Hellboy doesn't stay married long and other tales.
This week, from Dark Horse Comics, comes Dark Horse Presents #32! Highlights include the conclusion of Hellboy’s marriage from Mike Mignola, Saint George: The Dragonslayer, and, surprisingly, work by Rich Johnston. (I’m basing that on rumours; I don’t have time to fact check.) The cover by Mick McMahon and Dave Stewart shows Hellboy bravely battling skeleton conquistadors.
Opening with the second chapter of Hellboy Gets Married, Hellboy needs to figure a way out of his marriage while fighting skeleton conquistadors-and if he can do it without killing his new bride, even better. Written by Mike Mignola-with art by Mick McMahon, and color by Dave Stewart-the story takes a darker turn compared to the light-hearted first chapter, sliding back into more familiar Hellboy territory.
Next comes Integer City, chapter three, written by Jamie S. Rich, with art by Brent Schnoover and color by Jean-Francois Beaulieu. Detective Jonny Kilmeister finds himself face to face with a cult and then investigates the wonderfully-named Hopskotch Brannigan. If Kilmeister was a bit more bumbling, he could pass for The Spirit in his fedora and tie. Beaulieu’s colors really set the tone with all the blues and oranges.
Then we have the debut chapter of The Deleted by Brendan McCarthy and Darrin Grimwood. Written by the pair and drawn by McCarthy, The Deleted follows a man waking up in a strange world in which pieces of reality have been seemingly stripped away. The art is greatly detailed with an emphasis on the destruction and the gutters are filled with computer chip designs tying in nicely with the theme of the title. The Weirloks aren’t intimidating villains and were kind of a silly sight, although a great opening chapter nonetheless.
Chapter 11 of Crime Does Not Pay: City of Roses follows, written by Phil Stanford, drawn by Patric Reynolds, and colored by Bill Farmer. Mitchell leads a police force on a drug bust and when things go south, Valerie rushes to his side. For such a tense moment at the end of the chapter, I ended up laughing at the paramedic’s line delivery.
Mike Baron and Steve Rude’s Nexus: Into The Past, chapter eight, is next. Nexus is searching the globe for Clayborn, after having his son, Harry, taken from him. Things veer in a different direction though when Clayborn’s assistant Cicely turns on him. The art is bright and meticulous, and once again, the background characters have the best dialogue, as a robot refers to the cowboy president as a “bumpkin”.
Monstrous rears its head in chapter three by Steve Horton and Ryan Cody. The Lacerti with the human mind is put to a test by a senior officer to kill human babies. We get to see if he’s willing to kill to not blow his cover. Cody’s art is very neat and clean fitting the brutish Lacertis, contrasting the more intricate art of previous tales.
In chapter two of Kill Me!, written by Chad Lambert and drawn by Christine Larsen, Jack confronts his doppelganger and ends up traveling back in time to his early carnival days. In the past, there is an endless time loop as copies of him keep appearing. Larsen’s grim linework fits the dark tone and Kill Me! takes killing oneself to another level.
Saint George: The Dragonslayer-by Fred Van Lente and Reilly Brown, with colors by Jeremy Colwell-is next with the third chapter. Having been saved, Saint George is indebted to the maiden being sacrificed to the dragon and heads into the cave to defeat the beast. Brown’s sketchy, flowing lines provide a great sense of motion for the battle. With the perfect blend of action and humor-plus, having me literally laughing out loud-this is the standout story.
The Many Murders of Miss Cranbourne: The Library in the Body, chapter one-written by Rich Johnston, with art by Simon Rohrmuller-follows with a fun, Victorian-era murder mystery. A lord is found murdered in his house and Miss Cranbourne is on the scene to one-up the police. Alongside Rohrmuller’s gorgeous, clean art, newcomer Rich Johnston is bound to make a name for himself in the cutthroat comic industry.
Closing out the issue, we have the conclusion of Alabaster: Boxcar Tales in chapter 13. Written by Caitlin R. Kiernan, with art by Steve Lieber and colors by Rachelle Rosenberg, the story features Bird recalling the final showdown between Flammarion and Maisie. We get the sad ending we deserve, and Maisie’s face really shows the pain conveyed through Lieber’s art.
Dark Horse Presents #32 is one of the strongest issues to date, with some powerful stories still in their early stages-so pick it up today!