Dark Horse Presents 84 (April 1984)

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Let me try to think of something nice to say about Buoy 77‘s finale. Lopez is back to the weak art, so no compliment there. Boyd’s conclusion is all about how the white man ruins native peoples (I’m shocked they didn’t put in a prose notice of it), so not there either. All in all, it’s a waste of time. I’m surprised Boyd went for a lame, common point.

Barron and Barry have a humor strip–Judah–about a chili cook-off. Maybe it’s funny if you care about chili. I guess Barry’s art is fine for a way too long humor strip.

Swan and Talbot have a two page thing. Pointless, but nice art.

Hermes and the Eyeball Kid wrap up here. Campbell brings it all back to the fight, taking care of all his supporting characters quickly. Not the approach I expected, but it’s a good piece.

CREDITS

Judah “The Hammer”, Showdown at the Texas-Style Chili Corral; story by Mike Baron; art by Dan Barry; lettering by Gail Beckett. Buoy 77, Part Four; story by Robert Boyd; art by Francisco Solano López; lettering by Vickie Williams. Celtic Warrior; story by Lucy Swan; art by Brian Talbot. Hermes versus the Eyeball Kid, Part Nine; story by Eddie Campbell and Wes Kublick; art by Campbell, Peter Mullins and April Post; lettering by Campbell. Edited by Randy Stradley.

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Dark Horse Presents 83 (March 1994)

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Lloyd’s got a very well-illustrated story here. It’s a thriller–con artist out to murder his rich wife–told after the fact (guess what, the husband gets busted through a very Hitchcockian twist). The art’s more important than the story. Lloyd gets the tone perfect. If it were a longer piece, with more characterization, it might be more significant. As is, it’s just a fantastic little exercise.

Speaking of good art, Lopez finally improves on this installment of Buoy 77. It’s the same style, but he really gets more fluidity in his action here. It doesn’t hurt Boyd’s writing is stronger too. The writing approach is different from the second installment, more like the first (it’s no longer following one person in close third-person).

And Campbell’s wrapping up Hermes. Not as many awesome developments, just solid storytelling. The battle scene’s got some great panels this issue; very grandiose.

CREDITS

Lasting Impression; story and art by David Lloyd; lettering by Vickie Williams. Buoy 77, Part Three; story by Robert Boyd; art by Francisco Solano López; lettering by Williams. Hermes versus the Eyeball Kid, Part Eight; story by Eddie Campbell and Wes Kublick; art by Campbell, Peter Mullins and April Post; lettering by Campbell. Edited by Randy Stradley.

Dark Horse Presents 82 (February 1994)

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Well, Hermes’s slump continues. Campbell’s problem might be the villains—the Eye of Fate (or something… the skeleton head guy) is a lot more interesting than anyone else in the story than the Eyeball Kid. So we want the Eyeball Kid to win (even though Eye of Fate doesn’t) and Eye of Fate to win… but he’s a villain. He’s just a really amusing one. Though there’s an actual fight between Hermes and the Eyeball Kid this installment, it’s still not one of the stronger ones.

Geary’s got a couple stories in here. Neither are good. Apparently he learned how to make his Presents stuff formulaic and he does.

Boyd and Lopez’s Buoy 77 disappoints too. Instead of Boyd writing strong characters like before, he writes lame ones here. Disappointing.

Itner’s got a JLA superhero spoof for a few pages. It’s awful. It’s not funny and the art’s really bad.

CREDITS

Hermes versus the Eyeball Kid, Part Seven; story by Eddie Campbell and Wes Kublick; art by Campbell, Peter Mullins and April Post; lettering by Campbell. Close Calls; story, art and lettering by Rick Geary. Buoy 77, Part Two; story by Robert Boyd; art by Francisco Solano López; lettering by Vickie Williams. Just Folks; story, art and lettering by Geary. The Legion of Justice; story and art and lettering by Steve ltner. Edited by Randy Stradley.

Dark Horse Presents 81 (January 1994)

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I’m not sure what happens this installment of Hermes. It almost seems like a bridging installment. Hermes, who hasn’t really had a lot to do since the first installment, is preparing his attack and the supervillains are splintering. It’s a fine installment, but it’s the first one where Campbell didn’t “wow” me.

The opening story, Buoy 77, from Boyd and Lopez, is good. Lopez’s art is a little unfinished, but the concept–a bunch of rural Brazilians trying to find a missing oil company buoy for the reward–is excellent. Boyd handles the Brazilians and their culture better than the oil company (I had assumed, from the oil company verbiage, it was a future story).

Moeller finishes off Shadow Empires. It makes very little sense–a day’s walk outside a war torn future city and you get rural, picturesque countryside? Moeller’s trying to be profound, but still comes off amateurish.

CREDITS

Buoy 77, Part One; story by Robert Boyd; art by Francisco Solano López; lettering by Vickie Williams. Shadow Empires, The Passage, Part Three; story and art by Chris Moeller; lettering by Vickie Williams. Hermes versus the Eyeball Kid, Part Six; story by Eddie Campbell and Wes Kublick; art by Campbell, Peter Mullins and April Post; lettering by Campbell. Edited by Randy Stradley.

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