Hellboy Gets Married and nine others!
The flagship title of Dark Horse continues with Dark Horse Presents #31. Highlights for this issue include work by Matt Kindt and Fred Van Lente, as well as a new Hellboy tale by Mike Mignola. The cover is standard Mignola flair with Hellboy standing on a creepy statue smoking.
We open with the first chapter of Hellboy Gets Married. Written by Mike Mignola, with art by Mick McMahon and color by Dave Stewart, we get a pretty straightforward Hellboy story; Hellboy gets drunk in Mexico and gets married. With all the heaviness in the main story of Hellboy in Hell, it’s good to still be able to get silly, fun stories from Mignola.
Jamie S. Rich’s Integer City, chapter two, is next with art by Brent Schoonover and color by Jean-Francois Beaulieu. The crime caper continues as Detective Jonny Kilmeister takes to the sewers to track down his thief. There’s fun narration in the intro about the three types of people everyone hates. Beaulieu’s coloring is heavy, with blues contrasted by splashes of orange.
Then, we have Matt Kindt’s Mind MGMT: Dream Job. In this one-shot set in Kindt’s hugely popular Mind MGMT universe, we’re introduced to a courier who explains her job delivering messages through dreams in her sleep. His unique art, coupled with his wife Sharlene Kindt’s great coloring, is a definite standout.
Alabaster: Boxcar Tales, chapter 12, is next by Caitlin R. Kiernan and Steve Lieber. We see Dancy eat from the tree in a dream, until Flammarion confronts Maisie and Birdie, revealing what is truly in the barn. There’s a chaos to the struggle and Lieber’s art clearly matches it.
The retro-futuristic Nexus: Into The Past, written by Mike Baron and drawn by Steve Rude, comes afterward with chapter seven. We delve deeper into Clayborn’s past while he travels from the past to fight Nexus. The art is bright and neon and very busy-in a good way, especially in this chapter. There are some random shouts from crowds which I found funny such as, “Yo yo ma!” and “Chaka Khan!”
Monstrous returns in chapter two, written by Steve Horton with art by Ryan Cody. We catch up with the human who has taken over a Lacerti body. It’s a glimpse into the humanization of conquering alien invaders. Plus, the art is really good.
Next, Crime Does Not Pay: City of Roses hits double digits with chapter ten. With a story by Phil Stanford, art by Patric Reynolds and colors by Bill Farmer, we see more corruption of the police force, as Mitchell and Valerie plan to leave town. This is a great, dark crime tale.
Saint George: Dragonslayer is after Crime Does Not Pay, scripted by Fred Van Lente, with art by Reilly Brown and colors by Jeremy Colwell. Next to Hellboy, this is the standout story for me. Saint George reaches a river in Libya and meets a maiden who is to be sacrificed to a dragon, but decides to live up to his namesake. There’s humor and history in Saint George: Dragonslayer, with great art and storytelling.
Bryan J. L. Glass’ Furious: Role Model, with art by Victor Santos paints a vicious world dealing with the emergence of superheroes. The Beacon is a new superhero and she responds to a domestic disturbance, handling what the police can’t. It has a tone and art similar to The Victories-a mature take on superheroes.
Closing out, we have the first chapter of Kill Me by Chad Lambert and Christine Larsen. Kill Me is about a man who returns to his hometown, after his life has been in shambles to commit suicide. He blames all his misfortune on one single moment from the amusement park and he comes face to face with someone he can never imagine. Larsen’s dark, detailed art fits the tone nicely.
Dark Horse Presents #31 is well worth picking up. With one-shots, early chapters and new ongoings, its a great issue to explore!