Archive for the ‘Dark Horse’ Category

My longest post ever!: or My thoughts on Buffy Season Eight.

February 17th, 2011 by Susie

Buffy season 8 came to an end last month, with issue 40.  I have some thoughts on both the final issue, and the series as a whole.  I plan on going into detail about the plot, so anyone who has not read the whole thing, and is wary of spoilers, should not read beyond the jump.

Buffy the TV show meant a lot to me.  I connected to it from the moment it came on the air, and for the entire seven years it was on the air, I looked forward to every new episode.  I think I only missed seeing two episodes the night they aired, that whole time.  It is the reason I follow every project Joss Whedon works on with great interest.  Somewhere around season two, I became an unabashed fangirl, and haven’t looked back since.  And it’s fair to say my own writing has been heavily influenced by it.  In that I think a hero (or even more so, a heroine) should not be infallible, that they can make mistakes and fall down, and still remain a hero.

So when it was announced that Joss would be resuming the series as a comic, I was thrilled.  I could not wait for my friends to return, and find out what he had in store for them next.  The first twenty issues or so were pretty spectacular, beautiful art, and brilliantly written.  Having Joss write many, and oversee the rest, assured that the tone of the show carried over to the comics, and that the characters felt true to how they had been previously portrayed.  Those issues did a really good job bringing the audience up to speed with what the Scooby gang had been doing since the end of the series.  And also establishing new characters to root for, such as Renee and Satsu.

Spoilers from here on.  You have been warned, don’t whine to me if you read something you don’t want to.


New Serenity Comic!

January 18th, 2011 by Susie

This November, Dark Horse put out a the graphic novel the Shepherd’s Tale.  It provided us Browncoats with the long awaited back story of Shepherd Book.  While it was interesting to finally find out what he was hiding, and it was a well written story, it didn’t really feel like an installment of Firefly, since most of the crew only appeared in a couple of pages.  When I think of Firefly, the first thing I think of is the fun of spending time with the nine, very distinct, people living aboard Serenity.  Well Shepherd’s Tale writer, Zack Whedon, has given us just, that in an online only, eight page comic called Serenity: Downtime.

Surprisingly it is available on USA Today’s website, along with a brief introductory article about Firefly/Serenity.  It is awesome!  It feels very much like an episode of Firefly.  It even has close ups of River’s feet!  Here is a little blurb about the comic.

Whedon has tried to create an atmosphere resembling a scene from Firefly. “I wanted to reward those fans by showing these characters like it was a part of the show,” he says.

Downtime follows crewmembers snowed in on a planet filled with, as Whedon puts it, “a bunch of people you don’t want to run into.” Though the whole crew is included, the focus is on the mysterious (and fan-favorite) character known as River.

Check it out here!  Serenity:Downtime

Another Dr. Horrible comic

June 6th, 2009 by Susie

We have allready seen two Dark Horse presents Dr. Horrible Comics. One featuring Captain Hammer (in print), the next was about Moist (in print). And now here is the third. Written by Zach Whedon

Penny Keep Your Head Up

I really hope to see more of these, they really flesh out the world of the web series.  Of course I would love to see a sequel to the musical, and now that Dollhouse, How I Met Your Mother, and Castle are all on summer hiatus it may happen.


January 31st, 2009 by Susie


I am too lazy to do the research myself, maybe you guys can help me figure out,  whatever happened to…?

1) Serenity: the Shepherd’s Tale.  When Dark Horse announced this three issue mini series  that would finally document Shepherd Book’s past, they said it would be out Fall 2008.  I have yet to see it listed in there upcoming lists.

2)Savant and Creote.  Gail Simone’s run on Bird’s of Prey produced some very cool new characters, such as Black Alice, and Misfit, both of whom are still showing up in the series pages.  However my favorite, the duo of Savant and Creote have completely disappeared.   Savant is a highly intelligent, extremely unstable, misogynist pretty boy.  Creote  is his extremely loyal bodyguard/manservant/sidekick/husband?  Despite the fact that their first appearance involved them holding Black Canary prisoner, Oracle was able to turn them into allies and ably used their skills to help her ever growing team.  Savant eventually fled since Oracle’s reforming of him had seriously disturbed his calm, Creote being completely devoted of course went with him.  I assumed they would be back at some point, but that was the last I saw of them.  I hope some writer revives them.  They might make an interesting addition to Gail’s own Wonder Woman run.

