Dark Horse Comics Debuts Yearlong 30th Anniversary Variant Program

2016 marks 30 years since Dark Horse Comics erupted onto the scene with their very first title, Dark Horse Presents. Since 1986, Dark Horse Presents has won multiple Eisner and Harvey Awards and launched some of comics’ greatest heroes.

This week, Dark Horse is releasing a new variant program which will continue throughout 2016. Every month, one comic will be selected to have a very special 30th Anniversary variant cover paying homage to a specific issue of Dark Horse Presents. Additionally, each issue serves as a perfect jumping-on point for new readers!

30257Now on comic store shelves is the Hellboy Winter Special, which features Mignolaverse debuts by Tim Sale (Captain America: White), Michael Walsh (Secret Avengers), Chris Roberson (iZombie), and Chelsea Cain (Heartsick, One Kick). The Mike Mignola cover artwork is a throwback to the very first issue of Dark Horse Presents (1986).

30679Continuing where the Rise of the Tomb Raider game left off, Lara Croft takes on fresh adventures in a new comic series by Eisner Award–winning writer Mariko Tamaki (This One Summer). Hitting stands in February, the stunning variant cover by Joëlle Jones harks back to Dark Horse Presents #9 (1987).

 

30906In March, Dan Abnett begins Predator: Life and Death, the first chapter in a new story cycle involving Predators, Aliens, and the mysterious Engineers from Prometheus! The variant cover, drawn by Dark Horse senior editor Chris Warner, is a return to Warner’s original cover for Dark Horse Prese
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#35 (1989).

30681And in April, Brian Wood brings his sharp storytelling to Aliens: Defiance, while rising star Tristan Jones draws the scariest xenomorph you’ve seen in years. The variant cover features incredible artwork by originalAliens artist Mark A. Nelson and evokes Dark Horse Presents #40 (1990).

More 30th Anniversary variant covers will be revealed soon, so make sure to head to your local comic shop to pick up these extremely collectible Dark Horse covers!

Conan The Avenger #22: A Witch Shall Be Born Pt 3

Writer: Fred Van Lente

Artist: Brian Ching

Colorist: Michael Atiyeh

Cover Artist: Paul Renaud

The final arc of Conan the Avenger continues!

In the beginning of issue we see two men Tarek and his brother scavenging the desert and come across Zuagir soldiers one of the soldiers finds a letter in one of the brother’s possession and begins to read it.

Dial log heavy A Witch Shall Be Born has a lot of exposition of Queen Taramis and 25292Constantius influence on the kingdom and how they have turn it into chaos with Adultery, Taxation and oppression, Astreas of Nemedia sends a letter to Alcemides revealing the destruction Taramis and her mercenaries caused, he gets into detail how about the people are being exploited and the woman ravaged, he then explains how the neighboring small cities are also effected by the chaos, Khauran  a city that is significant in the realm because of its rich farmland is now under the control Constantius and his crazed men, also in letter he writes about the rebellion Conan has started and how that’s been given the people hope, lastly he writes that he thinks Taramis is being control or is a Demon as rumors of her exiting her temple with blazing eyes and covered in blood.

The Issue ends when Conan disguised as one a Zuagir warrior saves the two brothers and tells them that he plans to take down Constantius and Taramis

Conclusion: Like I said in the begin of this review this issue has a lot of exposition,  Van Lente does a great job explaining in detail how things have changed in not just the current city but everywhere, his world building is great.

Links: Preview | Order (Digital)

Release Date: January 27, 2016

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

King Conan: Wolves Beyond The Border Part 2 of 4

Writer: Timothy Truman

Artist: Tomas Giorello

Colorist: Jose Villarrubia

Cover Artist: Tomas Giorello

Part 2 of the Wolves beyond the Border we are introduce to Kwarada a mysterious female 27957warrior who seems to have mission to recover the crown, she sends a message crow to inform her men that Conan has escaped to the west towards The Black River, and we then see Conan, Crassus and Dariun in the Black Forest, Conan states that he must find out why the crown is so important to the Pict’s cause it could impact his Kingdom.

Things get interesting when they are confronted by Kwarada’s allies the Hawk Clan, they put up a good fight but are eventually capture, the clans chief Kroth demands Conan to give him the to which Conan begins to mock them. Later that day Kroth and Kwarada hold a mass gathering of Pict’s at the Hawk Clan’s village, tied up Crassus and Conan are surprised to see so many pict’s in one place.

