By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
Rounding out the last few months of Dark Horse Comics goodness was not too tough. There were plenty of titles to pick from, and I settled for a mix of pulp action, movie tie-in and heroism with this company’s flagship captain. Yes, I smell Hellboy in the air and I’m excited to hear that talks are happening again to see if a third movie will indeed get made.
My picks for the winter season includes the following, and there’s only one bare skinned hero who can protect me from Jack Frost!
Conan Omnibus Volume 1:
Birth of the Legend
Do not make the same mistake as I did and think that buying these omnibus collections later. Although what I sought out can be found in smaller trade paperback collections, to have them all, especially Conan’s earliest adventures in one great volume will have me ordering it locally! The Birth of a Legend contains the works of Kurt Busiek and Cary Nord, with tales such as Born on the Battlefield, The Frost Giant’s Daughter, The God in the Bowl and much more!
Also featured are the material by Thomas Yeates and Greg Ruth, with colours by Dave Stewart!
Shadows on the Grave #1
Winter and Christmas is a perfect time to tell ghost stories.
I have mentioned this in prior articles and to see Richard Corben pen an eight issue anthology series for Dark Horse has me ready to see what will get conjured forth. Each issue contains four tales introduced by Mag the Hag and his buddy Gurgy Tate. The former explains why the classic black and white style is used and I appreciate this note so the curious and understand this series is about the art and establishing the mood.
These boys kind of remind me of the Crypt Keeper in Tales from the Crypt.
In the two issues that are out now, the stories include Roots in Hell, For Better or Worse, Denaeus, Dreams and Portents, Grave of Horror, A Muddy Plot, The Thing in the Swamp, Don’t Steal from the Dead (my favourite) and Fury of the Cyclops.
Archives Volume 1
November 30, 2016
I have always enjoyed reading the comic book adventures of Lara Croft. When the video games are not enough, I turn to my Top Cow collection to see what kind of Indiana Jones style of hijinks she is up to. This new release by Dark Horse Comics puts together all of my favourite stories all in one book, and I’m glad I do not have to dig up my original issues from my closet full of comic boxes.
With this hardcover, I can enjoy the artistic talent of Michael Turner, Marc Silvestri, David Finch and Andy Part all over again, and put it on my shelf instead of hiding the original treasure again.
Alien vs Predator:
Life and Death #1
December 28, 2016
No list can be complete without checking out the continuing battle between 20th Century Fox studio’s iconic slayers. This latest chapter have the Predators arriving on LV-223 and just who are they after? The battle lines are drawn, and I will not say where it’s going quite yet until the entire series is out. Ahab, the Predator from Fire and Stone (the previous arc) needs to decide who to ally with. As with these short runs, some fans may opt to wait for the trade paperback edition collecting them all, which leads to the next pick.
Life and Death TPB
January 11, 2017
Fans wanting to jump in can pick up this collection. It is the second chapter in the Life and Death story arc — the follow-up to 2015’s epic Fire and Stone crossover event. Before this tale is complete, the story lines of Predator, Prometheus, Aliens, and Aliens vs. Predator will all converge! Collects issues #1–#4.
Hellboy Winter Special 2017
January 25, 2017
Due on shelves today, this collection is coming out just in time to tell fans of Hellboy that there are more stories to tell. The big news from last week had Guillermo del Toro championing on social media to finish the movie trilogy, and the response was tremendous. This week will have the key players meeting to talking about how to make this wish happen.
Fans will have this one-shot comic to sate their appetites until a live-action happens. Here, three weird tales show the world of Hellboy through the years, with Edward Grey appearing alongside Sarah Jewell, the hero of the recent Rise of the Black Flame series in 1890s London. In 1980s New England, Hellboy, Abe Sapien, and Liz Sherman set out on a simple search for some missing kids and encounter a tormented spirit seeking to share its pain.
And Paul Grist (Kane, Jack Staff) joins the team for a 1950s Hellboy story providing a glimpse of the next new title to debut in the Mignolaverse.