NYCC 2013: Dark Horse announces it’s Exclusives

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New York Comic Con, the largest pop culture event on the Eastern Seaboard, is right around the corner, and Dark Horse is bringing you the latest and greatest in exclusive comics and Dark Horse Deluxe products!

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The Star Wars #1 NYCC 2013 Exclusive (Limited Edition of 1,000)

Before Star Wars, there was The Star Wars! This is the authorized adaptation of George Lucas’s rough-draft screenplay of what would eventually become a motion picture that would change the world.

Price: $5.00

Availability: Two per person, while supplies last

EQFQSP NYCC13 FC

Elfquest: The Final Quest Special NYCC 2013 Exclusive (Limited Edition of 500)

Elfquest is a winner of the Golden Pen Award from the Young Adult Advisory Committee. This special, an oversized prologue to the Elfquest: The Final Quest series, marks thirty years of Elfquest action and adventure!

Price: $10.00

Availability: Two per person, while supplies last

NYCC13 CAVEMAN DOMO

Domo Qee NYCC 2013 Exclusive (Limited Edition of 1,000)

A 2.5-inch Qee version of Domo unavailable anywhere else, packaged in a color box.

Price: $9.00

Availability: Four per person, all days

Make sure to stop by booth #1636 to check out all this awesome stuff, only available at New York Comic Con 2013!

Review – King Conan: Hour Of The Dragon Part 5

Writer: Timothy Truman
Artist: Tomas Giorello
Colorist: Jose Villarrubia
Cover Artist: Gerald Parel
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

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Gerald Parel Cover

In my last review of King Conan: Hour of the Dragon Part 5, I said that Truman’s interpitation was starting to look real promising, And I was right on that assumption, Hour of  the Dragon Part 5 is outstanding. Truman and Giorello should be praise for the work they are doing with Robert E. Howard’s original story.

Issue#5 plot outline is simple; Conan rescues the damsel in distress, who is locked inside the tower, But the same time Truman makes it more appealing by adding more twists and turns to it which making this issue extremely entertaining, there was never a dull moment, Truman does a wonderful job balancing action a disposition throughout the issue, and Tomas Giorello’s art work is on point, the details of each panel drawing is beautiful, he illustrates each characters emotion to perfection.

Conan is determined to regain his kingdom, and he does so with a cunning approach, using the secret passage ways below the kingdom Conan silently makes his move and successful rescues Albiona. And with the help of the high priest Hadrathus they escape on harmed. Hadrathus then tells them that in order to destroy Xaltotun he must steal the gem Taracus took form Xaltotun’s tomb as he slept. The Issue ends with Taracus giving a mysterious hooded man orders to hunt down and kill Conan.

This is a perfect issue in my opinion, the story is complete and it makes sense. Like I said Truman balances everything well in this issue. And for that I can’t wait to see how this ends

Release Date:  Out Now

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

Review – Conan The Barbarian: Black Stones Part 2

Writer: Brian Wood
Artist: Paul Azaceta
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Cover Artist: Massimo Carnevale
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

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Massimo Carnevale Cover

Black stones Part 2, gets more in-depth when it comes to the Black stones, along with how important they are to everyone else. In the last issue Conan and Belit enter a unknown village and caused alittle trouble to say the least, after escaping the two take refuge in the Forset of Ghouls for the night. Alone the two cuddle around a fire and Conan shares one of his child hood stories at her request, He tells her a story about a boy who was lost in a snow blizzard and was found frozen by his huntsman father, Belit comments on how horrible the story was, Conan tells her that it kept all the children form wondering off at night.

The morning comes at it seems as if Conan and Belit have been found by a savage tribe called Heretics, But seems Conan and Belit have anticipated this and set up a trap. Hiding in the trees the two start to throw giant size rocks at the savages  which quickly takes them out, at the same time another tribe of savages overhears the yelling of the Heretics and rush in thinking some of their fellow tribesman where being attacked. Still atop the trees Conan and Belit jump down and take out the other set of savages, the interesting thing about this part is that this group of savages seems to know that the scroll Conan is holding is a relic.

