By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
It’s hard to believe two weeks have passed since Free Comic Book Day. I read everything I obtained, and in what I’ve reread several times is in what Dark Horse Comics has planned for continuing the saga in Legend of Korra and How to Train Your Dragon. The further misadventures of Plants vs Zombies is offered too.
No street dates have officially been announced for either yet, but I’m suspecting it should arrive late Summer. Since not everyone may have picked up this sampler, I thought I should offer a detailed look at what was missed.
The teaser offered in Korra is a prelude to the events from the series. Here, readers learn how Korra met her pet and protector, Naga. This tale is very heartwarming and adorable. Many years are not told to show their mutual growth before the episode, “Welcome to Republic City” takes place. If there’s ever a chance to show a cute side to these characters, I hope further misadventures of young Korra will be included in the upcoming comic book release.
This tale is penned by Michael Dante DiMartino, co-creator of the animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra. Die-hard fans will be familiar with his work in the graphic novel continuation of The Last Airbender. He receives full credit in the script in this tale. The youthful exuberance can be felt in this short story, and I hope he will be directly involved in the coming series this comic book company is producing. Heather Campbell illustrated and Vivian Ng coloured this tale, and reading this comic was like watching the animation all over again.
DiMartino’s work in this comic book continuation of this series is just as fantastic. Die-hard fans can seek out The Promise, The Search, The Rift, Smoke and Shadow, and North & South (Part One and Part Two) at their local comic shops or hit Amazon (links are provided in the list) to find the compilation editions if none are nearby or in stock.
When I learned months ago that the other tale is a postscript to the second How to Train Your Dragon film, I was eager to read what Dean DeBlois would write. Richard Hamilton also helped pen this story. This tale looks at each the feelings each Hiccup and his team have of Stoick the Vast. They fondly recall the best times they had with this former king of Berk while trapped in a cave, trying to decide how to deal with the threat that lurks outside. One wonderful flashback is how Astrid recalls how Stoick knew she would become his daughter one day (through marriage). Perhaps that time may come in the third movie. Of course, to balance the dramatic flashback moments must include the comedy. Snotlout and Gobber’s tale is filled with chuckles.
While I also purchase Titan Comic’s take of the series (which takes place prior to the second movie) I’m finding the artwork by Doug Wheatley and Wes Dziboa far superior to the competition’s work. The shading and detail make this Dark Horse version the one to read. As for how much of this interlude will be important for the upcoming “The Serpent’s Heir,” I suspect none of which is really notable. This graphic novel was set to be released April 26, 2016, but it got delayed. The second tale, “Dragonvine,” is in the works,
I suspect the company is waiting for Fall after San Diego Comicon does their round of announcements for detailing progress reports for DreamWorks many titles.
For 32 pages, this comic’s attention to Plants vs Zombies is short; only four pages of the tale was offered. I think the unbalance is okay since this video game to comic property is best told as a comic strip instead of a full comic. I played this product and I have always wondered what the back story can be like if expanded upon. There’s a mild appeal to wondering who the mysterious homeowner is and to learning about his plight as the target of the zombie masses. Garderners can chuckle at how close he is to his plants.
In the comics, the protagonists are Nate Timely, a young explorer, Patrice Blazing and Crazy Dave. They have to save their dying neighbourhood from this undead invasion. While I’m not sure how many stories can be milked when the plot is simply about saving your home from invading zombies, I’m curious enough to loom in a bookstore to get a look at this world. These comics might explain why Timely has been targeted. In the preview, there’s a very gangster zomboss who is behind the scheme and he is hilarious.
I’ll eventually pick up the volumes, Lawnmageddon, Timepocalypse, Bully For You, and Grown Sweet Home through Amazon.com just to see where the story goes. The zaniness gets addicting! With a video game leaping to new heights in this year’s release of Garden Warfare 2 for the Xbox One, I’m favouring this continuing franchise more than Angry Birds! I’m not surprised at how fast author Paul Tobin wrote the latest graphic novel Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare to further (I assume) the back story.
This company also had another comic offering continued adventures for Hellboy, a sneak peak of Aliens: Defiance (I think it’s the same as the handout I got from Dark Horse Comic’s booth at Emerald City Comicon) and Joss Whedon’s Serenity. Unfortunately, I did not grab this release. It’s mostly because each comic store placed a restriction in how many free comics can be obtained per person. Maybe next time, I’ll go all Dark Horse.