Today we’ve got two advance looks for you at upcoming Dark Horse releases, so check ‘er out! Mild spoilers on, of course.

FEAR AGENT #31: OUT OF STEP, PART 4

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Today we’ve got two Dark Horse advance reviews for you! Spoiler free, natch, but tread carefully anyway.

Abe Sapien: The Devil Does Not Jest #1

I think I’ve already mentioned here on MTV Geek how, much to my shame, I haven’t followed the periphery of the Hellboy universe as closely as I should. Sometimes that’s pays out nicely, like in the most recent issue of B.P.R.D., which worked as a nice intro to the book while still paying off continuing storylines. Here… Not so much.

Abe Sapien, everyone’s third or fourth favorite comic book merman, gets embroiled in a supernatural mystery that very quickly turns dark and bloody. After a jaw-dropping first page, though, we’re pretty much thrown into the deep end of the pool, and there’s no looking back after that. One of the problems - and I’m guessing it’s not as big of a problem for long time readers – is that this starts off in 1985. Given that I’m not completely familiar with the whole Hellboy/B.P.R.D./Abe Sapien timeline, I don’t really know where the character is emotionally, or perhaps even physically.

Is this my fault? Sure, maybe. But when you’re coming in for a number one issue, you shouldn’t necessarily be barraged with more information than even the regular reader can handle. There’s character interaction, shout outs to characters past and present, and several (I think) new characters introduced. Given the simplicity of the opening splash in particular, it’s a bit disappointing. Read More...

Today we have two advance Dark Horse reviews for you... Very mild spoilers, though nothing that isn't in the solicit text, so CALM DOWN and enjoy!

B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: Russia #1

I’m not a regular reader of B.P.R.D., and I don’t really have a good reason why that is. For fans looking for info, I’m sure that’s going to be a turn off right away, but I do think coming in occasionally, and having a vague familiarity with the series is helpful – particularly when we’re launching into a new mini-series like this one. Even though it is technically the eighty-second issue of B.P.R.D., and some major s**t went down in the last mini, this is, technically, a first issue. So does it read like a great new entry point?

Well, yes and no.

First, the plot: with most of the Bureau of Paranormal Reasearch and Defense’s heavy hitters either quit, missing, or nearly dead, its up to a ghost and a regular human to head to Mother Russia for their latest case. What that case is? Not quite clear from the first issue, but suffice to say: it’s really gross.

Series writers Mike Mignola and John Arcudi do an excellent job of setting up this mini like a movie. There’s a mysterious and intriguing opening, with enough weirdness and mysteries to propel the series forward. And then we flash to the ghost (Johann Kraus) and the human (Kate Corrigan) on their way to the mystery, recapping what’s happened previously… And then there’s a little more recap, and even more, with a brief action sequence thrown in the middle to keep things interesting. Read More...

Buffy The Vampire Slayer is once again back in comic book form, with the official continuation of the series written by Joss Whedon himself, and drawn by Georges Jeanty – the same team that launched Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 8. So is it five by five, or the Big Bad?

Happily, I can say that it’s far more the former, than the latter... Not only that, but it has one of the best, most unexpected final pages of the year. We’ll get to that in a moment, though. I may hesitate from saying something like, “Buffy is back, and better than ever!” But it is back, and it is good.

When last we left Buffy and her friends, she had eliminated all magic in the world by destroying The Seed, the germ of a baby universe that I think was maybe created by her and Angel having sex? Or maybe it wasn’t? I don’t know, by the end of Season 8, I got a little bit lost, and I wasn’t the only one… Even Whedon himself admits that they went just a little over the top with Season 8, embracing the “we can do anything we want!” ethic of comic books far too much, while losing track of the characters and story.