After taking out the two sets of men, they find themselves once again on the run under heavy arrow fire. With the enemy close by Conan gives Belit the relic and the two split up, Conan leads the men away form Belit before falling form his horse and knocking himself out. Belit on the other hand has a group men pulling at her as she tries to escape, one of them successfully pulls Belit form her horse and she falls into a lake, under water Belit unwraps the scroll/relic and a massive bright light expands knocking everyone out.

Next we see the little boy form the first issue running into a church, inside we see a priestess is there and he tells her that the relic has been used, the Priestess informs the boy that whoever has open the relic, will have a cursed bloodline. The issue ends with Belit entering the church.

Final thoughts: This issue is of the best issue I’ve read so far, Brian Woods covers all aspects need in order to make a great issue, filled with action, mystery, and other things of value. Black Stones pert 2 introduces a new antagonist, While Woods doesn’t elaborate too much on her in the few panels she was in, we do however get a glimpse of her personality, along with her obsession with the Blacks Stones. For example in the last panel we see her talking to the boy about the relic, we see her face expression which is normal, But then she leans over his shoulder and with a sinister face that would  make the joke even freak out, asks if he knows where the relic is. Her obsession with the relic is similar to Gollum’s of Lord of the Rings, where Gollum calls the ring his precious; she calls the relic her beloved.

So far this arc is looking very strong, Brian Woods is knocking this outta the park.

Links: Preview | Pre-Order
Release Date:  September 18, 2013

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

Review – Conan The Barbarian: Black Stones Part 1

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Massimo Carnevale

Writer: Brian Wood
Artist: Paul Azaceta
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Cover Artist: Massimo Carnevale
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

As of late Brain woods has been on a roll, with arcs like, Border fury, Nightmare of the shallows, Argos Deception and Queen of the Black Coast all being quality arcs, It’s we can assume  Conan the Barbarian: Black Stones is going to be another great arc.

Conan The Barbarian: Black Stones takes place after the events of The Nightmare of The Shallows, Conan and Belit are seen walking through a rainy Forest, they quickly notice they are being followed and prepare to defend themselves against incoming enemies. The scene changes and we now see Conan and Belit aboard the Tigress and sailing the seas of western ocean two weeks for beforehand,  Conan and company jump aboard  a nearby ship and start to take out is crew and captain, with most of ship’s crew and captain all meeting there demises Belit and Conan come across a scroll, but before they can enjoy their victory an old man informs them that the ship has been blessed and is protected by the Black Stones. Conan laughs off the warming.

Next we see a present scene of Conan and Belit racing through the forest and come across a gloomy looking village that looks un-inhabited, the two then walk into a tavern looking for food an Ale, Conan then sits next to alittle boy at the bar, he then pays the kid to stable the horses and oil the saddles for the morning. An unknown man then comes up to Conan and asks if Belit is for sale, Conan plays along and begins to negotiate with the man, who offers five silver coins for Belit, Conan then counter offers the stranger a gold coin and asks for information on the village. The stranger tells him that the village in cursed by the black stones, and that lifestock, woman and children are most affected by it.

After getting the info they wanted Conan and Belit call it night, but not before the stranger again propositions Conan for Belit, who then angrily stabs the man in the hand which officially ends the night.

In the morning Conan and Belit come across the dead body of the man who had given them the information about the village, they then walk into a church and find a priest and the young boy who Conan had paid to stable the horses standing together. Conan the presents the scroll they had taken for the ship earlier, Seconds later a masked man jumps Belit from behind and threatens to take her life, the masked man tells him Belit should be punished and therefore be sacrificed.  Knowing they have been betrayed Conan asks for the person who has given them up, to his surprise he finds out that it was the boy who had betrayed them.

With his sword at Belit face the masked man asks for the scroll which turns out to be a Relic, In a flash Conan attacks the man and his followers in violent fashion. With only the priest left Conan approaches him and asks what he knows about the Black Stones, the priest who is terrified states that because Conan has the relic “They will damn you and one hundred generations of your offspring, just for touching it!”.

