The monthly release of comics’ greatest anthology is upon us again, with Dark Horse Presents #30, published by Dark Horse Comics. Highlights include the first chapter of Saint George: Dragonslayer from Fred Van Lente and The Adventures of Nilson Groundthumper and Hermy by Stan Sakai. The cover is a great portrait of Saint George by Reilly Brown.
We open with the inaugural chapter of Saint George: Dragonslayer, written by Fred Van Lente and drawn by Reilly Brown. An adaptation of the tale of the historical Saint George of Lydda, killer of dragons, the story begins at a battle at the Fort at Cusae, a city in Egypt, where Saint George is quelling a rebellion. I’m a history buff, so right away I was hooked especially with Van Lente at the helm. Brown’s art is great too; the angles he chose, which are at head level, provide an urgency during the battle.
Then we have the first chapter of Integer City, written by Jamie S. Rich, with art by Brent Schoonover. A crime story, Integer City follows Detective Jonny Kilmeister while he tries to catch a thief. I enjoy Rich’s math puns strewn throughout, such as stating that the lady’s story doesn’t add up. The colors from Jean-Francis Beaulieu are of note, as a very drab blue is common in the art.
Stan Sakai’s The Adventures of Nilson Groundthumper and Hermy is next. A fun and funny tale about two adventurers who come upon a wizard’s castle, I’d say this is directed more towards children because of its simplicity, but it did make me laugh.
The adventure continues in Alabaster: Boxcar Tales by Caitlin R. Kieman and drawn by Steve Lieber, with chapter eleven. Bird is recalling the story of Flammarigold while she’s on her travels to find where the book began. Lieber’s art is great; the page where Flammarigold fights beasts is eye-catching and imaginative.
Mike Baron’s Nexus: Into The Past rolls on with chapter five, and art by Steve Rude. Nexus checks in during the present, but must head back to the past to fix another anomaly. The art carries on the 80s tradition of bright neons and pastels.
A new story, Monstrous, follows, written by Steve Horton and drawn by Ryan Cody. In this opening chapter, we’re introduced to human life after the apocalypse told through the eyes of the conquering monster army. Off to a strong start, the dark art reminds me of Hellboy, which is a good thing.
Crime Does Not Pay: City of Roses, by Phil Stanford and Patric Reynolds, continues with chapter eight. A gritty crime tale, City of Roses follows a crooked cop as he takes down his competition. Wonderfully written, with dark art, crime enthusiasts can’t look beyond this series. I did notice a printing error with the opening page repeated second to last, which an editor should have caught.
Then, Michael T. Gilbert’s Mr. Monster: Dark Stearn, is next with the fourth and final chapter. Doc Stearn has to finally confront his rival, Dark Stearn, and save three million people. This is a fun, lighthearted comedic tale about controlling your darker side.
Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s The Strain: The Fall-The Silver Angel, chapter three, by David Lapham, is the penultimate tale. The final chapter sees The Silver Angel in battle with the vampire horde, intercut with an older Angel Guzman Hurtado watching a luchador match. Well scripted and drawn, David Lapham’s adaptation ends on a high note.
We close with Now & Then, written by Chad Lambert and drawn by Tom Williams. With an odd, hazy art style from Williams, we follow our rambling protagonist, as he recounts his dreams, past, and present. It’s a wild, trippy ride, with an unusual art style.
Dark Horse Presents #30 is a great jump on point, with two standalone stories and three first chapters. Plus, with two stories ending, there’s no better time to pick up the best deal in comics!