Review – The Paybacks #1

26259Writers: Donny Cates and Eliot Rahal
Art: Geoff Shaw
Colors: Lauren Affe
Letters: Michael Heisler
Cover: Geoff Shaw and Lauren Affe
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

Running around in the superhero business isn’t easy, gadgets, cars, jets and other equipment aren’t exactly easy to come across. Paybacks looks at the other side of the superhero world with what comes after your series goes bust or those great crimes turn out as pretty mundane. We see a vibrant cast of ex-heroes now acting as repo heroes that invade and reclaim all those wonderful toys and locations for their boss to help work off their own debts. It’s complicated to say the least but it carries a sense of action and humor that let it flow with sitcom quality.

Issue 1 of The Paybacks brings our team into the world of Night Knight and his amazing Unicorn. Saving the day while his mansion and secret lair get completely ransacked by the repo team. It’s a unique situation for sure, the lovely Night Knight isn’t quite a front-page hero although his situations are far from light-hearted or even innocent. It’s a welcoming introduction, pitting the classical hero pondering their profession and the world while they’re largely unaware of the rummaging through their estate until it’s too late.

Donny Cates and Eliot Rahal do a great job bringing the central characters to life while also slowly teasing the lives of the Payback team to readers, no one hogs up too much space to confuse the narrative and with the backstory coming in tidbits, it seems we’ll learn all about the team in due time.

Geoff Shaw and Lauren Affe bring to life the Night Mare and the world of The Paybacks, I think that’s how it goes… That said it’s a traditional presentation with sharper angles that accent the bodies and pages but it’s not so serious and rigid that punch lines and awkward moments can’t shine. The panels feel natural and the characters compliment the twists and quirks of the storyline as the moment itself catches them by surprise.

We’re only getting a tight sampling of The Paybacks in issue #1 but it’s enough to capture interest to see where this story and their radical lives and workplace hazards turn next.

Links: Preview | Pre-Order
Release Date: September 16, 2015

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

Review: Criminal Macabre: The Third Child #4

As Hemlock and his two demon Spawn Babies terrorize Los Angeles turning it to a living hell, Cal and the crew finally catch up with Hemlock, Cal tells the others to save the humans and non-humans that need to be protected from Hemlock, Meanwhile Hemlock is enjoying the world being turned upside down and he states that he can feel the three of them getting strong, but to his surprise the two demon babies don’t consider him the Third, they go on to him that he has only proved that he is fool and that he must kill the true third child and that happens to be Cal McDonald.

When Cal and Hemlock square off Cal easily handles him, Hemlock is no match for his strength and power and is taken down by Cal, on his knees and defeated Hemlock is prepared to die by Cal’s hands but Cal reverts to his old wise cracking self and informs Hemlock that he won’t be the one who will finish him instead he has a friend who wants that opportunity, and that friend turns out to be Wheatley who then walks up and shoots Hemlock in the hand finally ending and avenging Doris’s death.

With Hemlock out of the way the demon babies ask Cal to join them and help them turn the world into hell, Cal boldly states that he has no intensions to join them and in fact is going to take them out, the babies then fuse together by one eating the other and they turn into a colossuses size demon, Cal is out matched against the giant Demon, during their fight Cal gets his wings ripped off and looks as if he’s done for but through a burst of anger pops back and sprouts new wings and gets back into the fight, moments later Cal lands one final punch which causes him to blackout.

After his blackout Cal wakes up with Mo’Lock, Wheatley, Cal asks if the demon is dead and they reassure him that it is, he also seems surprised and happy to see that he is no longer a Ghoul. The issue ends with the group saying there good byes and Cal going to a bar for drinks and begins to reminisce on his experience as a ghoul, in the last to panels we see that Cal still has his wings and red eyes.

I’ve always been a fan of Steve Niles work on Criminal Macabre, he balances the comedic, horror and action wonderfully without killing the main story something not all writers can pull off.

Conclusion: CRIMINAL MACABRE: THE THIRD CHILD #4 is a solid final issue, there are some parts that seemed unfulfilling besides that The Third Child as a whole was great arc and a must pick up for fans.

Links: Preview | Buy
Release Date: December 17, 2014

Review – Blackout #1

Writer: Frank Barbiere
Artist: Colin Lorimer
Cover Artist: Micah Kaneshiro
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

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Cover by Micah Kaneshiro

What happens when you have a missing persons, a battle suit that can travel through parallel dimension and a government willing to do whatever it takes to get their hands on it, you get Frank Barbiere’s Blackout!

