Dark Horse’s monthly anthology returns and it’s frankly begging for some new stories to grace its pages. There really does seem to be a lack of energy on this series as of late and I could only find one story that truly blew me away. Let’s dive through it though and see if it’s something you’ll want to pick up or possibly skip until next time when it’s guaranteed to have new stories. The issue kicks off with The Strain: The Fall – The Silver Angel. I’m really enjoying this story as Lapham takes readers through the world of The Strain. Our lucha libre the Silver Angel is quite the character and what he’s willing to do for the little girl waiting for him is brave. Let’s hope she’s all there when he arrives. The story and art continue to be impressive on this tale and actually make me want to catch up on the full series.
The story that really grabbed my attention was Snip Snip. It takes place in the not too distant future in which gangs rule the city. Rather than the gangs being made up of the usual suspects though, it’s run by creative teams like “Red Cross Crew” which is a bunch of nurses packing heat. Some grocery store baggers banded together to form “Harbor City Body Baggers” and it continues to be crazy from there. It’s a great setting that is both violent and funny, but never really serious. We meet Mindy Cooper who runs a barbershop in which she cuts clients hair in her underwear and on their lap. Too bad she’s about to be kidnapped by the Zookeeper gang. The story is crazy fun and has one element that I can’t spoil for you because it’s too funny. The art style is incredible and really captures the world. I really dug the art. I’m really hoping that there will be more stories set in this world or a full publication of it because I’m hooked.
Alabaster continues and it added an element that was very interesting. It had a sad ending so hopefully there’s some kind of cheer in the next chapter. The Boxcar tales have run a bit long in my opinion, but hopefully there’s a big payoff coming.
Nexus had a couple of interesting elements to it this time around. I think the conclusion is coming which should be interesting. I really enjoy Steve Rude’s artwork and that’s a strong part of what keeps me going on this series.
Trekker ends so I won’t say much about it, but it was pretty predictable. I haven’t read any of the other Trekker issues so there is potentially one element introduced that could be a big shake up. I’m looking forward to the mini that’s coming as I think it will prevent the overlapping narrative that this tale suffered from.
I don’t know if the Nosferatu Wars ends in this volume, but if it does it was kind of rushed. Instead of being given one solid scene in a larger story the plot jumps around some and then really leaps ahead at the end. I like the concept, but I would have liked to have spent more time with the build up to that concept.
I’m going to mention Brainbot Jr. which is only one page, but it made me chuckle and there wasn’t much to laugh at in this issue. Brainbot is a fun character and I would definitely like to read more.
Overall this issue is good, but far from great. This series should be the next big thing from Dark Horse and instead this issue was filled with older comics and creators looking to revive their franchises. It’s not that those franchises are bad, but when they’re lumped together they’re not as special. I’m hoping the next issue will do a fly by that’s so awesome it causes me to spill coffee on my shirt, but in the meantime this issue is just decent.
Writers: David Lapham, Andrew MacLean, Richard Corben, Caitlin R. Kieman, Mike Baron, Ron Randall, Steve Niles, Michael T. Gilbert, Neal Adams, Dara Naraghi. Artists: David Lapham, Andrew MacLean, Richard Corben, Steve Lieber, Steve Rude, Rond Randall, Menton 3, Michael T. Gilbert, Neal Adams, Tom Williams. Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $7.99 Release Date: 10/23/13