3) The next arc of Sky Doll.  Sky Doll was probably my favorite discovery  of last year.  I even bought the hardback trade when it was released even though I knew there was no material in it other than the contents of the three issues already published.  I want to collect it as books.  I am dying to know what happens next, but there has been no sign of when Marvel will bring out the second series.

Is Neil Gaiman a Firefly Fan?

December 30th, 2008 by Susie

I was reading the Graveyard Book last night (and boy is it good), and I also noticed that the names of a pair of police men were Simon and Tam.  Which just happens to be the name of Firefly’s handsome and proper/desperate fugitive doctor.  So that got me wondering if it is an intentional reference.  And if it is, that is cool! Which got me to thinking if he is a fan of Firefly, perhaps he is a fan of Joss.  Since I can’t imagine anything making me happier than Neil Gaiman working on a Joss Whedon project.  So on the theory that if you shout something loudly enough into the Internet it will actually happen, and so this post can actually be about comics. I am hereby announcing NEIL GAIMAN WILL BE WRITING AN ARC OF BUFFY SEASON EIGHT!  Right, I hope that was loud enough.  Let the completely untrue rumors soar!  You can’t take the lie from me.

Moist, a Dr. Horrible Comic!

December 7th, 2008 by Martin

Read it now at dark horse presents! (Thanks Susie.)

Married With Comics – 11/26/08

December 3rd, 2008 by florence

Florence and Marty are joined by Florence’s sister Susie for a long-ish discussion of the new Buffy: Season 8, issue #19. Then Florence and Marty briefly discuss The Walking Dead #55.

Be warned, the spoilers start right away.


Book Club – Buffy Season 8 #1-18

November 16th, 2008 by Martin

We’re finally getting around to posting a date for this Buffy Book Club. As usual we’ll be meeting at Marty & Florence’s place, this time on Saturday November 22nd, again around 7pm. Again, this is the latest series of Buffy comics, Season 8, issues #1 through #18. It looks like issue #19, the conclusion of the latest arc should actually come out the following Wednesday, November 26, so we’ll be doing a bunch of speculation about that issue.

–THIS Saturday–
Marty & Florence’s Place
7 PM

Fear Agent, TPB 2 & 3

August 23rd, 2008 by Martin

Fear Agent is awesome.

Peppered with quotes from Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain), the second and third trade paperbacks in the Fear Agent series collect issues #5-10 and #12-15 respectively. (Although originally, 12-15 were known as Fear Agent: The Last Goodbye #1-4.)

Do you remember when I got all whiny about the first trade, and how it ended in a cliffhanger? Well, volume #2, My War ends with another doozey. And guess what? Volume 3 is one long flashback! I don’t know when I’ll be getting Volume #4 from the library (since it came out relatively recently, there are a few people in line in front of me). Interestingly, Volume #4 doesn’t even collect Issue #11, which technically came before all the issues in Volume #3. According to Wikipedia, Issue #11 and #16 appear in an (unnumbered) trade paperback called simply Tales of the Fear Agent. While I’m waiting for Volume #4, I’m going to see if the library has that one. (Confused yet? I certainly was.)

The best kinds of cliffhanger don’t actually leave the hero hanging on a cliff. They actually change the tone of the story you’ve been reading. It’s more like you realize that the protagonist has been hanging from a cliff for a while, and he (or she) just didn’t know it. This was the kind of cliffhanger that Volume #2 ended with. Volume #1 was more of the hanging on a cliff kind.

Although the artist is different in Vol. 2 than in Volumes 1 and 3, Jerome Opeña does a great job of picking up where Tony Moore left off, and the style is so true to the way Moore started it that I honestly didn’t even notice.

Fear Agent continues to make us love and hate the main character (Heath Huston) in equal parts. He makes incredibly stupid mistakes, and thinks a bit too much of himself (and only himself) for my tastes. He’s also completely a hick, and mostly dumb as a pile of rocks. Still, it’s all quite fun watching his life (and planet!) fall apart around him. And you get to blame it on aliens!

I’m happy to report that, in spite of yet more “want to read more” type frustration, there is continued happiness and enjoyment. (The Clemens quotes also kick the series up a notch in my book.) I’ll report back when I’ve read the rest of the series.