Blackout starts off with the main antagonist Scott Travers describing the first time he used the suit to his friend Ash, we see that he had broken into a lab and was attacked by its security. During his explanation we also find out a man name Bob is missing, it looks as if this Bob character will have a huge impact in the story line along with a company called Avenir Microanalytics. Back in the lab Ms. Luca is going over the ordeal herself and how she was dragged through a portal by the terrorist aka Travers. Although she states that the man was not someone she had known, Luca explains that the man acted as if he was unaware of what exactly he was doing.  After leaving Ash’s house Travers decides to go his job which turns out to be Avenir Microanalytics.

One character to keep a close eye on is Cassius and his benefactor, there’s a panel where we see him watching the security footage of Travers break in and he receives a call form a mysterious person who seems to be the head man in charge, he or she tells Cassius that help will be on the way to help him find the suit.

The first issue ends with Travers using the suit to get inside the lab so he could find clues of Bob’s disappear, At the same time a group of masked man break in and are trying to steal the labs hard drives. A fight for the drives begins and we get to see just how the suit actually works, while the suit doesn’t seem to been weapon base, we do get a glimpse of just how powerful the dimensional travel abilities of the suit. When Travers uses the powers of the suit we see that when he’s in the parallel dimension the world around him is freezing cold and those how are in the present reality cannot see him. In the wrong hands this suit can do some serious damage which is why Cassius and his benefactor seem to want it so bad.

Finial thoughts: To be honest Blackout #1 is a below average first issue for the simple fact that this type of story has been written before. A guy finds a special suit made by scientist then uses it to stop a corrupt corporation who helped create the suit, Granted Blackout isn’t that simple of story it does have its similarities to stories like that. Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying Blackout is terrible comic, I’m just saying the basis of the story isn’t new and refreshing, which is why I think it will hurt its appeal for some readers. Blackout does have some good things going for it, one of them being the artwork, for one it’s very consistent and nicely detailed each panel is well structured and clean making it easy to follow.

Links: Preview | BuyNow
Release Date: March 26, 2014

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

Dark Horse Takes Six Spots In The 2014 Great Graphic Novels for Teens List

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Last week, the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) committee published their much-anticipated 2014 Great Graphic Novels for Teens list, adding, for the first time, a top-ten list. Not surprisingly, given the tremendous success of Dark Horse’s 2013 publishing line, the publisher landed six titles on this year’s list, with two making it into the top tenThe Adventures of Superhero Girl and MIND MGMT!

This year’s Dark Horse selections are as follows:

“Dark Horse has always considered librarians to be essential to the cause of bringing graphic novels to a broader audience, just as we feel visionary writers and artists push the boundaries of the medium,” said Dark Horse’s VP of book trade sales, Michael Martens. “With the selections of these titles to the 2014 YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens list, the boundaries will be pushed and the audience broadened! Thanks to both YALSA and our authors for making this happen!”

Dark Horse & Children’s Cancer Association team up to fight Children Cancer

Dark Horse Comics is turning pages for the Children’s Cancer Association with its digital comics. The entire Dark Horse Digital collection, which features over three thousand comics, will be made available for CCA’s program.

The Children’s Cancer Association partners with six Portland-area health care providers, including Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel, Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, and others, to offer programs and services free of charge to seriously ill children, teens, and their families. CCA’s programs and resources can now also be found in thirty-three pediatric hospitals across the nation.

Dark Horse Comics is also donating four Apple iPads to the charity for CCA’s use. These iPads will be loaded with Dark Horse content and will feature an age gate for kids twelve and under.

Dark Horse Digital offers its most popular titles at an unprecedented value, while providing the highest-quality reading experience possible. Through cloud-based technology, comics can be read and enjoyed on a laptop, desktop, mobile browser, and the Dark Horse Bookshelf app, available now on Google Play and iTunes.

Team Ninja & Dark Horse Comics Brings Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z Digital Comic Series

YNGZCC CoverTeam NINJA and Dark Horse Comics today launched the three-part YAIBA: NINJA GAIDEN Z digital comic series, providing insight into the backstory in three revealing vignettes. Yaiba takes a break from slaughtering zombies in the debut issue to tell the tale of how his often bloody sword became to be known as “Heartless” as he recounts the story to Miss Monday. Initially released digitally with anYNGZCC PG 01 all-new full color print comic to be available with the game, as it launches on its newly confirmed North American release date of March 18, 2014, the series is brought to life by Writers Tim Seeley and Josh Emmons, Artist Rafael Ortiz, Colorist Carlos Badilla with special cover art by James Harren. The comic will be available for free download at the Dark Horse Digital Store, www.digital.darkhorse.com, as well as through the Dark Horse Comics app (available through iTunes & Google Play). The comic can be found at: https://digital.darkhorse.com/profile/4128.yaiba-ninja-gaiden-z-1/

 

Aron Warner Academy Award winner, publishes Pariah Dark Horse Comics!

