Dark Horse Presents #1 AND Strange Adventures #1
Two different anthology comics from two different publishers. Both are $7.99, and both have some really great tales and some so-so ones (which is how anthologies usually are). I'm intrigued these companies are doing this as apparently anthologies aren't the biggest sellers, but I'm also pleased as both of these comics definetely had some stories that were keepers. I am now going to go heavily in-depth about each book, jumping between them at will and otherwise confusing the hell out of you, my dear reader. Oh, I'm also going to be a wise-ass for the stories I don't like, so you might laugh too.
First off, don't ask me which comic I liked more, I'm going to spoil things for you and say each comic gets the same score from me at the end. The thing is, Dark Horse Presents probably has more okay stories and few amazing ones, and Strange Adventures has more stories of a high quality overall--resulting in the same average score, but through very different methods. One problem both comics have with their one-shot tales is that they often resort to a common trope of short-stories (be they in comic form or prose) in that they have a big twist ending that sometimes you see coming from a mile away, and other times don't anticipate, but still have to put up with. Many short stories do this so I'm used to it, but the tales that don't resort to this over-used element are a bit snazzier in my mind. The tales that will be continued don't have this issue, but then the question is if the first part makes me interested enough in what part two will bring. Anyways, let's look at some stories.
The first thing in Dark Horse Presents is a story about a guy called Concrete who is sort of a hero but more just a nice guy who lives in a neighborhood and is made of concrete. It's a fun little tale but not amazing, with the usual, "They stumble upon the real crime" cliche many tales have, but I liked it well enough.
Over in Strange Adventures we have something about tattoos and long-lost relatives or other bullshit that seemed promising but was dragged down by the most hackneyed ending possible. Then there is a comic called, "The White Room," which also has a twist, but it's more like a twist-within-a-twist so that was really cool and I quite liked this tale about disaffected youth and their love of technology (clearly an allegory for today, of course).
Lastly, Strange Adventures has, "Spaceman," by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso which is pretty entertaining, although the accents used by the character's makes it a bit hard to figure out what is being said at first.
Yeah, I enjoyed each anthology, with Dark Horse Presents having my favorite tale of, "How Interesting, A Tiny Man," and a few other great stories but then a bunch of iffy ones, and Strange Adventures having some lower-quality stuff and then a good number of quality strips. Therefore, everything evens out and I'd tell you just buy both books and decide which you like more. Yeah, that's an anti-climax for such a long post as this.
4 out of 5 stars.