Seeing that getting information is useless they start to walk away from him, the priest then gets up and pulls out a dagger and yells out “in the shadows of the black stones” and then cuts his own throat. Stunned by the priests actions and knowing what trouble my follow the two agree to leave the village and camp out in the forest for the night.

Links: Preview | Buy-Now
Release Date:  Out Now

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

Review – Sacrifice HC

Writer: Sam Humphries
Artist: Dalton Rose, Bryan Lee O’Malley, Cliff Chiang, Paul Azaceta, Emma Rios
Colorist: Pete Toms
Cover: Dalton Rose
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

Sacrifice is about a teenage boy, Aztec history. Writer Sam Humphries (Uncanny X-Force,The Ultimate, Avengers A.I.) and Artist Dalton Rose team up and bring Humphries self-published book to life.

The story is about a teenager who’s struggling with life and a empire on its last leg. When I first started reading the lead character Hector was hard to get into at first, he seemed a little out of it during the first half the book. But later on we see him grow and stand on his own two feet, I found this to be the one the best things of the book, to see him develop as a hero after experiencing some lows was cool, I wonder if any teenager who suffers from an illness plus deal with normal teenage issues and on top of that save a Aztec empire form falling. My answer to that, No!. So to see him turn into a hero at the end was epic, even if it takes him awhile to realize it. Going back to what I said about Hector being hard to get into, its because half  of the story is slow in my opinion, mostly cause Hector is struggling with his surroundings, so he’s not acting like how a turn lead character would thus making you want to skip ahead. Then again I wonder if any teenager who suffers from an illness plus dealing with normal teenage issues  save a Aztec empire form falling. My answer to that is, No!

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I enjoyed the story. It successfully weaves together the story of a trouble teenager and an empire on the brink of collapse. It look a bit to get going and Hector wasn’t a character I immediately latched onto, but he grew on me. For a significant portion of the story, he seems to merely respond to the environment around him, instead of actually take charge and command. Naturally, this is expected from someone like him who finds himself in this particular set of circumstances, but it’s not what we always want or expect from a protagonist. However, when he does finally make a stand, it’s awesome. The growth arc he undergoes builds up to the payoff. He has both high and low points, I wonder if any teenager who suffers from an illness plus deal with normal teenage issues and on top of that save a Aztec empire form falling. My answer to that, No!.

The artwork is excellent for most part Dalton Rose, Bryan Lee O’Malley, Cliff Chiang, Paul Azaceta, Emma Rios all contribute to this book. Colorist Pete Toms does a wonderful job with the color scheme,  it has that spanish feel to it, as he uses colors familiar to the Aztec heritage which makes it look even better.

Readers will also enjoy the ending, I won’t give it away, I’ll just say it was satisficing. And on that note I recommend this book to anyone who has read anything  Sam Humphries has done, promise you won’t be disappointed.

Links: Preview BuyNow
Release Date: August 31, 2013

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

Review – Akaneiro #3

Writer: Justin Aclin
Artist: Vasilis Lolos
Colorist: Michael Atiyeh
Cover Artist: Shu yan
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

Akaneiro #3 opens and ends with nonstop action. Basically this issue was nothing but one big battle between the Red hunters and yokai, In the beginning we see Kani, who in the last issue unlocked her full power, fighting against the Ghost Werewolf Clan. With her new found powers kani is surprisingly holding her own against the Wolf demons, The moment shifts when a higher level Wolf demon appears and subdues her, the demon then tells Kani that the Red hunters hunt them down because the produce karma crystals to which they use for profit and personally gain, Kani denies the claim the wolf demon has told her, she then powers up and breaks free of the demons hold and quickly slays him.

Red hunters Mitsuo and Fumiyo make an appearance and help Kani get rid of the other demons. Things once again turn for the worst when the Demon King himself appears, his size alone is frightening, and he towers over Kani and the others, when he attacks you can see the huge power difference between he and the Red hunters and he quickly gets the upper hand with brute strength alone.