24225As announced at Comic-Con International 2013, Aron Warner, the Academy Award–winning producer of Shrek, is bringing his acclaimed webcomic Pariah to Dark Horse Comics!

Pariah is cowritten by Aron Warner and Philip Gelatt (Petrograd), with artwork by Eisner-nominated painter Brett Weldele (The Surrogates). Volume 1, which collects the webcomic, is available in bookstores everywhere today.

In Pariah, genetically engineered geniuses known as vitros are labeled a terrorist cell after an explosion at a military weapons lab. The vitros are rounded up and left on a decrepit satellite orbiting Earth. Now they must band together and use their supergenius abilities to get back to Earth safely.

Pariah will also see a brand-new, eight-issue miniseries beginning next month!

Praise for Aron Warner’s Pariah

“A group of hyper-intelligent teenagers called vitros suddenly find themselves hunted by a society that has marginalized them . . . I was hooked by the fifth page.”—Fanboy Comics

“It does have a lot of potential and ironically enough much of the story is about untapped potential of highly intelligent teens being ostracized for, well, being smarties.”—Comic Bastards

“A good read. The art is great, plain and simple.”—Eat Geek Play

Aron Warner’s Pariah Volume 1 webcomic collection is available digitally and in stores today!

Pariah #1, the first issue of the new print series, will be on comic shop shelves on February 26, 2014!

For more information, visit PariahOnline.com.

 

Dark Horse Comics will end its Star Wars partnership in 2015

With the New Year comes new beginnings and Disney is starting off with major changes for the future. One of those changes are the pulling of all marvel based video games, an assortment list games have already bit the dust, Spider-Man games Edge of Time, Shattered Dimensions, Friend or Foe, and Web of Shadows, as well as X-Men entries Destiny, Origins: Wolverine,  So how The Amazing Spider-Man game hasn’t been removed form shelves. Digital stores like Steam, Xbox Live and PSN have also taken down its marvel collection of games.

Just recently Disney made another move with the Star Wars franchise; first they announced a new Star Wars Episode VII film with J.J. Abrams as the supposed Director,then at the start of this year they ended its partnership with Dark horse. For years Dark horse has kept the Star Wars franchise alive through its comic publications, Dark horse rep Mike Richardson released this statement:

The End of an Era

All things come to pass. So too, do all licensed deals. I am sad to report that Disney, the new owner of Lucasfilm, has notified us here at Dark Horse of their intention to move the Star Wars publishing license to another of their recent acquisitions, Marvel Comics, beginning in 2015. This will end a partnership that has lasted more than two decades.

For those who are new to the industry, Dark Horse revolutionized the treatment of comics based on films. After a history of movie properties being poorly handled with little regard for execution and continuity, Dark Horse took a new approach, carefully choosing licenses and approaching them with excitement and creative energy. Our goal was to create sequels and prequels to the films we loved, paying careful attention to quality and detail, essentially treating those films as though they were our own. Star Wars has been the crown jewel of this approach. We began chasing the title as far back as 1989, and with the launch of Tom Veitch and Cam Kennedy’s Dark Empire, a new era in comics was born. I’m not ashamed to admit that we were Star Wars geeks, and we have been determined to spare neither effort nor expense in the pursuit of excellence.

It is ironic that this announcement comes at a time when Dark Horse is experiencing its most successful year ever. For obvious reasons, we have prepared for this eventuality by finding new and exciting projects to place on our schedule for 2015 and beyond. Will they take the place of Star Wars? That’s a tall order, but we will do our best to make that happen. In the meantime, 2014 may be our last year at the helm of the Star Wars comics franchise, but we plan to make it a memorable one. We know that fans of the franchise will expect no less. The Force is with us still.

Mike Richardson

As you can see Disney has plans for the franchise, and let’s hopes they can’t continue the success Dark horse has established. As for Dark Horse, the loss of the Star Wars license is a significant loss, but with its future and present franchises they have established the loss shouldn’t affect them in the long run and recent news has stated so (Year Of The Horse).The concern most fans have with this move is that Disney will not give the Comics the proper attention it deserves.

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Dark horse Comics: The Legend Of Zelda: Hyrule Historia Lands #6 For 2013

ZELDA

In a monumental year for entertainment, Dark Horse Comics has secured its place in video-game-art history with The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia™, which charted in the top ten as one of 2013’s best-selling books globally.

