Ender’s Game: Battle School 4 (May 2009)

I’ve got to hand it to Marvel… way to cheap out. They apparently got so cheap with Pascal Ferry, instead of paying him to draw three more panels, they zoomed in his artwork. The digital artifacts are obvious. Otherwise, the issue is a lot like the previous one. Yost does better with the summarizing and adapting, but he’s still unable to turn the titular character into the protagonist. The problem is probably the source novel—not to mention however many restrictions Yost had in plotting the issues—but it still makes for an awkward read. Besides, with the visualizing of the child … Continue reading Ender’s Game: Battle School 4 (May 2009)

Dark Horse Presents Annual 1997 (February 1998)

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 … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents Annual 1997 (February 1998)

Dark Horse Presents Fifth Anniversary Special (April 1991)

This special is far from an accurate representation of Dark Horse Presents. Everything looks very professional. The Aerialist and Heartbreakers installments are both long needed establishments of the series’ ground situation. I even liked the Heartbreakers one (Bennett’s writing is far stronger from the clones’ perspective, versus their creator). There’s also lots of disposable stuff–Concrete, The American and Black Cross are all weak, though Warner’s art is better on Cross than I’ve ever seen it. Chadwick and Verheiden use their stories to blather about American culture. Of the two Miller’s–Give Me Liberty and Sin City–I almost prefer Sin City. Liberty‘s … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents Fifth Anniversary Special (April 1991)

Dark Horse Presents 32 (August 1989)

Ugh, another “annual.” Sixty-four pages of Dark Horse Presents tends to be a little much. The American is a little long here–it’s very passive and not at all dramatic. On the other hand, Peterson shows he used to be a lot more interesting of an artist. The Wacky Squirrel strip from publisher Richardson is dumb. Davis’s Delia & Celia is a complete bore, big shock. He manages to make a pterodactyl boring. The longer than usual Bob the Alien just shows with more space Rice does an even better story. It’s funny and touching The Concrete story is better than … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 32 (August 1989)