Comics' best anthology returns in its new slimmer format!
August sees the return of Dark Horse Comics flagship title, Dark Horse Presents #1 in its new, slimmer format of 56 pages for $4.99. Dark Horse Presents #1 comes out swinging with stories by Geof Darrow, David Mack, Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray. The cover by Darrow and Dave Stewart has Rusty The Boy Robot flying over The Big Guy, who’s holding an enormous and overcomplicated gun.
The start of the third volume starts with The Big Guy and Rusty The Boy Robot by Geof Darrow, Dave Stewart and Peter Doherty. In Terror Comes Forth on the Fourth, a giant sea creature attacks a beach on the fourth of july and luckily, The Big Guy and Rusty The Boy Robot are there to save the day. Rusty has a copious amount of dialogue, as he tells the beach-goers safety instructions. It provides comedic contrast to the fight The Big Guy is waging in the background, all set to Darrow’s hyper-detailed pencils. Post-story, there are six beautiful pinups by Darrow and Stewart.
After the pinups, comes Kabuki: The Psy-Chic by David Mack. Mack’s Japanese alternate future series is back with a short tale and its one of a kind art style. He combines photographs, watercolors, object scans and more to create dreamy, surreal imagery of a psychic delving into Kabuki’s mind discussing the ability to evolve a fourth mind. This short is right in line with Mack’s previous work and is remarkable in his mastery of storytelling techniques.
Next is the first chapter of Resident Alien: The Sam Hain Mystery by Peter Hogan and Steve Parkhouse. Our resident alien is in need of money, so he travels to Sin City to try to balance winning the most money he can without attracting unwanted attention. The art style and color palette felt like an 80’s throwback and the panel of the Las Vegas skyline is one of the most striking and clever depictions I’ve seen.
Brendan McCarthy’s Dream Gang follows with its first chapter and lettering by Nate Piekos. McCarthy creates a psychedelic romp through a child’s dream, full of vivid colors. Dream Gang is a fun, sci-fi tale, complete with dream police and some of the most interesting panel backgrounds I’ve seen, being colorful thought bubbles of everyone’s dreams.
The first chapter of Wrestling with Demons is after by Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray and Andy Kuhn, with colors and lettering by John Rauch and John J. Hill, respectively. A straight-forward story about a father and daughter traveling through the desert, Wrestling with Demons takes a turn, when they decide to make a pitstop in a ghost town. Kuhn’s ragged lines and expressive faces are a highlight, and the story ends on exactly what the title would suggest.
Closing out with Sabertooth Swordsman: Colossal Casuals Crusade, by Damon Gentry, Aaron Conley and Joseph Bergin III, sees our resident feline fighter end Dark Horse Presents #1 on a light-hearted note. Gentry’s story is nearly dialogue-free, allowing Conley’s great art to carry it forward. His cartoonish, detailed style allows for strong, striking visuals. Each page contains a different panel layout, including a run through a maze, top down, ala Pac-Man.
Dark Horse Comics brings back it’s namesake title with a bang. With the inclusion of some of the top talent in the industry, Dark Horse Presents #1 makes for a great reintroduction to comics’ best anthology!