Massive, Burden, B.P.R.D. & Murder…It's DHP #8

Review by Shaun Daniels and Edited by Sharon Wong

Dark Horse Presents #8

Written by John Arcudi, Brian Wood, Howard Chaykin, Neal Adams, Andi Watson, Al Gordon, MJ Butler, Beau Smith and Tony Puryear.  Art by Howard Chaykin, Neal Adams, Andi Watson, Duncan Fegredo, Geof Darrow, Kristian Donaldson, Thomas Yeates, Mark Wheatley, Eduardo Barreto and Tony Puryear.  Cover Art by Duncan Fegredo.  Published by Dark Horse Comics.

Anthologies can be a hit or miss but when you have the pedigree of Dark Horse Presents, it’s hard to be a miss.  Issue 8 is no exception to the rule; it is, in fact, the best offering of the series since its relaunch.  The book boasts a chapter of Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson’s Beasts of Burden, a teaser of Brian Wood and Kristian Donaldson’s The Massive, a grim reminder of Hellboy’s fate and The Many Murders of Miss Cranbourne, or as we like to call it, Downton Abbey.  Now that isn’t boring.

The first and foremost reason to purchase DHP #8 is the next installment of the precocious pups and cat of Burden Hill.  The beasts find a flock of “lost” sheep yet the sheep don’t see it so much as lost, just wandering.  The truth of the sheeps’ exodus ends out to be both creepy and unnerving.  Only the twisted mind of Evan Dorkin could imagine this imagery but it’s Jill Thompson’s beautifully painted art that provides the story with its humanity, or better yet, it’s animality.

The opening story of the anthology offers new and lapsed readers a quick and emotional update on Hellboy and B.P.R.D.  The ending of “The Fury” left a huge Hellboy-shaped hole in our lives, and Mike Mignola, John Arcudi, Duncan Fegrado and Dave Stewart are picking up the pieces.

Whenever there are glimpses into new stories, there might be an ‘Oh Shit!’ moment to draw readers in.  That moment in The Massive comes in the form of seven 100 ft. rogue waves.  DHP #8 marks the opening salvo in this ecological disaster story by Brian Wood and Kristian Donaldson.  It offers us readers a quick peek of Private Military Contractor Callum Israel as his op goes from bad to epically bad.

Finally, a new story begins it bloody run in DHP with ” The Vicar Slash’d From Side to Side” in The Many Murders of Miss Cranbourne.  This wordy title follows a little old lady, who is a killer, whom easily outwits the British police force.  If this story was on PBS, we’d even stick around for Antiques Roadshow.

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