DARK HORSE NUMBER ONES 2017 (Dark Horse, First Printing, 2017; Softcover)
Collects The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite #1, Lady Killer #1, Black Hammer #1, Dept. H #1, Briggs Land #1, Bounty #1, Harrow County #1, and Hellboy In Hell #1 (cover dates September, 2007- August, 2016)
Writers: Gerard Way, Joelle Jones, Jamie S. Rich, Jeff Lemire, Matt Kindt, Brian Wood, Kurtis Wiebe, Cullen Bunn, and Mike Mignola
Artists: Gabriel BA, Joelle Jones, Dean Ormston, Matt Kindt, Mack Chater, Mindy Lee, and Tyler Crook
Colorists: Dave Stewart, Laura Allred, Sharlene Kindt, Lee Loughridge, Leonardo Olea, and Andy Cotnam
I am a sucker for these value priced sampler trades. While I am admittedly old-fashioned in terms of my comic book tastes, I also like to see what's shaking from time to time. This book features eight first issues for six bucks. Even the tightest tightwad cannot resist such an entertainment bargain.
Gerard Way's The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite #1 is far too self important and self aware to be taken seriously. It is so slavish to the writing styles of Alan Moore and Grant Morrison that it's like a parody. Dry, dull, and sterile, it's as brickwalled and overproduced as you'd expect from the My Chemical Romance guy.
Lady Killer is a breath of fresh air, big on gore and big on style. It's a lot of fun because it's over the top without taking itself too seriously. Joelle Jones and Laura Allred are a formidable art team. I'm inclined to pick this series up.
Black Hammer is an interesting concept, ditto Dept. H. I would borrow the latter from the library for sure. Briggs Land smacks of “IP”. It seems to be a comic only so that the creators can sell off movie or television rights. Bounty is godawful in every way, shape, and form. The best thing that you could do with that comic is recycle it. I've read Harrow County #1 before, and it is entertaining. There is a lot of positive buzz around this series, and it's not unwarranted.
Hellboy In Hell...I've never gotten Hellboy, and the only work by Mike Mignola that I've enjoyed were his 1980s runs on Rocket Raccoon and Alpha Flight. Hellboy and Deadpool are two enduring popular characters that I have never gotten, and I am okay with that.
All in all, this is a real mixed bag read, and that's a good thing. Not everything has to be for everyone, and just because I dislike something doesn't mean that you will too. If anything, there's no reason for you not to grab this bargain priced book and see what's shaking for yourself.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 2.75 out of 5.
The OCD zone
Paper stock: Semi-glossy coated stock, which is fine for modern computer coloring.
Binding: Sewn binding.
Cardstock cover notes: Nice thick lamination.