Review: Dark Horse Presents #4

DHP #4 is probably only worth buying if you're trying to break into comics and want to see the competition.  It's probably not too bad if you're colorblind either.  Also if you hate having five more dollars. Semiautomagic, Chapter 1 Story and Letters: Alex de Campi Art: Jerry Ordway Colors: Marissa Louise

Terrible series title aside, and after a couple pages of a bumpy start, Semiautomagic looks to have some potential as a fun supernatural mystery story.  Though the concept seems promising, the art is kind of a mess, and the colors are sort of dreadful to look at.  Seriously, the color work needs to take a sharp right turn if I'm going to put my eyeballs through another chapter of this series.

Dream Gang, Chapter 4 Story and Art: Brendan McCarthy Letters: Nate Piekos

By this point, I have a headache because of the clusterfuck of colors that this issue has been so far.  Of course, this is no fault of Dream Gang given that the color job of this series fits the motif, but the editors could have given my retinas a break with something normal looking between these first two stories.

Anyway, Dream Gang is a cool little acid trip with some fun character designs and a surprising amount of drama packed into just a few pages.  Memory is an especially cool concept to play with, and is handled well in short order.

DHP #4 11.19.14Wrestling with Demons, Part 4 Story: Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray Art: Andy Kuhn Colors: John Rauch Letters: John J. Hill

This is more like it.  Still a little underwhelmed by the color work, but it's mostly just the artist being a little too heavy-handed with the watercolor look in the dream/memory sequences.  In any case, the fight choreography is really fun to look at, which is definitely an accomplishment.  Though this was, at least in some way, the most straightforward story, it's the most compelling so far, probably due to the big turnaround moment for the protagonist.

The Chaining, Part II Story and Art: Tyler Jenkins Colors: Kelly Fitzpatrick

Thank fuck for some neutral colors, even though the pencils are a little messy.  The pacing of this story was a little drawn out.  Though it could be argued that the particular story moment called for some suspense, in a story chapter this short the encounter probably should have moved a page faster.  Still, the final page payoff was pretty badass.

The Mighty, Part 1 Story and Inks: Keith Champagne Pencils: Leonard Kirk Colors John Kalisz Letters: Nate Piekos

A superhero who can fly, has heat vision, and wears a cape assists local police department in solving an idiosyncratic crime.

Film at 11.

House of Fun Everything but Colors: Evan Dorkin Colors: Sarah Dyer

One page of four panel funnies is great.  Two pages is pretty good too.  Eight pages is overkill.

Overall Issue Quality: Meh.

I am massively underwhelmed.  This is an award winning anthology, but it really did not read like one.  Your five bucks is better saved for a smaller press anthology or a local independent title lying around your comic shop.

Score: 2/5

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $4.99 Release date: 11/19/2014 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital