With each duo having half the ass map to the treasure of the hobos in their possession, Archer and Armstrong as well as Quantum and Woody are scouring their respective half of the nation looking for hobo symbols to lead them to the treasure. While the two slightly less than super hero teams are on the hunt, the Mondostano corporation continues to destroy independent farms that have been seeded with their proprietary technology, using agents uniquely suited for the work. Now, with each pair diligently scouring the country, it was only a matter of time before they ran into each other and said event happens to occur at a House on the Rock analogue residing next to a rail line. Quantum and Woody arrive first with the Goat in tow by what one would assume was fairly conventional means. Archer and Armstrong, however, make their way there with a flying machine Armstrong fleeced off Da Vinci in a game of dice.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t one of his most successful inventions and the sides come face to face with Armstrong sporting a rather large tree branch through his torso which he puts to use making his point that the map is rightfully theirs, knocking Woody through the house in the process. The ensuing melee ends with Quantum and Armstrong duking it out old school while Woody and Archer take a more cerebral route and work things out amicably…just in time to watch their partners fly through a wall to what would be a normal person’s demise. While they wait for them to return the two decide to find the house’s bar and relax. Once all four are reunited and decorum has been restored, they decide to pool their manpower and scour the house’s library for answers. At least Quantum and Armstrong do since Woody and Archer got into some Absinthe waiting for them and are no help at all. The next morning, the twosomes join forces and a new and hilarious foursome set out for the most famous farm in the country.
The unthinkable has finally happened, Archer and Armstrong working hand-in-hand with Quantum and Woody! And let me tell you, the only thing funnier than a Quantum and Woody book or an Archer and Armstrong book is the two inhabiting the same pages. The possibilities are endless and they get right to work with Archer tying on his first ever drunk and it’s every bit as funny as you’d think it would be, especially with his new drinking partner in Woody. The Delinquents #2 is without a doubt the most fun you’ll have reading comics this month and if your abs don’t hurt by the end of it then your funny bone is officially broken. You had better all be back here next month to witness first-hand the further poisoning of Archer’s innocence as well as some of the funniest goat-related moments in the history of the character.
Just when you think plant zombification is the grossest thing you’ll see in this comic BAM! Giant mosquitoes crawling out of people’s bodies all Alien-style. Captain Clark seems to be learning from his more mild-mannered counterpart when he forgoes the usual kill it and ask questions later technique and instead opts to capture the insects so Lewis can study them and devise some way to kill them en masse using the flowers that Sacagawea pointed out as natural repellents. Once secured, the specimens are transferred to the ship along with a report as to what took place between Hardy and young Irene. Lewis decides to inform Mrs Boniface below deck in his quarters and her reaction is justifiably irate and she immediately calls for Hardy’s head. Lewis manages to calm her down with the work of formulating an insecticide for use on the giant mosquitoes but knows it’s a stall tactic at best.
Despite that elephant in the room, the pair manage to come up with a solution and send it back across the water to Clark and the rest of the crew stranded onshore. The Captains then take it upon themselves to set about removing their respective obstacles. Clark heads into the forest with some men to take care of the mosquito problem and locate their missing crew members while aboard ship Lewis concocts a new strategy for ending the Ranidea threat. Clark leaves Hardy at the riverbank with the mutinous Jensen in charge of him and Sacagawea supervising them both with instructions to “use her spear and cut him from ass to nose” should Jensen try anything. Lewis, meanwhile, has decided that merely killing the Ranidea isn’t nearly as useful as putting it to work getting the boat off the arch and instead opts for a harpoon of sorts.
This is just the kind of ending that leaves me itching to know what happens next and keeps a comic fresh in my mind while waiting for the next issue. A good strategy for any book, but when applied to one that’s already excellent, it makes the interim nearly unbearable. The menagerie of skin-crawlingly horrific creatures that the Corps of Discovery constantly finds themselves battling is easily one of the best parts of the book. Each new monster is more interesting and creepy than the last and always leaves the reader wondering what they’ll be going up against next. If the contents of the ships hold are any indication, there could be some seriously fun interactions in the future. Until then, we’ll just have to be content with giant carnivorous amphibians and murderous minotaur hybrids to keep the men on their toes and our imaginations engaged, something the creative team behind Manifest Destiny seems to have well in hand.
After a nearly 3 month hiatus, Deadly Class is finally back and finds Marcus settling in to his new life at King’s Dominion. He’s got his clique of friends and even a girlfriend in Maria, though it can’t be public knowledge since Chico’s disappearance is still a mystery and he wouldn’t want to tip-off his cartel family to who disappeared him. As much as having someone to be with is a boon when you’re in high school, Marcus is quickly discovering the downside to a new relationship built on the ruins of an old one as Maria has sunk into a deep depression in the wake of what happened at the end of their Vegas roadtrip. And as grateful as Marcus is, her mood swings are beginning to weigh on him as well as the fact that she’s not the one he really wants. That combined with the fact that he can’t seem to love himself so is left mystified as to how anyone else could love him. However, as he says himself, “what kind of a shitheel breaks up with a girl who killed her boyfriend to be with him?”
