Dark Horse Presents 62 (May 1992)

Maybe what Miller needs for Sin City is a full issue. This issue, dedicated to Marv finishing up all the villains–I wonder if Miller intentionally gave his psychotic cannibal a harmless name like Kevin or if there’s some backstory to it–and getting executed, is nearly reasonable. The opening is a disaster, with lots of the Miller narration, but there’s actual humor in the issue, like when Marv crawls into bed with the girl. Miller has some extra lazy moments with art here, though no more than usual. The issue works because of Marv’s likability. It’s all contrived and really stupid, … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 62 (May 1992)

Dark Horse Presents 61 (April 1992)

Sin City has gotten useless to the point I’m not even sure I should talk about it. It’s sort of interesting in regards to Miller’s terrible plotting. One might think he’d adapt Chandler or even Hammett, just amping it up, but he doesn’t. He figures out his own “hard boiled” structure and it’s awful. I guess he draws a little bit more this entry than usual. Not much though. It’s the longest Earth Boys story so far and the extra pages don’t help the writing. But Story’s back inking Johnson, so it definitely looks a lot better. The Creep is … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 61 (April 1992)

Dark Horse Presents 60 (March 1992)

Oh, lucky me, Sin City isn’t over yet. Instead, Miller spends most of his pages with one image, a lot of white space and even more terrible narration. I think I hate this entry the most. Not sure if it’s because I’m subjected to more of Miller’s writing or if it’s because I thought I was actually done with Sin City for now. Geary has two different strips this issue. One’s two pages, the other is one. Neither is particularly good, but the second one is pretty bad, actually. Nice art, weak sentimental nonsense. The Creep starts its second story … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 60 (March 1992)

Dark Horse Presents 59 (February 1992)

Wow, I really don’t know what’s the best thing in the issue. Geary’s one page entry is a failure. It’s his solid art, but the writing doesn’t work here. It’s just too much forced sentiment. Alien Fire seemingly comes to an end this issue–some very nice space frog art from Vincent–but Smith’s writing is just addlebrained. I can’t believe more attention would make it make any sense… I also can’t imagine giving it any more attention. It’s been one of the biggest wastes of time in Dark Horse Presents in a while. I think Sin City‘s first arc ends here. … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 59 (February 1992)

Dark Horse Presents 58 (January 1992)

Well, the first installment of Alien Fire might have been good but this one is not. It’s apparently some sci-fi thing about a car and Native Americans and homophobes. Or something along those lines. It’s got a lot of quirky details, which Vincent draws well enough, but it’s useless. The Creep finishes (hopefully not for good). Arcudi has a nice close, but the real sell in this installment is Eaglesham. He does this lengthy dialogue-free sequence and it’s beautiful. A very pleasant surprise. Duffy’s Fancies continues. It’s cute (I think Fancies is a play on fantasy), though I’m wondering what … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 58 (January 1992)

Dark Horse Presents 57 (December 1991)

Not much to recommend Next Men this time. Byrne handles his violent action sequence well, but he’s also selling a U.S. senator killing a federal agent. Who knows, maybe it’s all a Tea Party thing. Regardless, no longer interested in the series. The Creep is, again, excellent. I can’t believe Arcudi’s writing it. And Eaglesham’s artwork is great. He’s doing this unfinished finished look, hard to explain. Geary does one page. It’s fine. His longer work’s better. Alien Fire is this excellent sixties piece about a Vietnam vet. It’s very quiet, lovely writing from Smith. Vincent’s artwork is good, with … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 57 (December 1991)

Dark Horse Presents 56 (November 1991)

This oversized issue opens and closes with an Aliens two-parter. Loose art from Guinan and Akins doesn’t help Arcudi’s script. It’s absolutely incomprehensible if you don’t read the Aliens series. Byrne finally produces a Next Men I’m not interested in. It’s two government guys revealing all. The art’s really, really mediocre. It’s like even Byrne doesn’t have any interest in this part of the story, which really makes one wonder why he’s bothering tell it. Duffy and Geary both have nice stories. Duffy (with Chacon art) has an amusing fantasy story, Fancies about a tavern fight, while Geary does the … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 56 (November 1991)

Dark Horse Presents 55 (October 1991)

Sin City is really bad this time. The amount of white space suggests Miller didn’t spend a lot of time drawing it. It also doesn’t seem like he spent much time writing it. Even with his terrible narration, this installment is a new low. Though I guess some of it does sound a lot like the Spirit movie narration, which doesn’t seem appropriate. Johnson’s art is a little better on this installment of Earth Boys. He clearly worked at it more. But the story itself is still terribly written (by Biggers and Brooks). Byrne continues his Next Men with a … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 55 (October 1991)

Dark Horse Presents 54 (September 1991)

The big surprise this issue is Byrne’s Next Men. It’s actually pretty solid (though I think it features all four Byrne faces). The art’s great–nice flow of action–and the story’s intriguing. I think it’s the strongest narrative structure I’ve ever read from Byrne (though it might just be because it’s a prologue). Geary’s got a few Transgression Hotline strips. They’re solid, amusing and unremarkable. Geary’s a professional though and they’re well-produced. The Homicide closer from Morrow and Arcudi is fabulous. Morrow transforms the strip from Arcudi’s regular bore to something out of a film noir. During this installment, Arcudi even … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 54 (September 1991)

Dark Horse Presents 53 (August 1991)

It turns out all I need to like Homicide is a good artist. I think Arcudi fashioned the story to fit Morrow’s sensibilities, but it’s easily the best dialogue Arcudi’s written on the series. Morrow really shows how important an artist is in making a mediocre (at best) script work. Geary’s got a single page again. It’s a little more profound than usual and not entirely successful. Paley’s got a crazy cat strip and it’s simply lovely. She breaks the comic strips panels and lets loose this swash of ink. Even with Morrow in the issue, it’s the best art, … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 53 (August 1991)

Dark Horse Presents 52 (July 1991)

The Bacchus story is a really upsetting story of Simpson, Bacchus’s sidekick, and his journey through hell. I’m not up on my Dante, but it seems like it follows Inferno a little bit. It’s a good story, but it’s a real downer and very different from the other Bacchus entries so far. The Heartbreakers story features some really dumb plot developments. But Bennett may have gotten the narrative to a good starting point. Finally. Then there’s Sin City—two installments in and I’m really sick of it. Half the story looks like Miller’s drew Batman then replaced him with Marv (trench … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 52 (July 1991)

Dark Horse Presents 51 (June 1991)

I’m having trouble figuring out the big deal with Sin City. I mean, it looks cool and all, but isn’t Marv on the run from the cops a lot like that issue of “Batman: Year One” with the Batman running from the cops. The narration’s overbearing and all… but it’s fine as a stupid diversion. It’s relentlessly unrealistic. Unfortunately, Harlequin wraps up this issue. Gaudiano tries out three different styles, all to great success. He introduces more design to his work here and it’s very successful. Csutoras comes up with a great close for the story (it seems to be … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 51 (June 1991)

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)