We find out Kwarada is a shaman and the reason behind the tribes uniting as she has had foreseen visions of it happening, again she confronts Conan about the crown of Brule but this time she lights Crassus on fire thinking it would make Conan confess the crowns whereabouts, before his death Crassus tells Conan to honor him by not telling them anything, and in his last breath tells the Chimmerian he’ll buy him a drink in hell once they meet again. Kwarada then mocks Conan about Crassus’s death and is about to light him on fire when Bril, Son of Brak steps in and demands to speak with Conan before his death, he strikes Conan and at the same time leans over his shoulder gives him an arrow tip without anyone noticing, shocked Conan looks up and sees a hooded woman smiling back at him, kwarada begins to start the ceremony sacrifice but Conan cuts himself of the stake and escapes, but not before taking out a couple of pict warriors. The Issue ends when Conan runs into the hooded woman, who tells him to follow her so he can escape Kwarad’s trackers.

Conclusion: This issue was again simple and straight forward but also feature an unexpected death, other than that it’s your typical Conan issue with a character reveal cliffhanger at the end.

Links: Preview | Order (Digital)

Release Date: January 27, 2016

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

Review – Alabaster: The Good, The Bad, and the Bird #2

Writer: Caitlin R. Kiernan

Artist: Daniel Warren Johnson

Colorist: Carlos Badilla

Cover Artist: Greg Ruth

Published by: Darkhorse Comics

After the death of Dancy, Maisie and bird are hanging at the Old live Cemetery in Selma, 23974Alabama, they come across an old lady who bird sees as a potential client to con, with Dancy gone Maisie now has to provide for herself without Dancy and performing mediums is one the ways she does for cash. Things get interesting when we jump to Carson and Hunters trailer the two are clearly psychopaths, like a scene in a horror movie the two of them are covered in blood, the dialog between them is interesting it seems that they have plans for Maisie, hopefully in the upcoming issues we see what exactly what it is.

When Maisie and bird reach the old lady form the cemetery’s house, she begins to setup for the medium, as they begin Brid notices that the old lady has a cat which is a big no no for him/her and con ends up a disaster with bird revealing its self, lady freaks out and calls Maisie a witch and throws the both of them out of her house, knowing that the old lady will spread the word of their con the two of them leave the town.

The issue ends on a cliffhanger when two unknown werewolves track down Hunter and Carson, and begin to what looks like an ambush attack thinking the two are just humans.

Conclusion: Alabaster: The Good, The Bad, and the Bird #2 is dark and witty like some of other Dark horse comics, while I haven’t read a lot the previous Alabaster series, I had to do some back tracking to catch up to speed, and as of right now I can’t really say anything bad or good, so I’ll continue to follow this series so can give this series the proper review in deserves.

Links: Preview | Order (Digital)

Release Date: January 13, 2016

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

King Conan : Wolves Beyond The Border Part 1 of 4

Writer:Timothy Truman

Artist:Tomas Giorello

Colorist:Jose Villarrubia

Cover Artist:Tomas Giorello

Published by: Dark horse Comics27956

For me the most enjoyable comic series has been the King Conan series by Timothy Truman, Conan is a well establish king now and spends most of his time reminiscing and telling his tales to a scribe, while the stories of King Conan are simplistic and straight forward at its core, it’s still very enjoyable due to the fact of Truman’s writing, The Wolves Beyond The Border focuses on the Pictish Crown a treasure that has mysterious power. When Conan is approached by Gault a Ranger who has fought with Conan in the pass, tells him of a battle he and his fellow comrades’ encounter Valerian and Kwarada and other leaders form the Pict’s great tribes, a fire breaks out and takes everyone out, but Gault escapes with the Crown of Pictish’s. He continues to tell him how the crown’s power was driving him crazy so he decided to get rid of it by taking it to Conan.

Excited by the story Gault has told him Conan takes the crown with curiosity begins to examine it, a stone on the crown starts to glow and a voice starts to talk to Conan, it tells him of a story of two bloodlines  one being the founding father of the Cimmerian’s were allies. When the king of Valusia Kull hands the stone to his pictish ally the Spear-Slayer Brule, A great cataclysm happens and both bloodlines almost becomes extinct, within the stone a crow is flying towards Conan as he is visually shown, the crow transforms into a female warrior who challenges Conan to come find the truth of the stones history.

Conclusion: As expected of most King Conan issues the pacing is fast, Truman doesn’t reveal a lot despite the pacing. As setup chapter Wolves beyond the border part 1 isn’t a action heavy, instead it hooks you with a very interesting cliff hanger.

Links: Preview | Order (Digital)

Release Date: December 23, 2015

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

Review – The Witcher: Fox Children #3

  • Writer: Paul Torbin

    25923
    Joe Querio Cover
  •  Artist: Joe Querio
  • Cover Artist: Joe Querio
  • Published by: Darkhorse Comics

After being ship wrecked Geralt and company try and safely avoid the dangers of the island, and for the first half the issue until they come across some unguarded treasure, the men greedily run for it without caution and end up falling prey to Swamp Hags who attack them and drag them under water, Geralt and the others comment on how foolish the men were and they continue on, In the Shadows we see the Vulpess looking on.