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Shu Yan Cover

And for second it looks like the end is near for them but out of nowhere the entire clan of Red hunters including Kani’s father show up and joins the fray, At this point we see some pretty cool new characters who display some there abilities, one those characters is the head leader of the Red hunters, this guy fights the Demon King by himself and actually holds his own to point where he knocks the Demon King down to ground so Kani can give him a final attack.

Victory wouldn’t have been possible if the Demon fox that lead Kani into the trap in the 1st issue didn’t betray the Demon King and sided with the Red hunters, the only reason the fox betrayed the Demon king was because he said that the Demon King didn’t respect him. With the Demon king dead it looks as if peace on the horizon for the two clans, so to insure that peace Kani and the Red Hunter leader convinces the Fox Demon to stay and protect the home village, the Fox agrees saying “I have enjoyed being a god so far, if a whole village would like to do so, That sounds fine to me.”

The issue ends with Kani, who after a few months is now a Red hunter and is seen hunting down Yokai with Mitsuo and Fumiyo, Mitsuo comments on how Kani is enjoying herself to which Kani admits she does really love hunting down Yokai and that balance most be maintain no matter what.

Final thoughts: As a final issue Akaneiro #3 was firstrate, it was filled with action form the first page to the last. But it does leave some things to question like, how much of a impact did Kani’s actions effect the world? Instead of elaborating on that Justin Aclin skips that and acts as if nothing or no one was affected by them, which I found kind of a letdown. But besides that it was a nice adaption one worth of praise.

Links: Preview |BuyNow
Release Date: July 31, 2013

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

Review – Amala’s Blade #4 “Mother Vs Daughter”

Story: Steve Horton
Art: Michael Dialynas
Colors: Michael Dialynas
Cover Art: Michael Dialynas
Published by: Dark Horse Comic

In this final issue of Amala’s Blade mini-series, things pick up where the last issue left off. Amala is seen riding on top of a dragon-like creature, which helped her escaped Avatouon. She is then confronted by the front-line of the Modifiers who are terrified of the creature and start to attack, Amala jumps form the creature and convinces the soldiers, who are nothing but children to stop firing. One of the soldiers informs Amala that she’s been followed by Purifiers who assume she is on their side.

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Amala then process to talk with one of the generals of Purifiers, she tells him that her mother is Lady Strawbale, and that if they give her a full pardon she would then join their side.

The general agrees and together they charge thus starting a war between the Purifiers and Modifiers, Meanwhile Smitty arrives and blames himself stating that its his fault the war has begun, seconds later the ghost of Abuela appears before him and asks if he needs assistants stopping the war. This encounter is interesting, it seems like the two have history, like they were lovers in the past.

As promise the ghost begin to stop the war, they some start to appear in front of all the soldiers of each side and convince them to stop the senseless bloodshed. As the ghost do their thing we see Amala ready to give a speech, but is quickly shot down before she can do so. The one responsible for shooting Amala was no other then the Prince, with Amala’s mother Lady Strawbale at his side , he then demands his followers to continue fighting but they turn on him and shoot him down, this drives Lady Strawbale mad to the point she attacks Ren.

The Attack on Ren also drives Amala into a mad rage similar to her mothers and the two begin to have it out in a final battle, during the fight Lady Strawbale insult Amala calling her a pitiful, doomed child. She also brags excessively about being a Modifier and the death of Amala’s father..

The fight between mother and daughter ends on a crazy moment; at one point Lady Strawbale is unable to move because of an explosion that occurred in the middle of their fight, so as Lady Strawbale lays on the ground heavily wounded, Her and Amala talk and it looks as if Lady Strawbale is about to turn a new leaf, But then out of nowhere the ghost of Amala’s father appears and forces her blade into the chest of Lady Strawbale, Shocked and angry Amala demands her father to explain why he made her kill her own mother, he tells Amala, sooner or later in the future her mother would have to tried to kill her, Amala then lashing out telling her father and the rest of the ghost to leave her alone forever, to which they all agree finally leaving Amala alone for first time in her life.

