I was getting a little worried about this anthology after the last few issues. I’ve definitely noticed fewer and fewer stories using this series as a jumping off point, but even more troubling was my growing lack of interest in the majority of the stories. There were a few stables of success, but in general I was considering a break from the series. Instead out of habit I found myself reading this week’s issue and I’m actually glad I did. I wouldn’t say that it’s a return to prime, but it’s definitely given me hope in the series and if it continues on the current path I know I’ll be head over heels in love with it again. The big story premiere comes to us from Fred Van Lente and Reilly Brown with a story called Saint George: Dragonslayer. It’s an interesting story that takes place in Egypt as Romans are being overrun by a self-declared Pharaoh’s army. Georgius is summoned by his Centurion commander in the middle of a battle and that’s really where the core of the story beings. I liked several aspects of this story and I’m actually interested in seeing where this one goes. I have a feeling that it will get a mini-series after its DHP run and with Brown’s art it definitely deserves it. His style has a very traditional comic book feel which isn’t something you find at Dark Horse usually.
Integer City was another new edition to the series and was brought to us via Jamie S. Rich (dude can’t stop working!) and Brent Schoonover. I’ll be honest there are a lot of elements of the story missing, but I’m curious to stick around and find those elements. I don’t really have a great grasp on the world or even the main characters backstory, but I like that. I like that there is plenty of mysteries to be solved and that I could still enjoy the story without all these answers. Schoonover’s art was also very good. It had a throwback style to it, but I couldn’t tell if that was more intentional for the story or just his style. I liked it either way, but again a mystery to be solved.
Really quickly I’m going to mention that Nexus continues and was a great read as usual. I really dig Mike Baron and Steve Rude working together. Another quick one was the continuation of David Lapham’s The Silver Angel. It was a great conclusion that had a fantastic narrative device that you rarely see used in comics. Both tales were worth mentioning even if I didn’t break down the story all the way for you.
Another story I’m going to touch on, but can’t delve into because it would ruin it for you is Monstrous by Steve Horton and Ryan Cody. That story has a great concept that I can’t tell you, but the gist is that aliens have taken over the planet and they’re just killing all the humans they find… no prisoners! Horton’s story is interesting as ever, but Cody’s art is the jam! I loved the art and the style. His art sold the hell out of the twist. Both creators do a fantastic job and have me looking forward to more next month.
The last story I want to talk about is called Now & Then by Chad Lambert. The story is kind of about moving on with your life, but I’m sure others will take something else from the story. That’s why I liked it; it was strangely personal and very different. The narrative is fantastic as Lambert poetically describes his character’s thoughts. The art was unique and I liked it well enough. I think it was a good fit for the story and with Lambert controlling both aspects it works well. It was also nice to have a lengthy one and done story in the issue.
Well some stories wrap in this issue which means new stories will take their place in the next issue, but the new editions to this issue did a great job of shaking off the apathy I was beginning to feel towards the anthology. If you were in the same boat as me last month the give it another shot it’s well worth it.
Writers and Artists: Fred Van Lente, Reilly Brown, Jamie S. Rich, Brent Schoonover, Stan Sakai, Caitlin R. Kieman, Steve Lieber, Mike Baron, Steve Rude, Steve Horton, Ryan Cody, Phil Stanford, Patric Reynolds, Michael T. Gilbert, Janet Gilbert, Ken Bruzenak, David Lapham, Chad Lambert. Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $7.99 Release Date: 11/20/13