Dark Horse Presents 34 (November 1989)

Race of Scorpions gets even more amazing this issue… Duranona tells the reader what happens to the story’s protagonists in a little text paragraph at the end of the story. The actual story was spent on some supporting cast members. It’s sort of amazing how poorly plotted this story gets. Dark Horse really just didn’t care what they printed. Lots of perspective failures here. Just a dreadful read. Zone is getting more dramatic–this issue the reporter gets hurt near a fire and Zone saves him, so all the threads are coming together. Unfortunately, Kraiger’s art, which was no great shakes … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 34 (November 1989)

Dark Horse Presents 33 (September 1989)

What can one say when the best story in the issue is the Mr. Monster… it just seems wrong. Pollock’s Mike & Viv has a lame plot, a couple funny lines and decent art. A bickering couple gets stuck in the Cretaceous period. Dark Horse was picking from the bottom of the stack here. Race of Scorpions is confusing, weakly written and Duranona isn’t pretending to use shadows. In other words, it’s the norm for the series. It has a incomprehensible cliffhanger this time too. Zone‘s okay, with Kraiger tying together the previous story threads to imply something significant. However, … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 33 (September 1989)

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)

Dark Horse Presents 31 (July 1989)

It’s a banner installment of Race of Scorpions. Two things I never thought would occur do this issue… first, Duranona uses shadows to give the reader some sense of depth. Well, only for half the story, but still. Second, he comes up with an interesting detail! In this miserable future, cookbooks are bibles. I’m stunned by these developments. The Zone story is on the low side of okay. Kraiger spends too much time on the boring Zone character (before he douses some guy in toxic waste or something, which is funny). But the art’s good and the plotting is decent. … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 31 (July 1989)

Dark Horse Presents 30 (June 1989)

Oh, good, Race of Scorpions is back and just as incomprehensible as always. It turns out the mysterious stranger is really the brother of the evil emperor. There’s palace intrigue, an assassination attempt, machinations, it goes on. And it’s still awful. Maybe the writing’s a little better. Or it’s at least more understandable. Luke and Norwood’s Project: Overkill is good. It’s a simple, Terminator thing, but Norwood’s art is excellent. Luke’s writing isn’t bad either, but it’s somewhat confusing. I don’t know if it’s an ongoing feature, but it might help it it is. Norwood is manga influenced, but it’s … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 30 (June 1989)

Dark Horse Presents 27 (February 1989)

Duranona wraps up The Race of Scorpions here and threatens a second series. The story’s mostly nonsensical, partially due to the lack of perspective but mostly because of the writing. The conclusion relies on the reader being able to identify a character from the first chapter when he’s drawn in miniature. At least it’s over for now. Homicide has gone off the deep end into sci-fi here. Arcudi doesn’t seem to realize how ludicrous and absurd his stories are getting, which makes them painful. I think Mahnke’s big influence here, in terms of figures, is Jaime Hernandez. I keep seeing … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 27 (February 1989)

Dark Horse Presents 26 (January 1989)

Arcudi has sort of taken reality and chucked it out the window of Homicide. I mean, I assume he’s basing the story about the assassin who eats his victims’ eyes on a real case… but it’s not believable the same detectives who had the cannibal case are going to have this one. And he’s done nothing to give them any personality, it’s all caricature. The Race of Scorpions, allegedly in its penultimate chapter here, is a little better than usual. The exposition does a better job establishing where the characters are situated in relation to each other and there’s no … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 26 (January 1989)

Dark Horse Presents 25 (December 1988)

Duranona has something like two action scenes this part of Race of Scorpions. Two completely incomprehensible action scenes. Did the editor see something different or did they really get this material in and think it’d look good? At least this installment doesn’t rip off Star Wars. Speaking of incomprehensible, Davis is back with a new story–The Twilight of Langdarro. I guess he’s not so much incomprehensible just really, really boring. He loves writing exposition. He probably writes four hundred words a story of exposition. And he still hasn’t gotten any better at getting his people down. His faces and figures … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 25 (December 1988)

Dark Horse Presents 24 (November 1988)

And here debuts the licensed property… Aliens. Luckily, it’s a really decent eight pages. Nelson and Verheiden almost make it feel like it’s just a comic book, not a movie tie-in. What’s really interesting is the aliens. Nelson’s able to draw so much fluidity into his own creatures, when he’s got to draw the movie alien, it feels awkward. The shape is defined by being able to be a costume worn by a person, a hampering Nelson doesn’t have with his own creations. Duranona’s Race of Scorpions continues to be unimpressive. Some more Star Wars homage and a lot of … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 24 (November 1988)

Dark Horse Presents 23 (October 1988)

Here’s a somewhat strange issue… it opens with Stout’s history piece about Americans massacring Filipinos in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It’s even more relevant today (those massacred were Muslim and the whole thing has been brushed under the history carpet). It’s better as a history lesson than a comic. Race of Scorpions is a practically unintelligible new serial. Duranona’s artwork is nearly impossible to comprehend. He’s got all this perspective but almost no shadows, so it all just jumbles together. He appears to have borrowed from Star Wars to set up his story of the young man who … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 23 (October 1988)