In February, The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia soared to the top of the Nielsen BookScan charts, making it the #1 book in America.

In addition, the book reached #1 on the Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestseller lists. Dark Horse announced a record print run, with the number continuing to grow as The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia dominated orders in the UK, China, Italy, Spain, and Canada.

“We knew this book was going to be one of the highlights of the year before it even hit catalogs,” said Dark Horse’s president and publisher, Mike Richardson, “but no one could have predicted the unprecedented success and acclaim this book has received. Hyrule Historia has earned a place in the Dark Horse history books!”

This handsome hardcover contains never-before-seen concept art, the full history of Hyrule, the official chronology of the games, and much more! Starting with an insightful introduction by the legendary producer and video-game designer of Donkey Kong™Mario™, and The Legend of Zelda™, Shigeru Miyamoto, this book is crammed full of information about the storied history of Link™’s adventures from the creators themselves! As a bonus, The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia includes an exclusive comic by the foremost creative team of The Legend of Zelda manga—Akira Himekawa!

The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia is a must-have for any Legend of Zelda fan!

Praise for The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia:

“Perfect for Zelda fans and appealing to gaming historians, Zelda: Hyrule Historia is a shelf worthy piece of non-fiction about a great fiction.”—Newsarama

“With the full gamut of chronology on full display and a nearly ridiculous amount of history and artwork to sift through, this collection is huge and exhausting. It’s also well worth it, as this guide is the only one in its existence that could gather so many facts about such a beloved series and make it as terrific looking as it is.”—EGM Now

“Hyrule Historia fulfills on its premise: a history of Hyrule, the wonderful, legendary world we’ve been falling in love with again and again since 1987. If you’re looking for the latest collector’s piece to celebrate your love for the franchise, look no further: Hyrule Historia is it.”—IGN

“The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia is a work of love for all Zelda fans. The creative team really wanted to give something back to the people on the 25th Anniversary of the franchise and with this book they nailed it. With tons of concept art, an official timeline, insight into the creative process, and a wonderful comic, this book is one that any Zelda fan will find worthwhile. If you like Zelda, buy it.”—Weekly Crisis

Look for this highly sought-after release at your local comic shop or bookstore today! Order online through AmazonBarnes & Noble, or Things From Another World!

Review – Star Wars: Dawn Of The Jedi Force War #2

Writer: John Ostrander
Penciller: Jan Duursema
Inker: Dan Parsons
Colorist: Wes Dzioba
Cover Artist : David Michael Beck

The war between the Je’dii and Rakata is at full its highest, both 22794forces are pushing for power in the war. This issue we find out two major things, one being more important to the overall story. The first one is that Xesh name isn’t really his name, but is his slave name given to him; his real name is Tau which means soul in his native language. We get to see Xesh and shae koda become closer to one another, with shae Koda confessing her love for Xesh. I find this relationship between these two to be interesting when Koda tells Xesh she loves him Xesh tells her that love is some he’s never experienced due to being a Force Hound, express that he to has feeling for her but doesn’t know if its love.

In the first issue we find out that the je’dii have a traitor amongst them, and in this issue its finally revealed, and its je’dii member Trill. She informs the Rakata of the Je’dii’s plan to attack their main command center, with Trill’s help Rakata master Skal’nas devise a plan to sabotage the Je’dii when they attack.

When Daegen Lok, Sek’nos Rath and the other Je’dii’s attack the command center, they are ambushed by the Rakata soilders, which leads to Daegen Lok being taken down. The issue ends with Trill leading Xesh to a underground complex where other Je’dii have been captured and put into capsules. Xesh states that if they don’t stop the Rakata all Je’dii will share this fate; Trill replies saying it will be and attacks Xesh form behind using force lighting.

Star Wars: Dawn Of the Jedi Force War #2 has good action sequences once again which it’s safe to say will be a constant throughout this story. While some may say that there is a little too much meaning less dialog at times, Ostrander does a wonderful job with bring out each characters personalities , given the reader the chance to get to know the characters.

The artwork like I stated before is great in my opinion, Jan Duursema  has some of the most consistent artwork a heavily action base comic and reader can get, Some comics that features a ton of fight scenes usually starts to lose consistency , So far Duursema doesn’t have that problem.

Links: Preview | Buy
Release Date:  Dec 18, 2013

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Story: ★★★☆☆ 

Art: ★★★½☆ 

Dialog: ★★★★☆ 

Overall: ★★★☆☆ 

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