Wow, it’s hard to believe that there have been twenty-five issues of this anthology already. It’s definitely one of my favorite ongoing series from Dark Horse as it’s the perfect platform to test new IP’s and talent. This issue however, is sadly not the strongest. The combination of stories doesn’t mix well together and leaves the issue with extreme highs and extreme lows. Let’s look at some of the highs. The first great story is “The Time Ben Fell in Love” from Matt Fraction and Christian Ward. It’s a terrific short story about a man named Ben trying to kill himself after losing the love of his life. He begins to wade out into the ocean when a man on a row boat begins to yell at him about his future. It turns out its him from the future and he’s invented time travel… everything else goes wrong from there! The story is short and simple and the art perfectly complements it. This story really should have kicked off the issue.
Our next “high” is “Brain Boy” and its DHP conclusion. This is going to be a fun ongoing I’ll say that much and that’s after it had a disappointing start in my book. The world is layered and built upon in very cool ways, but I can’t say much else without spoiling it. Seriously though, this is going to be a big deal when it hits.
“Trekker” returned and it was a decent follow up to the last issue. It was an entertaining and action packed story for the most part, but Mercy brought up the bumbling Feds way too many times. It was very clear to the reader in the last issue and it was the first thing I thought of in this issue only to be reminded again and again. I think Randall needs to trust in his own writing and then this story will be fantastic. As it is, I’m looking forward to the next chapter since the Feds can no longer be brought up. The art was great looking and really stole the show.
“King’s Road” returned and damn if I’m not impressed with this story. The world it’s creating is very cool and interesting. I don’t get a fairy tale Fables impression from this universe anymore; it’s definitely something new and interesting. The characters are very believable and I can’t wait to see what the kids do once they experience the other world. Very cool stuff and I believe this is getting an ongoing or mini as well. I’ll be looking forward to it.
“Nexus” was as enjoyable as ever. There’s not much to say about it other than the fact that story progresses forward and that it’s very entertaining.
“Bloodhound’s” conclusion was very good and this is yet another ongoing I’ll be looking forward to. Clev versus an invisible man, hell yes this is good. The banter between the two men is entertaining and the ending fits the rest of the story.
“Black Out” was strange. It was still very good, but the main character seems to be just as confused by what’s going on as we are. It was interesting and I can’t wait to see what happens next. Kaneshiro’s art is really good and I’m glad to see his return to comics. Also the ending has a RoboCop inspired moment which is sweet!
Well for the most part that’s everything. If I didn’t talk about a story it’s probably because it wasn’t very good with the exception of Emma T Capps story which is just one page. The Buffy tale was not enjoyable and reminded me why I don’t read that series. I’m going to score this issue decently high because I don’t think it’s fair to punish the seven great stories that it contained. The others though, were a difficult pill to swallow and will hopefully pick up in the next issue. Except for Buffy, I expect that to be about the same, not that it’s bad just not for me.
Writers: Jane Espenson, Matt Fraction, Mike Richardson, Fred Van Lente, Ron Randall, Peter Hogan, Phil Stanford, Mike Baron, Emma T Capps, Dan Jolley, Frank Barbier.
Artists: Karl Moline, Christian Ward, Dominic Reardon, Freddie Williams II, Jeremy Colwell, Phil Winslade, Patric Reynolds, Steve Rude, Emma T Capps, Leonard Kirk, Micah Kaneshiro.
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: 6/19/13