Buffy

DARK HORSE DIGITAL HITS TWO-YEAR ANNIVERSARY To celebrate, Dark Horse proudly welcomes Dynamite Entertainment comics to its digital store!

dhdynamite

Dark Horse Digital reaches a new landmark, turning two years old this coming weekend. To thank its loyal fans, Dark Horse announces two special anniversary promotions, as well as huge news that will change the digital-comics publishing landscape forever.

Dynamite Entertainment has inked a deal to include its comics digitally through the Dark Horse Digital store and apps. Thirty single issues and more than twenty collections are available for purchase today! New titles will be added weekly, with all upcoming Dynamite releases available digitally the same day as print.

“We’ve been looking for ways to expand our digital presence, and this is our first step to building an even more robust library of digital comics,” said Dark Horse President Mike Richardson.

“We’re proud to add Dark Horse Digital to our retail partners selling our digital titles to their audience. Our wide range of titles, from Vampirella to Battlestar Galactica, Grimm, The Shadow, Red Sonja, and many of our other Dynamite titles, are a perfect fit for the large audience who purchase Dark Horse titles. We’re thrilled to work with Mike and his team at Dark Horse Digital on this new endeavor and excited about new opportunities to come,” added Nick Barrucci, Dynamite Entertainment’s CEO and publisher.

As a sign of appreciation for its loyal digital subscribers, Dark Horse Digital announces that fifty free first issues from many of its best-selling series will be available for the next forty-eight hours (promotion ends Friday, April 26, at 9 a.m. PST).

Starting Friday morning and throughout the weekend, Dark Horse Digital is offering 10 percent off all bundles in the web store! And confirmed newsletter subscribers will receive an additional coupon! The newsletter coupon stacks with the bundle discount, offering even greater savings.

The sale starts this Friday, April 26, and ends Sunday, April 28, at midnight PST—so head over to Dark Horse Digital and sign up for the Digital Newsletter to maximize the discount.

Dark Horse Comics launched its standalone comic-reader app and digital store on April 27, 2011, and has received incredible support from the continuously growing digital-comics fan base.

Since then, Dark Horse Digital has grown significantly in numbers and readership by featuring its most popular and best-selling titles, including Star Wars, Buffy, Serenity, Hellboy, Conan, and Mass Effect, as well as exclusive digital-only comics such as Falling Skies, Prototype 2, and Dragon Age. Dark Horse Digital also provides sales and discounts for its readers on a weekly basis. It currently offers thousands of comics and continues to increase the digital availability of the Dark Horse back catalog.

Dark Horse Digital is available through all modern web browsers and features cloud storage through both the Google Play and iOS apps.

For additional information, check out the exclusive interview with Dark Horse President Mike Richardson and Dynamite Entertainment’s CEO Nick Barrucci on Comic Book Resources!

Phil Noto Cover

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

Links: Preview | Order (Digital) | Order (Print)

Story:★★★½☆ 
Art:★★★½☆ 
Dialog:★★★½☆ 
Overall:★★★½☆ 
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Review – Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Spike #3 A Dark Place Part 3

Script: Victor Gischler
Pencils: Paul Lee
Inks: Andy Owens
Colors: Cris Peter
Cover: Jenny Frison
Alternate Cover: Steve Morris
Letters: Richard Starkings and Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt
Executive Producer: Joss Whedon
Published By: Dark Horse

This issue begins with a flashback, Pearl (of Pearl and Nash fame) has just spent a “romantic” evening with a demon, who after their romp, thinks she needs to die. After Nash fails at rescuing her, the ever gallant Spike (joined by Dru) arrives. However, more than chivalry this is mainly just coincidence, this particular demon happens to owe Spike cash and the demon’s inevitable demise just happens to save Pearl in the process. Cut to present day where Spike, Pearl and Nash just happen to run into each other but, Spike who is running low on patience, tangles with the terrible twosome. Finally away from danger, Spike and his bug crew are joined by their new mystery gust Morgan. They set off into space to their next destination, a hell mouth. The bugs are none too happy with the new plan and they do not hesitate to let Spike know; however, Spike as captain of this boat want to stay on course. Luckily the bugs suspicions have got Spike thinking and he decides to do some investigating of his own. Spike and Morgan have a long chat and she explains who and what she is, while this puts Spike at ease the bugs are still not convinced!