Geralt and the others come across a Ta Prohm that causes Geralt’s necklace to react, when they open the doors the encounter sprits who tell them to leave and turn around for their own safety, When they reached the other side of the Ta Prohm the men start to express their fears and don’t want to continue but Geralt convinces them to keep moving, when they come across another swamp area the men spot more of the Hags and once again they jump into the water for the treasure, one of the Hags surprises  Janessa and drags her under water. Gerald quickly jumps in and uses his Igni magic on the creature and frees Janessa, during the skirmish Janessa loses her head dress and exposes her ears which are elf like, shocked that her true identity is reveled in front of everyone Janessa tries to cover her ears, Geralt informs her that he knew she was an elf when he first met her, when they reach the end of woods they are shocked to find that the ship is perfectly intact given the impression that everything that has happen has been an illusion by the Vulpess, As they board the ship Geralt’s medallion actives again and Geralt notices the Vulpess looking at them, the issue ends with Geralt pleading with the creature to leave them be as they begin to leave the island

Final Thoughts: Once again another solid issue from Paul Torbin and Joe Querio, Throughout the entire of this issue we see Geralt expressing his distaste for Javul Fysh and band of criminals even going as far as not helping when they are attacked by the Hags, but for the most part we get more insight of the powers of a Vulpess and why there consider to be so dangerous

Links: Preview | Buy
Release Date: Out Now

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

Review – Conan The Avenger #16 The Blood Oasis Part One

Writer: Fred Van Lente
Artist: Brian Ching
Cover Artist: Jason Felix
Published by: Darkhorse Comics

25286
Cover by Jason Felix

A mysterious oasis with a massive inland lighthouse beckons to Conan amidst the scorching sands. Answering a call for help, he offers assistance, only to realize too late all is not what it seems—he’s stumbled into a trap!

Now free from Princess Thalis of Stygian, Conan and Natala journey through the south desert of Stygian, Natala pleads her frustrations of the pass events and how Conan seemed to not have cared, meanwhile Conan notices a sandstorm and the two take refuge as the storm passes, as the storm passes Conan notices 3 armored soldiers and beings to attack them, under the impression that the soldiers are from Thalis strikes them down, just as when Conan is about to finish one them off, one of them takes off his helmet and introduces himself as Valerius of Khauran.

Valerius tells Conan and Natala that he and a unknown companion are too is looking for the Oasis’s so the two decide to travel together, meanwhile in the shadows we see a man watching from the shadows in nearby desert stone. But it didn’t take long before he was expose by Conan, the man introduces himself as Kerim Shah from Iranistan, he tells them he’s just a traveler on business but Conan and Valerius don’t buy it and Conan states that if Kerim is lying he’ll take him out.

Later on the group finds Akrel the Tower of Silence a well-known temple/castle, at the front of the Tower of Silence a camp that has been set up by unknown soldiers is invested be vultures, as they get closer they see that the vultures are picking at the dead bodies of the soldiers, Conan and the others look around to see if anyone was alive and sure enough they find 3 woman trapped in a cage.

The woman tells them that Raiders had ambushed them and they hid while the raiders attacked, thinking that the raiders are inside Conan decides to enter the Tower of Silence, at the same time Kerim sneaks off and into the shadows again with bow in hand ready to make a move on Valerius unknown companion.

Blood of Oasis Part One starts off with good amount of mystique to it, characters Kerim Shah and Valerius are interesting but the biggest question is who is the other person Valerius is travelling with?, you can see that whoever Valerrius is escorting is clearly royalty, so the question I want answer will most likely be answer in the next issue, but I wonder how important will he or she be to the main plot of the story, and will he or she be any importance to the Oasis’s they all speak of.

Fred Van Lente’s writing is great in this issue, I particularly like how he shows Natala’s snobbish and pamper ways throughout it, Artist Brian Ching deserves equal praise for illustrating those expressing’s in great detail and even the action panels were well drawn and detail making it easy to flow panel to panel.

Links: Preview | Buy
Release Date: Out Now

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

Review – The Witcher: Fox Children #2

  • Writer: Paul Torbin25922
  •  Artist: Joe Querio
  • Cover Artist: Joe Querio
  • Published by: Darkhorse Comics

With the young Vulpess child dead Geralt and company try to figure out what to do, and along the way they run into a storm which capsizes and couple crewmen, when the storm passes the find themselves heading towards a dangerous swamp isles, Javil Fysh and Boxcray get in a verbal shouting match over navigation, meanwhile a mysterious Red haired woman watches from the trees and catches Geralts eye, he tells Boxcray and the others that the Vulpess has caught up to them.