Space Circuses

August 11th, 2008 by Martin

I have finally finished reading Space Circus, written by Mark Evanier and drawn by Sergio Aragonés. I’ve been writing this post for almost as long as I’ve been reading it. (Like a week or so.) Unfortunately, the comic was just okay. The art was (mostly) fantastic, and there were fun little things to look at in the background of the panels on almost every page. (My biggest qualm with the art, and this is pretty nitpicking, was that Aragonés, like most artists, has no idea how to draw people juggling. Generally the objects either just get scattered in the air above someone’s head, or they get drawn in a giant circle or arc from one hand to the other. I’m a juggler, so this bothers me.) Anyway the story was pretty mundane, in spite of its rich and enjoyable premise: basically about a boy who accidentally stumbles onto the Space Circus space ship while they’re making repairs on earth after having been set upon by space pirates, and the hilarity that ensues. Except, unfortunately, there is less hilarity than expected, or desired.

But I did manage to enjoy this anyway, and along the way I wracked my brain for additional references to circuses in space. (I did some web searching too.) More space circuses after the jump. (more…)

Fear Agent, Volume One: Re-Ignition

August 8th, 2008 by Martin

“ARRRRRRRGGGH!” That’s the sound that I make when I finish a comic that is really, really good, and yet ends in a cliffhanger. Also, it is the sound of kittens dying, and angels losing their wings.

I ask myself: Isn’t this why you prefer to read trade paperbacks? So that you have a complete story at the end? And then the frustration rises, and I cry a bit, then I make the sound again, “BLARRRRGGGGGGH!” (This time with more of a blubbery noise, because of the crying.)

Fear Agent is awesome. That is why it is so hard to hate it. Or perhaps, like a good relationship turned sour, that is why it is so easy to hate it. Someone yoda-like once said “Fear leads to hate. Hate leads to anger. Anger leads to suffering.” That person was probably talking about the end of the first Fear Agent TPB.

OK. Perhaps I should get to what I liked about the comic — Nay! — what I so LOVED about the comic! Namely, it was the subject matter. There are space ships. And space stations. And planets with fallen civilizations. In general, this is pulpy science fiction at its best, in comic book form. Lets take our protagonist, Heath, for example. He’s an Alien Exterminator / ex-space-military, with his own space ship, who also has a drinking problem. Oh yeah, and he kicks all kinds of ass. And by this I mean alien ass, robot ass, and any combination thereof. Oh yes, it’s awesome.

I just hope the library has the next TPB tomorrow morning when I go there. Because I’d hate to have to make that noise again.

Captain Hammer: Be Like Me!

July 17th, 2008 by Martin

If you’re not already watching Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog, then get your butt on over there, and check it out. Acts I and II are already available, and Act III is set to be released on Saturday. Susie posted about Dr. Horrible quite a while ago, but now it’s finally here, and by all reports it’s AWESOME.

It was so great, in fact, that the site went down due to high traffic the first night, and they had to switch servers to get it back up and running.

Anyway, Captain Hammer, who is Dr. Horrible’s arch nemesis, (played by Nathan Fillion of Firefly fame) has his own comic, which you can read on Dark Horse’s myspace page. It’s pretty awesome, and I actually really dig the art, drawn by Eric Canete, which is almost crayon-like at times.

You can also buy some Dr. Horrible swag, but the Captain Hammer shirts aren’t nearly as cool as the style he wears in the comic. (I’d totally buy a shirt if it looked more like the comic.)

Hellboy 2 (I apologize for all the run on sentences)

July 13th, 2008 by Susie

I just got back from seeing Hellboy: the Golden Army.  I had been planning to see it because I had liked (but not loved) the first one and because director Gulliermo Del Toro had truly impressed me with Pan’s Labyrinth.  But of the summer movies I had put on my to see list (such as Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Iron Man, Wall-E, Hancock, and Dark Knight) I was not anticipating it the way I was some of the others.  Which is why I was so pleasantly surprised to have loved it.  I mean really loved it!  I mean gasping with shock, laughing hysterically, wishing for a pause button to get a look at all the cool creatures stuffed in a scene, and bouncing giddily waiting for whatever it threw at me, loved it!  It was so geared to my sensibilities, reminding me at times of Star Wars, the Princess Bride, the Muppets, Crouching Tiger, LOTR; that I don’t know if people who don’t share my tastes would love it as much.  In fact of the thirty or so other people in the theater only a man a few seats away from me (who happened to have a fidgety, but enthusiastic, six year old with him) was not just the only one laughing and ooing at the same places I was, but also the only one displaying any kind of reaction at all.  Perhaps it was just a subdued crowd, I certainly did not hear any one complaining or dissing the film on the way out, but nobody was praising it either.  I am sure it will not beat Hancock at the box office, which is sad in it’s own right because it is a far superior film.  I think it is more sad that most six year olds will be seeing Wall-E (which I did think was excellent) for the second or third time instead of Hellboy 2.  Because it was seeing similar movies at that tender age that had me grow up to be the kind of person who loves them at this  advanced and tender age.  I definitely recommend it, if only to gage what people who are not me thought of it.  Also I now am very glad that Del Toro has signed on to direct the Hobbit.  I am only sorry that Peter Jackson’s team did such a good job of establishing the look of Middle Earth, because I would have loved to see what Del Toro would have come up with from scratch.