I think out of all the Buffyverse titles the Spike series thus far represents the feeling and voice best. I have enjoyed all the titles but this one seems to have a lot of the elements that give you that Joss feeling and this issue is no exception. Spike is really captured amazingly and perfectly. I also really love the bugs, they have a lot of personality and really add humor and heart. I really enjoyed this issue and I think fans of all things Buffy will as well!

Release Date: October 24th, 2012

Links: Preview | Order (Digital) | Order (Print)

Story:★★★★½ 
Art:★★★★☆ 
Dialog:★★★★☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆ 
David Mack Cover

Review – Willow #2 Wonderland Part 2

Script: Jeff Parker
Inks: Jason Gorder
Pencils: Brian Ching
Colors: Michelle Madsen
Cover: David Mack
Alternate Cover: Megan Lara
Executive Producer: Joss Whedon
Published By: Dark Horse

Willow, in a magical wonderland with her new friend Marrack, is in a fight with a big nasty who almost gets the best of Marrak before Willow works her magic mojo. With the nasty inevitably meeting a particularly gruesome end she now has to deal with a snide caterpillar who is quite pissed at the mess she has left behind. Soon into her journey Willow starts meeting some interesting creatures, some of which are good and others that are very bad. Willow quickly learns that she has quite a reputation when she meets up with an old friend. She thinks she has found what she has been looking for but is disappointed in the results. Will she find the answers to restore magic in the world or is the journey hopeless?

I really like this Willow series, she has always been an interesting character and she has always been deserving of a more concentrated storyline. Her voice is captured nicely and the art is beautiful. The story itself is progressing at a nice pace and the extra characters have proved to be pretty interesting thus far. I enjoyed this issue, it is definitely an entertaining read and obviously a must read for Buffy fans!

Release Date: December 5th, 2012

Link: Dark Horse Digital

Story:★★★½☆ 
Art:★★★★☆ 
Dialog:★★★½☆ 
Overall:★★★½☆ 
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Review – Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 9 #13 Guarded: Part 3

Script: Andrew Chambliss
Pencils: Georges Jeanty
Inks: Nathan Massengill
Colors: Michelle Madsen
Letters: Richard Starkings and Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt
Cover: Phil Noto
Alternate Cover: Georges Jeanty with Dexter Vines and Michelle Madsen
Created By: Joss Whedon
Published By: Dark Horse

Buffy’s in a standoff with the demon and one time ally Koh who, unbeknownst to Buffy, has turned on her and is in cahoots with Wolfram and Hart. Koh has agreed to kill Theo, creator of TinCan, the social networking site of demons everywhere as long as he is given the information on who imprisoned him a long, long time ago. Buffy, who is doing her best to reason with Koh is having no luck and finds herself in a very tense situation. Theo tells Buffy that she must leave him and destroy TinCan instead of saving him which she reluctantly does. On her new mission, Buffy finds Kennedy who has a big bump on her head courtesy of Koh’s over-exuberance. Some not too friendly words are exchanged between the two women (as well as some punches) before they devise a plan to save Theo. Will they save Theo’s life and will TinCan finally be destroyed stopping Wolfram and Hart’s evil plans (at least for now)? Most importantly, has Buffy found her new calling and will she leave saving the world in the past for the prospect of some fat paychecks?

This issue is good but unfortunately I don’t care for a lot of the main characters. Theo and Kennedy are not particularly likeable or entertaining and Koh has potential but never seems to get there. Buffy needs to find herself quick because this little girl lost act is going on too long (in all fairness she may have figured it out in this issue). Without Buffy’s supporting cast something just feels like it’s missing. There hasn’t even been a mention of Xander or Dawn. I know Spike’s off finding himself, Willow’s trying to restore magic with Angel and his crew but Buffy seems to have no one. She’s pretty much alone and it’s kind of sad. The writing and art are both very good but I think Buffy’s voice has gotten a little lost along the way. I’m not ready to give up yet but I think the comic needs a little tweaking here and there to get back on course.

Release Date: September 12th, 2012

Links: Pre-Order | Preview

Story:★★★☆☆ 
Art:★★★★☆ 
Dialog:★★★☆☆ 
Overall:★★★☆☆ 
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Review – Spike #1 A Dark Place Part 1 of 5

Script: Victor Gischler
Pencils: Paul Lee
Inks: Andy Owens
Colors: Cris Peter
Cover:: Jenny Frison
Alternate Cover: Steve Morris
Letters: Richard Starkings and Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt
Executive Producer: Joss Whedon
Published By: Dark Horse
After deciding that he can’t just sit around and wait for Buffy to call, Spike jumps in his roach mobile and takes off for the calm and serene vacation spot known as the dark side of the moon. In an attempt to gather his thoughts and clear his mind with various libations, Spike and his bug crew are on their way. Once arriving on the moon though Spike can’t seem to shake his super sad mood and the memories of Buffy seem to be everywhere. Spike’s bug friends refuse to sit back and watch him wallow in his misery so they devise a plan to get him back on track, which works, for a while anyway. Meanwhile, we learn that just like on Earth the moon has its own group of nasties with bad intentions. We quickly learn what those intentions are and all hell breaks loose. Will Spike and his bug army ever get off the moon or are they destined to become space junk?