On the flip side, he has found an all-around positive in a new job at a comic shop where Willie works and on whose good word he was hired. Not only has he found a stable place to find fun and acceptance but it allows him to make enough money to have fun on the few nights Master Lin allows the students to go out. Things on the whole appear to be looking up for Marcus, until a simple debate starts to get out of hand and Saya once again has to rescue him from getting himself killed. The two cool off in the cemetery on the campus grounds until an even bigger threat to his life makes itself known. In other news, Marcus’ old/new enemy is still at large and seems to have found a new family of his own as well in a crew of dysfunctional scumbag rednecks that also find pleasure in preying on the innocent. He’s trying to create a brand for himself to become the newest serial killer in town and all the fame that could come with it.
After a break like this I’ll admit I was worried about a potential loss of momentum but seeing how strong Black Science was after its hiatus I should have known my fears would be baseless. Remender and his team have created a genre-crossing phenomenon in Deadly Class, a story that draws from so many different influences and ideas that it appeals to just about everyone. Plus, anyone that made it through high school and lived to tell about it will instantly associate with the world of Deadly Class in general and Marcus specifically, whether you did your time in the 80’s or after. In addition, and shocking absolutely no one, the artwork and colors by Wes Craig and Lee Loughridge respectively still impress seven issues in. The way each scene is bathed in its own predominant hue is still one of my favorite things about this book and I often find myself just scanning over the pages after my first story read through just to take it all in. This is definitely one of those rare books that you really miss when the creative team takes a breather and it’s absence is felt from your weekly reading during the spaces between.
September represents an epic month for Dark Horse Comics, as the beloved franchises of both Alien and Predator return to comic shelves in a bi-monthly event with two Alien books in September and two Predator books in October, both of which are sure to get your blood pumping and chest bursting. And, it all starts with writer Paul Tobin and artist Juan Ferreyra’s continuation of the feature film, Prometheus, as a new crew prepares to explore the LV-223, last seen when Dr. Elizabeth Shaw and the android David left for the stars to find even more answers about the birth of humanity at the conclusion of the film. Will readers get those answers? It’s a good bet yes, as the first chapter of this four issue event brings together even more of the Alien mythology that began in the Prometheus film.
(Spoilers Ahead) The year is 2219, and the crews of the Helios, Perses, and Kadmos are embarking on what is supposed to be a salvage mission on LV-223. Documentary filmmaker and crew member Clara Atkinson has plans to make an epic film about the crews journey, but Captain Angela Foster has another agenda in mind. She wants to know why Sir Peter Weyland, who came to this planet on a mission and never returned, disappeared. She knows of the race of being known as the Engineers, and wants to continue the quest for the true origin of the human species.
Upon arriving on the planet, lush vegetation has taken over a supposedly desert planet, and strange creatures eerily resembling Xenomorphs have begun to propagate in the form of ant-like and monkey-like beings. The crew stumbles across a strange black liquid that seems to also have a myriad of DNA from different places, and most shocking of all, a crashed spaceship from the neighboring moon LV-426, bearing the name Hadley’s Hope. As captain Foster prepares to crack the door, and hopefully the mystery, she has no idea that the Xenomorph menace has taken up residence on the ship, possibly escaping from the colony made famous in the Aliens film.
As something I have been looking forward to for quite a while, it’s great to finally lay hands on the Dark Horse revival of the Alien franchise, and with different books coming each month, it’s gonna be quite a ride. Paul Tobin has taken a complex mythology, and brought it forward convincingly into comics, creating an intriguing cast of characters that stays in the vein films and are sure to appeal to fans. The larger picture hasn’t even been revealed yet, but the transition from the Prometheus film to comics is off to a seamless start. Juan Ferreyra backs up Tobin with fully realized character designs and technology designs ripped straight from the film, and pays a great deal of homage to the character designs of H.R. Giger keeping with the Alien aesthetic. This is definitely a book you’ll want to be checking out, especially if you are a fan of the franchise. It’s not just a gap bridging escapade, it’s a wholly new story that is sure to bring both sci-fi terror and adventure in spades. Prometheus #1 is out tomorrow at comic shops and on Dark Horse Digital, and it’s the start of a fantastic new tale that delves even deeper into the Alien mythos.
Check out a four page preview of Prometheus: Fire and Stone #1 below: