‘Dark Horse Comics’ Roundup Reviews: Week of December 16th

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25393Avatar:  The Last Airbender – Smoke and Shadow Part 2

Writer:  Gene Luen Yang

Artist:  Gurihiru

The Team that brought us the previous stories (in close collaboration with Avatar:  The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra creators Michael Dante Dimartino and Bryan Koneitzko, The Promise, The Search, and The Rift have united again for Smoke and Shadow.   This is the fourth trilogy from the Avatar:  The Last Airbender series pubished by Dark Horse Comics after the show on Nickelodeon ended.

Smoke and Shadow Part 2 is the middle story of the current book Trilogy. The shadowy spirits known as the Kemurikage are abducting children throughout the Fire Nation Capitol sowing widespread fear and panic in their wake.  Desperate to determine what has angered these spirits, Aang and Prince Zuko search for clues deep within the Dragonbone Catacombs underneath the Fire Sages Capitol Temple.

This book is recommended for any fan of Avatar:  The Last Airbender TV show.  Its a fun read for any age and runs well over the length of an hour long episode.  It’s a fun and colorful story to see where the characters have grown up since the tv show as well as where they left off from the previous story.

Verdict 9.0/10

21471-thumbPlants Vs. Zombies #7 “Petal to the Metal – Part 1”

Writer:  Paul Tobin

Artist:  Ron Chan

Plants Vs. Zombies is based on the popular video game series by PopCap Games, which is available on nearly every video game platform today.

If you’ve never read the Plants Vs. Zombies comics by Dark Horse before, think back to the movie Gremlins 2.   You have a group of monsters terrorizing people that you also end up liking them as well. Sure, all they want to do is take over the city and eat your brains, but these aren’t your typical brainless Zombies.   There is a variety of farmers, news reporters, and even their smart diabolical leader Dr. Zomboss.

The story begins pretty quickly and lives up to its pen intended name, Petal to the Medal.  We are met with imp-powered, zombie-driven hot rods racing against Sun-powered, plant-driven speedsters. We flash back a bit while Crazy Dave takes on the incredibly tough Don’t Blink video game.   Dave then challenges Dr. Zomboss to a race to decide the future of Neighborville!

The book is a fun read with bright colors.  It’s cartoony and gives it a Cartoon Network Feel. I still can’t help but to feel a connection with the plants and Zombies with the Mogwaii from Gremlins. The plants have the personalities of Mogwai that live peacefully with humans, while the zombies seem they ate a little too much after midnight!   Now with a mix of Wacky Races, it will be fun to see where the next issue of this three part story ends up.

The Verdict 6.5/10

DRAGON_AGE_MAGEKILLER_1_COVERDragon Age:  Magekiller #1

Writer:  Greg Rucka

Artist:  Carmen Carnero

Dragon Age is another licensed comic book series by Dark Horse based on a multi-platform video game. (EA) and is for mature readers only.

‘Dragon Age:  Magekiller’ is an all-new story immersive dark-fantasy that is an essential addition to the Dragon Age Canon.  The story is the beginning of a new adventure set in the world of Thedas.  This issue introduces us to Tessa and Marius, mercenary partners that eliminate those who use blood magic to hurt others, but when a powerful patron employs them, they realize that this next job could be their last!

The book doesn’t seem that it would only attract fans of the video game, but also attract readers that are fans of 80’s fantasy movies.  Every where you look are epic castles, armored up warriors, elves, witches, fancy weapons, and more!   There is plenty of art to enjoy on each page and not much blank space at all.

This was the first story by Greg Rucka that I haven’t read that didn’t involve any superheroes and I enjoyed it. The story flowed at a steady pace until the end.   It was pretty predictable, and then you realize that it’s over and came to a quick halt!

The Verdict 8.0/10

28332The Rook #3

Writer:  Steven Grant

Artist:  Paul Gulacy

The Rook is back!  The internationally acclaimed Warren Publishing Classic has returned to Dark Horse Comics as an ongoing series.  Ever wonder where H.G. Wells got his ideas to write books such as The Time Machine?  He had a friend named Adam Dane that told him of his wild time traveling adventures in a large castle-like vehicle that looked like a Rook from chess.  Adam Dane had a grandson named Restin, and is the main character of The Rook comic book series.

In this issue, Restin is trapped in humanity’s doomed future by the vicious morlocks.  He must confront the paradoxial conundrum of his lineage if he hopes to truly embrace his destiny!

The art is good and gritty.   The story is dark, as well as the art with a lot of dark inking and shadows that blend well with the tone of the story.  IF you’re a fan of sci-fi, time traveling, and trying not to think of messing up the future and time paradox headaches, then give this one a shot!

The Verdict 7.5/10

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