It has been no secret that I am a huge Spike fan, so truth be told I was extremely excited about this series but also worried about how it would turn out. I first have to begin with Jenny Frison’s cover, it is spectacular in every way, everything she does is always amazing but she somehow out did herself with this one. Victor Gischler’s writing is superb. He captures the nuances of Spike perfectly. There is a bunch of funny, but there is also the torment and pain which really encapsulates what Spike is all about. The entire team working on this series is top-notch, from the cover, to the writing, to the art inside everything is really amazing. This was a great intro issue and Spike’s bugs really add a nice touch with their oddness and full personalities. If you are anything like me, fear not, this is a great issue and an excellent addition to the ever-growing Buffy cannon.

Release Date: August 22nd, 2012

Links: Pre-Order (Paper) | Preview

Story:★★★★½ 
Art:★★★★½ 
Dialog:★★★★★ 
Overall:★★★★½ 
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Review – Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 9 #12 – Guarded Part 2

Script: Andrew Chambliss
Pencils: Georges Jeanty
Inks: Nathan Massengill
Colors: Michelle Madsen
Letters: Richard Starkings and Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt
Cover: Phil Noto
Alternate Cover: Georges Jeanty with Dexter Vines and Michelle Madsen
Created By: Joss Whedon
Published By: Dark Horse

Buffy is settling in quickly to her new role as bodyguard. Along with Kennedy, she is on duty protecting Theo Daniels, founder of TinCan. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill protect the rich and important computer nerd, Daniels has Wolfram and Hart after him and Buffy has her hands full. TinCan is a social networking site that Wolfram and Hart hired Daniels to create, and even with magic not existing on Earth anymore, the complicated code that he created allows other-worldly portals to remain open. The solution to the problem quickly becomes evident however, as always in Buffy’s world, it won’t be easy. Buffy calls on an ally for help, who as it turns out may not be as trustworthy and forthcoming as Buffy would have hoped!

This issue has a lot of action. The Wolfram and Hart storyline is exciting and it will be interesting to see what their next move will be. This issue has the feel of a stand alone issue even though it’s part of an arc. I’m not saying this is a bad thing but how it all comes together will also be interesting to see. Like I said in my review of the last issue, I’ve never been a big fan of Kennedy but her role in this issue is minimal and my annoyance level with her was low. Buffy seems to have calmed down a little bit in this issue, which in my opinion is a good thing. She previously felt frantic and lost and she seems more on track here. The betrayal at the end of the issue was a shock and I can’t wait for Buffy to lose her s#!t in the next issue!

Release Date: August 8th, 2012

Links: Preview | Pre-Order

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

Dark Horse Comics SDCC 2012 Signing Schedule!

Dark Horse Comics has released their SDCC signing schedule and it’s pretty awesome with a lot of goodness lined up!

DARK HORSE SIGNINGS – BOOTH #2615

 

Wednesday, July 11 

5:30 p.m.—Dragon Age Signing with David Gaider

6:30 p.m.—Orchid Q&A and Signing with Tom Morello and Scott Hepburn *Ticketed by drawing

8:00 p.m.—Mass Effect Signing with John Jackson Miller

 

 

Thursday, July 12 

11:00 a.m.—Mass Effect Signing with Sylvia Feketekuty, Chris Helper, and John Jackson Miller

1:00 p.m. —Angel & Faith Signing with Christos Gage

2:00 p.m.—Fatima Signing with Gilbert Hernandez

3:00 p.m.—Creator-Owned Signing with Eric Powell (The Goon), Francesco Francavilla (The Black Beetle), Matt Kindt (MIND MGMT), Tony Puryear and Erika Alexander (Concrete Park), and Sanford Greene (Rotten Apple)

 4:00 p.m.—Tarzan 100th Anniversary Event with Thomas Yeates, Ron Ely, Joe Jusko, and Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. President and Archivist

5:00-7:00 p.m.—Whedonverse Meet-up and Costume Contest with Shawna Trpcic, main costume designer on Joss Whedon’s FireflyAngelDoctor Horrible’s Sing-Along BlogDollhouse, and Cabin in the Woods.