The issue ends with Amala, Smitty and Ren, who was thought to be dead, but turns out the wound he received from Lady Strawbale was not serious, Ren then asks Amala about Vizier. Amala smiles and replies “I have a feeling that problem’s taking care of itself,” in the last panel we see the Vizier waking up in his bedroom and is confronted by Amala’s monkey ghost and the dragon like creature that helped her escape earlier, In the last panel we see the dragon-like creature ready to strike the Vizier bringing a conclusion to the Arc.

Final thoughts:  Steve Horton’s Amala Blade miniseries is not a comic that will hook you, in fact there are a lot of holes in the story, and Horton misses to clearly the roles of certain characters in the beginning. For example when Lady Stawbale and Prince Markos are introduce it’s not particularly clear whether or not there bad or good, you only find out at the very end of this issue, that’s when you get a clear picture of what side they are on. Those aren’t the only characters with that problem there are a couple with things similar, but to not that degree.

The story itself isn’t all that great, average at best, but it’s still a good read. Horton’s writing is very consistent throughout the #1-4 dispite all the holes in the story, the comic has a nice steady flow to it. The same can be said about artist Michael Dialynas, he is also very consistent with his work. In the end Amala’s Blade should hold you over until the next big thing hits shelves

Links: Preview Buy Now
Release Date:  July 31, 2013

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

 

Review – King Conan: Hour Of The Dragon Part 3

Writer: Timothy Truman
Artist: Tomas Giorello
Colorist: Jose Villarrubia
Cover Artist: Gerald Parel
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

After reading the latest issue of King Conan: The Hour of the Dragon part 3 three words came into mind, Violence, Infatuation, and betrayal. The beginning of the issue starts off with violence; we see Conan fighting for his life against a Grey-Ape of the Forest of Vilayet Sea, with the help of Zenboia. Conan was able to defeat the Grey-Ape. The fight between Conan and the Grey-Ape is a barbaric one, you can see the blood-lust in both of their eyes as the jump for each other’s throat’s; this was well depicted by Tomas Giorello.

After their encounter with the Grey-Ape, Conan and Zenboia continue to escape the dungeon; meanwhile we see Tarascus and his followers are conspiring against the wizard Xaltotun. During that time Conan and Zenboia are seen listening to Tarascus as he explains his plan of taking control of the wizard.

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With Taracus in his sights and filled with anger for what has happened to him and his kingdom Conan leaps in for the kill despite Zenboia’s warning. And again he finds himself in another violent battle only this time it’s against one of Tarascus guardsman.

After missing his chance of killing Taracus, Conan and Zenboia finally escape; But Zenboia alters the plan and insists on staying in order for Conan to escape, her devotion to keep him safe somewhat baffles Conan, to the point he promises to comeback for her as soon as he can. The issue ends with Conan sneaking his way to the Fountain of Thrallos a place Zenboia promised him a horse for his escape, That plan almost fails when the guardsman he fought earlier is there waiting for him, But this time around Conan easily defeats the guardsman and rides off.

Final thoughts: The thing that stood out me in this issue is Zenboia’s infatuation/devotion to a man she doesn’t know is somewhat bizarre, it reminds me of Lord of the Rings Éowyn relationship with Aragorn, where she was attracted to Aragorn’s heroism. The difference between Zenboia and Eowyn is that one displays more love while the other displays more devotion.

In the end the relationship between Conan and Zenboia is what keeps me hooked, I want to see how that relationship falls apart, and how it effects Truman’s version of Conan.

Links: Preview BuyNow
Release Date: July 31, 2013

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

SDCC 2013 – Friday Day 2 Gallery [RAW]

Hey everyone, day 2 just wrapped up and I wanted to clarify something, the term raw in this usage is referring to the undoctored nature of the photos, if i uploaded them in raw format it would be insane for sizes and I wouldn’t be able to fit all of those on the camera itself.

Either way enjoy the full dimensions of these shots, thank you to all the cosplayers who have allowed us to shoot them for our gallery also.