Review – To Hell You Ride: White Man’s Guilt #1 of 5

Story: Lance Henriksen and Joseph Maddrey
Art: Tom Mandrake
Colors: Cris Peter with Mat Lopes
Letters: Nate Piekos of Blambot
Cover: Tom Mandrake and Cris Peter
Published By: Dark Horse

To Hell You Ride begins in 1880 and explains some Native American lore. When the land becomes desecrated by white men the Native Americans partake in a ritual. The ritual however, gets interrupted by these white men and it ultimately turns into a curse. Cut to present day, Seven George (a.k.a. Two-Dogs) is an Indian with some severe issues living in a world with no more traditions and balance. He’s a joke to the townsfolk and he is such a mess that all seems lost. All of this changes though when there are signs from his ancestors that he can not ignore and soon his life will change forever.

To Hell You Ride is a very interesting and sad story. The lore part of the comic is told very well and has a very different feeling than most other comics. The main character, George is very heartbreaking and tragic on many levels. The writing as a whole is great, it really projects feelings of despair very well. The art is very nice too, like the writing it conveys the emotions wonderfully. This comic doesn’t really tackle the subject matter I’m used to but it’s nice to read something different especially when it is so packed with emotion.

Release Date: December 12th, 2012

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Story:★★★½☆ 
Art:★★★½☆ 
Dialog:★★★½☆ 
Overall:★★★½☆ 

Review – Criminal Macabre: Final Night 1 of 4

Story: Steve Niles
Art: Christopher Mitten
Colors: Michelle Madsen
Letters: Nate Piekos of Blambot
Cover: Justin Erickson
Published By: Dark Horse

Cal McDonald in his usual cantankerous way has a feeling that something bad is about to go down, he just doesn’t know what and he is isn’t sure if he cares. As he drowns his sorrows, a cop, Alice Blood, approaches him and asks for his help. Cal, always eager to help, get more details. Barrow, Alaska (home of 30 Days of Night) has been attacked and Alice wants Cal on the case. There has been more than the usual number of attacks (massacres) and Alice believes they stem from one vampire in particular. Meanwhile, Mo’lock and the other ghouls are facing a threat of their own and are on a mission to find the perpetrator. They soon learn that the ghoul attack is very connected to Cal’s new case and something needs to be done…quickly.

Criminal Macabre: Final Night is the first issue in a four-part series crossing over Steve Niles’ other masterpiece, 30 Days of Night. This issue sets up the story nicely and ends with all hell breaking loose. Cal is such an awesome character and for all intents and purposes should be completely unlikable but Niles manages to make him and his toxic personality a great anti-hero that you really root for! Christopher Mitten’s art is amazing. It’s dark and unique and really brings the story to life. Criminal Macabre has so many great elements that it becomes difficult to single any one thing out. I am ridiculously excited about this crossover and can’t wait for the next issue!

Release Date: December 12th, 2012

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Story:★★★★☆ 
Art:★★★★½ 
Dialog:★★★★½ 
Overall:★★★★½ 

Review – Orchid #11

Script: Tom Morello
Art: Scott Hepburn
Colors: Dan Jackson
Letters: Nate Piekos of Blambot
Cover: Massimo Carnevale
Published By: Dark Horse

After getting the crap kicked out of them, Orchid and Simon are a little worse for the wear. Luckily, Barrabas, who has now turned on Wolfe, has shown up and is kicking some genetically modified animal ass! Once some of the dust settles, Orchid sees that her ally Westin, has betrayed her and the movement. Things have not gone according to plan and Orchid is feeling defeated. Just when things are looking their worst Orchid finds unexpected help and regains some much-needed strength. The Shadow Rebels are beginning to take a dent out of Wolfe’s army, but Wolfe is determined to come out the victor, and unearths the big guns!

With all hell breaking loose and only one issue of Orchid left to go everything is in chaos and only one side will be able to emerge victorious. This issue of Orchid does an amazing job setting up the last issue for the Shadow Rebels last and undoubtedly biggest stand of their lives. Inspirational and maddening at the same time, Orchid is perfection. Tom Morello’s writing is awe-inspiring and the artwork of Scott Hepburn is breathtaking. Orchid has come together flawlessly and I have no doubt that the final issue will be the pièce de résistance!

