Review: Dark Horse Presents #34

It’s been a while since I last checked in with DHP (Dark Horse Comics Presents). This series hit a kind of weird dry spell in which I wasn’t enjoying the vast majority of the stories that were included within its pages. The dry spell is still with this issue, but thankfully a couple of stories wrap up here giving me hope for the next issue. I’m definitely not going to talk about all of the stories since there were a few and I struggled with reading some of them. I’ll admit that one series that returns here, I completely skipped because I couldn’t stand its first appearance in the series. Because I’m behind on this book I missed out on “The Deleted” which was one of my absolute favorite stories of the issue. It’s written by Brendan McCarthy and Darrin Grimwood, with art by McCarthy. My understanding is that a gamer by the name of Dante has been sucked into a world that is set up like old school video games. He’s attempting to help a group of people out of the world and he only has what looks like a robot’s hand, to help him. The hand literally deletes shit from the world. There is a fantastic twist at the end and I will be back next month for sure to find out what happens.

“Cruel Biology” by Christopher Sebela and Brian Churilla is another that I’m coming into late, but I was able to grasp enough of the story to stick with it. It’s a strange story set on an island filled with natives and housing U.S. military at the moment. The story begins with a native man coughing and running towards a supply boat. The boat takes off never giving the man a notice or a care. The man is covered in blood and coughing more and more until he simply dies. I won’t spoil the rest of the story, but it’s really good.

DHP #34 CoverMister X continues making appearances in this series and if you don’t know Dean Motter’s masterpiece is one of my favorite all-time comics. This chapter is no different. Interestingly enough Mister X is actually absent from most of the issue, but it’s still very good. Motter flexes his writing muscles with this story and I absolutely loved it. The artwork was also cleaner looking that his last series, but again it too was wonderful.

Rather than drone on and on, I’m going to talk about this last series that really caught my attention and that’s Davy Jones and the Mystery of the Monocle Men. This story is very clever and had a great all-ages vibe to it. The gist is that people in town are disappearing including the grandparent of our two main characters. The kids remember a story their grandpa told them about writing a letter to Davy Jones and he’ll come and help, well they do that… and Davy Jones shows up to help. It was cute, clever and actually reminded me more of an Oni Press book (which isn’t a bad thing at all). The story and art are by Dennis Culver and it’s not to be missed.

There are plenty of other stories in this issue. Some worth reading and some I wouldn’t recommend bothering with. It does look like with the next issue we’ll see some new stories or at the very least some conclusions to other stories and that’s a good thing. I haven’t read the last two or three issues and yet I still feel like I picked up almost the same issue as before. Time for some fresh blood I say.

Score: 3/5

Writers: Various Artists: Various Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $7.99 Release Date: 3/19/14