A panic spreads among the crew as they pass through a bank that is covered by snakes, but Geralt informs them that most of the snakes are an illusion caused by the Vulpess, one the crewman makes a mistake and assumes one of the snakes on the ship is fake and gets fatally bitten, Geralt tells them that the vulpess have power to cause illusions, so they should be careful at what they see, once again the Vulpess appears but this time she is staring at Janessa, moments later a maelstrom starts and cause the ship to once again change course.

When finally pass the maelstrom they find themselves at a foggy bank side, inside the fog are undead warriors who attack them, confuse whether or not the undead warriors are real they attack for their own survival, after Geralt disposes of the undead and they continue on foot through the swamp and trees, when they double back to where the ship is they find out that it’s no longer there and Geralt question if whats going is either really or caused by the vulpess.

Final Thoughts: Fox Children #2 is a much better issue, in that it has better dialog and more meaningful, for example when the ship gets side tracked an argument between Javil and Boxcray  displays the tension and fear of the situation they are in, the art work also does great job illustrating that too. Overall The Witcher: Fox Children has made a turn for the better with lots of action, it looks as if things are starting to pick up in the upcoming issues.

Links: Preview | Buy
Release Date: Out Now

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

Review – The Witcher: Fox Children #1

  • Writer: Paul Torbin25914
  •  Artist: Joe Querio
  • Cover Artist: Joe Querio
  • Published by: Darkhorse Comics

Geralt’s journey leads him aboard a ship but some passengers are more dangerous than others, and one hides a hideous secret!

THE WITCHER: FOX CHILDREN #1 fellows Geralt and his traveling Dwarf companion Addario Bach as they make their way to Novigrad, but the journey becomes a bit more adventurous than expected, when they encounter a ship of criminals lead by Javil Fysh who asks for his help, Javil Fysh then tells him a lie about freeing a child but in actuality they want protection from the Vulpess (race of fox like creatures who can change into beautiful women) after they have taken one of them captive, Geralt warns them to give the young Vulpess back because the danger that will come from it, but Javil Fysh and the others ignore his warning and I fight breaks out because of it, finally Geralt is taking to were the girl is kept inside the ship, but when they open the door they see that the girl has been murdered by Parlaghy for trying to escape, an upset Javul Fysh angrily yells at Parlaghy for killing the Vulpess while Addario states that things have turn for the worst.

Final Thoughts: For the most part Fox Children didn’t really grab my attention, the dialog between characters felt blend, even when sarcasm and comedy were involved, hopefully as the story continues the writing will get better. As for the art, I found it to be tolerable it’s neither bad nor good.

Links: Preview | Buy
Release Date: Out Now

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

Review – Fight Club 2 #1

Writer: Chuck Palahniuk 27002
Artist: Cameron Stewart
Cover Artist: David Mack
Published by: Darkhorse Comics

Ten years after starting Project Mayhem, he lives a mundane life. A kid, a wife, pills to keep his destiny at bay. But it won’t last long; the wife has seen to that

You ever wondered what happened to Jack/Sebastian aka Tyler Durden and Marla Singer after the events of the original Fight Club movie?, Well Darkhorse Comics and Chuck Palahniuk continue the story In Fight Club 2. In issue #1 we see that some years have passed for Jack/Sebastian he and Marla have married and had a son that’s around 9 years old, The biggest change is the he’s been taking medication for his Dissociative identity disorder.

With Tyler Durden at bay the narrator has lived a normal life since the original story, with a new job, house and kid everything seems good for him, but as issue #1 reveals that’s not the case. In fact his life isn’t all peaches and cream, for one his son has inherited some of his Tyler Durden traits, and Marla has become bored of the man he has become and wants Tyler to return in order spice up their sex life, she’s even started going back to support groups.

As for the Jack/Sebastian its seems as if the meds he’s been taking aren’t working anymore and throughout the first half of the issue we get clues of Tyler’s re-emergence so to speak, at the mid-point of the issue its revealed that Marla has been changing his meds with sugar pills, one day Jack/Sebastian decides to see his psychologist about his recent blackouts and is put under hypnosis to find answers, but instead of helping he re awakens Tyler Durden and this time it looks as if he’s become even more extreme than ever before.

The end of issue we see that Jack/Sebastian has denounces his family as Tyler Durden and decides to change things, whether for better or worse is yet to be determined.

Final Thoughts: Fight Club 2 starts off as if the original story has just ended by jumping straight into it, that would work if it was still the late 90’s where fight club was still relevant on a main stream level, but that’s not case so the appeal it had back then isn’t the same. But that’s not saying Fight Club 2#1 isn’t interesting or well written because it is both, it just feels a few years late.

Links: Preview | Buy
Release Date: Out Now

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