Release Date: December 12th, 2012

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Story:★★★★★ 
Art:★★★★★ 
Dialog:★★★★★ 
Overall:★★★★★ 

Review – Orchid #10

Script: Tom Morello
Art: Scott Hepburn
Colors: Dan Jackson
Letters: Nate Piekos of Blambot
Cover: Massimo Carnevale
Published By: Dark Horse

The battle has begun and things are not looking so good for our band of Shadow Rebels. Enzio is overwhelmed and relying on Orchid to finish her mission of killing the heartless, disgusting Tomo Wolfe. Thanks to their explosive expert, Westin, Orchid and her army have penetrated Wolfe’s fortress and are on their way to destroy him. Wolfe, unaware of Orchid’s arrival has just learned that Barrabas has turned on him and is wreaking havoc in Fortress Penuel. His day quickly gets worse as Gletkin, Wolfe’s mindless drone of a right hand man tries to restore order but fails miserably when Wolfe gives the order to find Barrabas and kill him. Wolfe, as his world is unraveling, soon learns that they have a new secret weapon, a traitor to the Shadow rebels! What would a revolution be without a few hiccups? Still, nothing will stop Orchid and her crew and she may have a few tricks up her sleeve as well.

The Shadow Rebels fight has reached a fevered pitch with only a couple of issues of this amazing comic left to go. Everything is coming to a head, death on both sides, small triumphs, big losses. Who will come out on top? Like every past issue this one is excellent and exceeds expectations. The writing is poignant and the art is impeccable. The end of Orchid is bittersweet, I can’t wait for the conclusion but not having an issue to read every month is to put it simply, gonna suck! At least there are a couple of issues left and it’s going to be a helluva ride!

Release Date: October 17th, 2012

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Story:★★★★★ 
Art:★★★★★ 
Dialog:★★★★★ 
Overall:★★★★★ 

Review – Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 9 #14 Join The Fight Part 1

Story: Jane Espenson and Drew Z. Grenberg
Script: Jane Espenson
Pencils: Karl Moline
Inks: Andy Owens
Colors: Michelle Madsen
Letters: Richard Starkings and Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt
Cover: Phil Noto
Alternate Cover: Georges Jeanty with Dexter Vines an Michelle Madsen
Executive Producer: Joss Whedon
Published By: Dark Horse

This issue begins with two teenagers, a boy and a girl, hanging out talking about love, life and everything in between. We soon find out that life is not so great for the boy, Billy. Billy is gay, a teenager and like a lot of kids in his situation gets tormented regularly for being “different”. Billy has the support of his grandma but she seems to be one of the few people in his life that is. While Billy’s trying to find his place in the world, Zompires are multiplying like bunnies! Billy soon meets some Zompires and all does not go great, but he is aided by a boy who Billy has watched from afar for some time. A plan is concocted and for the first time a potential Slayer is not chosen and not a girl.

Billy is a likeable character and you instantly feel sympathy for him and his plight. The concept of a male Slayer has always been interesting and I like that it comes about in a different way that doesn’t follow Slayer lore. The writing is excellent but it is Jane Espenson so that’s not a really big surprise since she is so amazing! The art is also great and really succeeds in capturing the anguish Billy is feeling. This was a solid read and I like the twist of the male Slayer!

Release Date: October 10th, 2012

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Story:★★★½☆ 
Art:★★★½☆ 
Dialog:★★★½☆ 
Overall:★★★½☆ 

Review – Ex Sanguine #3 – A Romance between a Vampire and a Serial Killer

Script by: Joshua Scott Emmons and Tim Seeley
Art by: Tim Seeley
Colors by: Carlos Badilla
Letters by: CRANK!
Cover by: Tim Seeley with Dave Stewart
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

Ashley and Saul have a unique relationship, one is a supernatural immortal that thrives on blood of the corrupt of the city and Ashley is a crazed murderer with mother and father issues. While that sounds like a strange pop culture comedy duo, it very much isn’t. Ashley since her introduction has been a thorn to Saul going so far as to frame him for actions he didn’t make in an attempt to validate herself and her legacy pursuit.

Issue 3 of Ex Sanguine continues the struggle and brings in some new blood to the picture, Saul going about his own life now while Ashley continues her streak of mayhem. The difference is that other dark figures have stepped in given the news and have taken interest in what they see as a defenseless city. It’s up to Saul to keep the borders protected and his girl of mayhem in check before something bad happens. Given the streak of the story so far, that sounds like an easy task but it really isn’t as Ashley prefers to only answer to herself.

The city is already in panic as news of her kills spread like wildfire in the paper, the last thing this situation needs is a social nuke drawing in more attention and undesirables to the town. The issue is very much about Ashley’s back story which helps shed some light on what happened to make her this messed up. Fans of the series should give it a read and new readers might want to take a look at the Dark Horse preview pages for a taste of Ex Sanguine.

Release Date: December 12th, 2012

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Story:★★★★☆ 
Art:★★★★½ 
Dialog:★★★½☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