 

Friday, July 13 

10:00 a.m.—Usagi Yojimbo Signing with Stan Sakai

See a preview of the upcoming Usagi Yojimbo: Way of the Ronin game for smartphones, tablets, and desktops.

11:00 a.m.—Star Wars Signing with Mike Richardson (Crimson Empire), Dave Dorman (Crimson Empire, Darth Maul), Randy Stradley and Doug Wheatley (Dark Times), Dave Wilkins (Darth Vader and the Ghost Prison), Dan Parsons (Dawn of the Jedi), John Jackson Miller (Knight Errant), Michael Atiyeh (colorist), Michael Heisler (letterer) and Tom Taylor (Darth Maul)

12:00 pm.—Valve Signing with Bill Fletcher  (“Cave Johnson”), Laura Dubuk (“Caroline”), Andrew Wilson, Wade Schin, and Arsenio Navarro

12:00 p.m.—Axe Cop Signing with Ethan Nicolle

1:00 p.m.—HellboyB.P.R.D., and Baltimore Signing with Mike Mignola, Cameron Stewart, and Tyler Crook

1:00 p.m.—Age of Reptiles Signing with Ricardo Delgado  

2:00 p.m.—Berserk Signing with Eiko Tanaka (Studio 4C CEO)

2:30 p.m. – Green River Killer Signing with Jeff Jensen

3:00 p.m.– Domo Signing with Domo creator Tsuneo Goda *Ticketed by drawing

3:00 p.m. – Dragon Age Signing with David Gaider

4:00 p.m. – Empowered Signing with Adam Warren

4:00 p.m. – De:Tales Signing with Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon

5:00 p.m.—Creepy and Eerie Signing with Dan Braun, Angelo Torres, and Christopher A. Taylor

5:00 p.m.—Dark Horse Horror Signing with Steve Niles (Criminal Macabre), Eric Powell (The Goon), and Paul Tobin (Colder)

6:00 p.m. – TNT’s Falling Skies Signing with series stars Noah Wyle, Moon Bloodgood, Will Patton, Drew Roy, Connor Jessup, Colin Cunningham, Sarah Carter, executive producer Remi Aubuchon and more! *Ticketed by drawing

 

 

Saturday, July 14 

10:00 a.m.—Darksiders Signing with David Slagle and Roger Robinson

10:00 a.m.—Aliens Colonial Marines Signing with Josh Williams

11:00 a.m.—Domo Signing with Domo creator Tsuneo Goda *Ticketed by drawing

12:00 p.m.—Joss Whedon Signing *Ticketed by drawing

1:00 p.m.—Whedonverse Signing with Andrew Chambliss, Georges Jeanty, Christos Gage, Jane Espenson, and Drew Greenberg

2:00 p.m – Avatar: The Last Airbender and Legend of Korra Signing with Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, Joaquim Dos Santos, Ki Hyun Ryu, and Gurihiru Studios artists Chifuyu Sasaki and Naoko Kawano *Ticketed by drawing

3:00 p.m. – Valve Signing with Bill Fletcher  (“Cave Johnson”), Laura Dubuk (“Caroline”), Andrew Wilson, and Wade Schin

3:00 p.m.—Concrete Park Signing with Tony Puryear and Erika Alexander

4:00 p.m.—Dark Matter Signing with Joseph Mallozzi

4:00 p.m.—Exile to Babylon Signing with Domagoj Mazuran, Matt Savelloni, and Helen Darras

5:00 p.m. – Mass Effect Signing with Sylvia Feketekuty, Chris Helper, and John Jackson Miller

6:00 p.m.—The Goon Signing with creator Eric Powell

 

Sunday, July 15 

10:00 a.m.—Beanworld Signing with Larry Marder

11:00 a.m.—Mass Effect Signing with Sylvia Feketekuty, Chris Helper, and John Jackson Miller

12:00 p.m.—The Guild Signing with Felicia Day *Ticketed by drawing

1:00 p.m.—The Strain Signing with Guillermo del Toro *Ticketed by drawing

2:00 p.m.—Emily the Strange Signing with Rob Reger and Jessica Gruner

3:00 p.m.—Doug Sneyd Signing

 

*Events are subject to change.  Some restrictions apply. 

