine and ends bad. The writing is somewhere between weak and dumb.

It’s a very bad issue.

CREDITS

The Eudaemon, Night of Fear, Part One; story and art by Nelson DeCastro; lettering by Steve Dutro. The Madwoman of the Sacred Heart, Part Three; script by Alexandro Jordorowsky; art by Moebius; lettering by Dave Cooper. Dominique, The Hardest Part, Part Two; story by Charles Moore and Lisa Moore; script by Charles Moore; art and lettering by Jim Balent. Edited by Randy Stradley.

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Dark Horse Presents 71 (March 1993)

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The Bacchus makes up for any other possible deficiencies this issue. Campbell (and Bacchus) retell the story of the Minotaur and it’s simply wonderful. I’m not sure it’s historically accurate, though I don’t know. I’ve never read such an in-depth Minotaur story.

The other two stories aren’t bad, but they really don’t even come close to Bacchus.

The Dominique story is pretty dumb. I didn’t even realize it was Jim Balent and I don’t think I’ve ever read a story he’s drawn before. The art’s fine. It’s better than the writing. The Moores have an ex-CIA agent called back in to deal with a Japanese diplomat. It’s derivative and xenophobic. But whatever.

Jordorowsky and Moebius do better with the Madwoman this time–some great art from Moebius. The awkward humor is gone, but Jordorowsky is at least pacing the narrative a little more creatively. Still, it’s nothing special.

CREDITS

Dominique, The Hardest Part, Part One; story by Charles Moore and Lisa Moore; script by Charles Moore; art and lettering by Jim Balent. Bacchus, Bullshit; story, art and lettering by Eddie Campbell. The Madwoman of the Sacred Heart, Part Two; script by Alexandro Jordorowsky; art by Moebius; lettering by Dave Cooper. Edited by Randy Stradley.

Dark Horse Presents 70 (February 1993)

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I didn’t know it was possible for me to care about Paleolove and I’m not entirely sure I really do. But I am mad at Davis for the way he ends this story. It seems like the last Paleolove (yay!) but he kills off a side character in the exposition and it’s a really weak move. He’s doing it for effect, to make the story seem poignant… while it would have been poignant if he’d just left it alone.

The story from Jordorowsky and Moebius is all right, nothing more. It’s an academic comedy, with a popular philosophy professor being cuckolded in front of his students. It’s not particularly funny–until the last page, all Jordorowsky’s jokes are fairly common–but I guess it’s painless.

Campbell contributes a number of Alec one pager strips. A couple are successful, the rest are not. It’s the first time I’ve seen Campbell stumble.

CREDITS

The Madwoman of the Sacred Heart, Part One; script by Alexandro Jordorowsky; art by Moebius; lettering by Dave Cooper. Alec, This is Your Lunch, William Tell, The Great Booby Outrage, Remorse and Position Vacant; pencils, inks and lettering by Eddie Campbell. Paleolove, Part Three; story, art and lettering by Gary Davis. Edited by Randy Stradley.

Dark Horse Presents 69 (February 1993)

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The Predator story keeps getting worse (it turns out it’s just a prologue to some limited series, I love it when Dark Horse uses Presents to advertise their licensed properties). Given Raskin’s worsening artwork and Stradley’s bad writing–he uses a government report as the narrative exposition, he’s used similar devices in the past successfully… here he fails. It’s an awful story; very happy it’s the last installment.

Duffy and Sakamoto have another Nestrobber installment. It’s mean-spirited and lacking in charm. I think it’s supposed to be funny, but I’m completely perplexed with Duffy’s intent. It’s supposed to be manga, but I can’t figure out why anyone would want to read it.

Davis and Paleolove annoy a little. There’s some really pointless writing here. Art’s weak too.

Campbell’s got an amusing slash horrifying anecdote installment of Alec. Only a page, but enough to clear the palate after the rest.

CREDITS

Predator, Race War, Part Three; story by Andrew Vachss; adapted by Randy Stradley; pencils by Jordan Raskin; inks by Bob Wiacek; lettering by Clem Robins. Nestrobber, Survival Skills; story by Jo Duffy; art and lettering by Maya Sakamoto. Paleolove, Part Two; story, art and lettering by Gary Davis. Alec, An Old Australian Yarn; pencils, inks and lettering by Eddie Campbell. Edited by Randy Stradley.

Dark Horse Presents 68 (December 1992)

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The Predator story continues and its problems become real clear. Stradley’s trying to take a “real” approach to certain elements–gang members, serial killers–and it just comes off as silly with the Predator running around. Raskin’s art suggests he’s unprepared for such a big assignment (and Wiacek seems to have been brought in to correct things via the inks). Then there’s the inexplicable cliffhanger. So far, very unimpressive.

Campbell’s got two Alec strips. One is really cute, the other is just a nice example of a one page narrative.

Davis is back with Paleolove. The story is longwinded and the art is still primarily concentrated on the scenery. Davis objectifies his female protagonists in the last panel, which sums up all of Davis’s work.

Duffy and Sakamoto have a story with a bunch of kids and their guardian angel, a hit man. It’s well intentioned, but not any good.

CREDITS

Predator, Race War, Part Two; story by Andrew Vachss; adapted by Randy Stradley; pencils by Jordan Raskin; inks by Bob Wiacek; lettering by Clem Robins. Alec, The Remarkable History of the Nullarbor Nymph and Ah Kids, Don’t Ya Just Love ‘Em; pencils, inks and lettering by Eddie Campbell. Paleolove, Part One; story, art and lettering by Gary Davis. Nestrobber, Swimming Lessons; story by Jo Duffy; art and lettering by Maya Sakamoto. Edited by Randy Stradley.

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