Upcoming Comic Book movies

March 21st, 2008 by Rurik

There are quite a few movies coming out in the next year that have been produced from our beloved comics. Some will rock; some will suck. But here’s a list of the upcoming releases that I’m looking forward to:

Battlestar Galactica: April 4
Iron Man: May 2
Indiana Jones: May 22
Incredible Hulk: June 13
Wanted: June 27
Hellboy 2: July 11
Batman: The Dark Knight: July 18
The Punisher: September 12
Star Trek: December 25 (this may have been pushed back to 2009)
The Spirit: January 16, 2009
Watchmen: March 5, 2009
Wolverine: May 1, 2009

Unknown dates 2009:
Green Hornet

Groo: Hell on Earth, Vol 3

March 13th, 2008 by Martin

Groo: Hell on Earth, Vol 3I’m a big Groo fan. I think it’s generally a clever parody of the swashbuckling hero genre, and just silly enough without resorting to elephant sized chickens that it often has me chuckling to myself when I read it. (Not to be confused with clucking to myself, which I would undoubtedly do, if I were an elephant sized chicken.)

Of course, much of the appeal comes from Sergio Aragonés’ signature style, perhaps taking me back to the days of my youth, when I coveted owning my own issues of Mad Magazine, rather than reading snippets of friend’s copies over their shoulders or in the bookstore when I thought I could get away with it. I think Aragonés art is best when it’s super-detailed scenes with lots of people and stuff happening. I love when he draws lots of faces at once, as in scenes of village folk and cityscapes, or armies and big battles. The variation he achieves in expression with so few lines is definitely an art worth studying.

This latest arc, Hell on Earth, is an obvious parody of our political climate. Issues of the environment coupled with an unfriendly war-mongering ruler draw easy parallels to situations here in the US and the rest of the world. Truth be told, I thought it was all a little heavy handed in the first two issues of this arc, but with this issue I’m warming up to it. I’ll reserve final judgment for the forthcoming fourth and final issue.

The letters pages have been particularly amusing in this Groo itteration, and this issue’s was especially so. I felt like it really managed to build toward a suitably silly conclusion, and unlike other letter columns wasn’t filled with endless praise and meaningless back-patting prattle.

If you have a bone for the funny, Groo is well worth a gander. Not an elephant sized gander, mind you, but perhaps one human sized or slightly larger. But if you started reading Groo with this series, and then went back to read some of the old Groo series, you might find the gander grew on you, if you catch my meaning. (Yes, I did just write that. Cluck.)

Buffy #12 made me laugh out loud

March 9th, 2008 by florence

Buffy Issue 12I’m not sure what I can say about Buffy #12. For those who are not initiated in the Buffyverse, you probably don’t know how well-developed and emotionally engaging the characters on that that show were, and how much there is to build on or lose in any follow-up effort. We fans can be a hungry band of wolves, always wanting more, but willing to turn and attack if characters are misused. There have been Buffy comics for years with decent writers living outside of canon, but Joss launched the latest title as a true extension of the show, Season 8, and everything counts.

For those who do know what I’m talking about, but haven’t read the comic, or at least this issue, yet, I don’t want to spoil a single moment! Suffice it to say that it all felt incredibly true, while opening up new doors. And it was really funny! I first became aware of Drew Goddard as a tv writer on Buffy, and he went on to write for Angel, Lost, Alias, and most recently the film Cloverfield. It is wonderful to see his return to Buffy via the latest comic arc. He is clearly a fan of the medium, and like Joss, knows how to use panel layout to add comic and dramatic timing to his words.

#12 begins a new 4 issue arc, and the current plan includes 50 issues total to represent a long Season 8 of the show. I can’t wait for more.

Buffy Issue #11

February 16th, 2008 by florence

Read the latest issue, and then click below to read my review (SPOILER):