Dark Horse Comics has been putting out a very diverse set of stories in its Dark Horse Presents title since it launched over a year ago. Readers can get long ongoing stories like this month’s installment of Aliens: Inhuman Condition by John Layman and Sam Kieth, or short one page stories like Ride of the Sabertooth Vampire by Mike Russell. Its diversity is a positive thing in most cases, but sometimes the monthly chapters are a bit hard to get into.
Readers won’t be completely lost, but due to the fact that only eight pages of the longer stories are shown, and most of them are told in captions to move the story along faster than just images. It doesn’t make the stories impossible to read, but it does put more effort on the reader to figure out what’s going on. It’s a fun challenge to new readers, but could be something that would put them off.
But this collection as a whole was very entertaining. The stories that stood out the most were Ghost: Resurrection Mary by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Phil Noto, Aliens: Inhuman Condition, and Buddy Cops by Nate Cosby and Evan Shaner.
Ghost: Resurrection Mary has a great back and forth between the main characters and an intriguing supernatural plot. The artwork by Noto really stands out, and the entire set of dialogue feels thought out and genuine.
Aliens: Inhuman Condition is a look at the life of some of the artificial humans created by Weyland Yutani Corporation and their unjust treatment. It features a female main character, like most of the Alien franchise, and gives fans a glimpse of what it would have been like if the movies explored more of the android section of the universe.
Buddy Cops was just flat out fun. It had a very cartoony style and was incredibly funny. It had some of the elements of Green Lantern and Nova, with a mixture of what it would be like if Robocop was a strict by-the-book 1970s robot. It could definitely merit its own series if Dark Horse gave it a chance.
Overall this issue of Dark Horse Presents wasn’t the best that’s been released, but it still has some great stories that are worth the cover price.