 

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Review – Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 9 #11 Guarded Part 1

Script: Andrew Chambliss
Pencils: Georges Jeanty
Inks: Nathan Massengill
Colors: Michelle Madsen
Cover: Phil Noto
Alternate Cover: Georges Jeanty and Michelle Madsen
Created By: Joss Whedon
Published By: Dark Horse

Now that Buffy’s mind and body are back together in human form, it’s time for her to get back to reality and figure out what she’s going to do with the rest of her life. Enter Kennedy, she’s got a job for Buffy, which Buffy accepts immediately in her never-ending quest to be a “grown-up.” As quickly as Buffy begins her new job, her inability to be led rears its ugly head. Buffy is used to being in charge but now she’s supposed to follow, which, surprise surprise she is not too keen on! Buffy soon learns that maybe she should listen to others, even if it means no longer listening to her Slayer instincts. Since she is the Chosen One we can expect that this new lesson she learned won’t change her mind for too long and her new career may be short-lived. A demon approaches her for help and off she goes. Unfortunately, Buffy finds that her one true calling, the thing that really sets her apart from everyone else, slaying, is not as needed by society as she thought. After a little bit of soul-searching and career consideration, she decides to get her job back with Kennedy which may soon have her facing a past SUPER big bad!

This issue was solid. The ending alludes to an exciting big bad that could really potentially cause some big trouble. As per usual the art and writing were great. I’m not a huge Kennedy fan so seeing her wasn’t anything great for me but I’m sure some people will be happy with this. The only complaint I have in this issue (and Season 9 in general) is that Buffy sometimes comes off as kind of a twit. Buffy is a strong woman who has survived countless apocalypses, pure evil, she’s died…a lot and yet sometimes it seems as if she is written like she’s 15 and new to this whole situation. In these instances, she lacks confidence, maturity and experience. I love Buffy and I love these characters and I think the stories that are being written are for the most part excellent but I do wish Buffy’s mentality and overall essence was portrayed in more of a linear fashion (as linear as a Slayer in her 20′s can!). My tangent is over and I feel fully confident in saying that while there have been issues in this series it is still a must read and it’s definitely worthwhile to pick up.

Release Date: July 11th, 2012

Links: Pre-Order (Jeanty) | Pre-Order (Noto) | Preview

Story:★★★½☆ 
Art:★★★½☆ 
Dialog:★★★☆☆ 
Overall:★★★½☆ 
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Review – Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 9 #10 Apart (of me) Part 3

Script: Andrew Chambliss ands Scott Allie
Pencils: Cliff Richards
Ink: Andy Owens
Colors: Michelle Madsen
Cover: Phil Noto
Alternate Cover: Georges Jeanty with Dexter Vines and Michelle Madsen
Created By: Joss Whedon
Published By: Dark Horse

The real Buffy has been brainwashed (at least with the jumbled brain she has left) by the scheming Simone and RoboBuffy is doing her best to fix the big ol’ mess created by Andrew. The two Buffy’s are at odds as the real Buffy believes she’s got it all figured out. Simone has an evil plan, and now that she thinks she’s figured out what’s going on, Buffy has become an integral part of it. Real Buffy, in her confused but confident state, thinks it’s a good idea to go along with this unfortunate plan. Meanwhile, Spike and Andrew make a discovery of their own and realize RoboBuffy has been gone longer than expected. They set off to find her and with some luck they find her (them?) and Simone. Simone, in her perpetual aggro state refuses to let Spike, Andrew and the bugs ruin her plan, Spike on the other hand has his own plan. While all of this is going on, Detective Dowling is dealing with his own demons after feeling the fallout of having to kill his zompire partner. He is assessing his life and trying to make some tough decisions. Will Simone carry out her evil plan and will Buffy finally understand what’s really going on? What’s in store for Detective Dowling’s future? Does all of this seem really confusing? The answer to the last one is yes, but it becomes much clearer once you read the whole issue!

This issue was good, but I did have to read it twice to follow along. Once I got it, I enjoyed it. I loved the cover, I thought it did a really great job of capturing the uncertainty of Buffy’s mindset right now. The dialog was good, and the interaction between the Buffy’s was particularly interesting. There is some Spuffy action, but nothing that we wouldn’t have seen coming. Simone has potential but this time around I found her more annoying than anything else and I hope we either get a better villain or that she becomes more interesting along the way. I can’t say this was my favorite issue but I have faith that it’s going to get better!

Release Date: June 13th, 2012

Link: Pre-Order | Preview

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

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