The intonation of Dark Horse intensely revolves around the journey of the individual who must take on his own demons in a resoundingly visceral way. Whether within a structure of military action or on a singular journey, the ideal becomes one of “survival of the fittest”, emotional blackmail be damned.
Alien Legion: Omnibus Vol. 2 Like its distant cousin “Aliens” or numerous bounty hunter-structured outlays, the idea of a band of ragtag dark soldiers with chips on their shoulder, even when they are all human, breaks tandem in terms of creating drama. Creating new ideas of morality that crosses species can sometimes be too dense a prospect. With the Legion persisted here, the idea becomes one between a peacekeeping force and a kick-ass squad depending on the mission. The “code” and “rules” of the Nomad (as this specific platoon is called) allows for unsavory characters which make up a bulk of the team. Grimrod and Durge by all accounts are vehement opportunists looking for a bit of action and glory while Montroc, with his well-raised background, seems more like a do-gooder. The rest of the members take on different caricatured characteristics from the telepathic doctor who structures his sentences in Yoda-like fashion to the Old Wolf who gave up his desk gig to prove his mettle back on the battefield. The stories themselves give an inhererent structure for drama and action, mostly dependent on revenge tales, both within the mission and about. Overall, the brutish wrecherous pleas and conquering cries of raging guns come from an essence of following orders despite the political grandstanding that backs the team. The Legion takes its licks but also always takes advantage of the situation marking a parallel to current world politics where the status quo remains one of gain to the individual in a shrinking economic situation.
The Amazon Boldly stated in hardcover, the environmental subject matter of this graphic novel, esconsced in the late 80s, brings more to bear even today with the onslaught of the BP oil spill and the continual deforestation of the Amazon. While its certain color palettes in darker tone cannot help but lend homage to Jonny Quest, the journey of the journalist character in this tome is to seek and reveal the saboteur who is halting the excavation in the deep jungle. While, at heart, a revenge tale, the resounding meaning harks in the fact that all men are primal whether they use modern machinery or not. The standoff in the forest between the journalist and his subject: “The Amazon” – formerly a work hand called Robertson who didn’t make the grade, revels in a more disconcerting level today with the continue purveyance of the so called “Great Repression”. The art itself harkens to a lucid diatribe of colors somewhere between smooth lines and jagged peaks which works incessantly well in the river scenes whether the sun is blazing ot hiding in the tracks of shadow. The creators discuss at the end of the book the altered approach of the story structure which allowed for a more freeform interpretation of events. What this tends to create is a dreamy field of view which lets the reader represent the internal and altered life of a character as he progresses in knowledge or lack of understanding.