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Magic is gone. Giles is dead--Angel killed him. So are most of the Slayers Buffy spent the last couple of years training and leading against the many monsters and menaces of the world. Some of that was Angel's fault, too. He was working with and sort of possessed by the entity calling itself "Twilight" and for a while there he was moving a bunch of pieces around the board--including Slayers, high-tech vampires, the very fabric of the universe--for his own purposes. Now with Buffy M.I.A., Angel's wracked with new levels of broody guilt. Along comes Faith, the once "bad" Slayer who entered a sort of mentor/partner relationship with Giles in Season 8. She's taken it upon herself to try to guide a pretty much wrecked Angel back to the light--or at least get him out of his room.

That's pretty much the rough outline of where things start in the first issue of Angel & Faith, which marks the full-on return of the vampire with a soul to Dark Horse Comics after the conclusion of "After the Fall" at IDW. Written by Christos Gage with art provided by Rebekah Isaacs, the book plunges headlong into the post-Twilight messiness of Season 8. We picked Mr. Gage's brain about the first issue and he gave us a guided tour into a Buffyverse that was looking a bit grimmer than it did last time we saw it.

****Spoilers after the break****
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An in-depth interview with the men behind the new Dark Horse imprint where we learn what they have coming down the pipe in 2012 and 2013.

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It may have just been pure luck that The Dresden Dolls’ Amanda Palmer was on MySpace one day, and discovered the conjoined twin musical act Evelyn Evelyn… Or it may have been fate. Whatever the reason, Palmer – and fellow musical artist Jason Webley – took the duo under their wing, producing albums for them, and touring with them around the country.

Now, for the first time, the story of the twins Eve and Lyn Neville will be told in full, in a new graphic novel being released by Dark Horse. The rather haunting, strange, and at times very darkly funny book is gorgeously illustrated by Cynthia von Buhler, and written by Palmer and Webley – as told to them by the twins. Though it won’t be released until September 21st, we chatted with Palmer about working with the twins on the book, whether there will be a new Evelyn Evelyn album, and what her comic book writing significant other thinks of how frightening it is:

MTV Geek: Let’s talk about Evelyn Evelyn… It’s pretty well known by now, but how did you meet the twins?

Amanda Palmer: We actually found them back in the heyday of MySpace. They friended both of us at the same time and asked if we would listen to their music.

They had a single song up: it was a ukulele cover of a song from Jesus Christ Superstar. We were blown away.

Geek: They’ve had their story told in part, but this graphic novel is really the first time their whole story has come to light… Why was it important to bring it out in the graphic novel format?

AP: It's such an incredibly harrowing story, their childhood, and full of such striking visuals… They performed in a circus and had a very bizarre rotating cast of colorful and unsavory characters filtering in and out of their lives. We thought it would really do the twins' story justice to put it in picture form. Read More...

Well, that’s one way to bring on the apocalypse. Since the creation of Mike Mignola’s Hellboy, the writer/artist has been promising the end of the world. With this week’s conclusion to the mini-series The Fury, Mignola brings it on, in spades. Spoilers on, by the way. Read More...

The Hellboy and Axe Cop publisher gets into... classic literature OGNs?
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So I covered as much Star Wars stuff as BIONICALLY possible at this year's San Diego Comic-Con 2011. I want to give you all the Star Wars Round Up of what I covered to make sure you didn't miss anything!!!

1. STAR WARS BLU-RAY RELEASE 9.16.11

Need I say more??? Deleted scenes, never seen before footage, you know the drill!!!

2. The Clone Wars Season 4 Premiering this Fall!

Ok I actually saw TWO panels on The Clone Wars, one with Dave Filoni, Joel Aron and Cary Silver discussing the story arcs, new characters like KATEE SACKOFF'S, (OMG) old characters coming back and lots of new clips! The second panel I saw was on the Rendering the Galaxy Far, Far Away: The Digital Art and Light of The Clone Wars. Joel Aron, Dave Filoni and another producer discuss the effects Lucasfilm Animation creates to produce the series.

3. Dark Horse Comics: 20 Years of Star Wars!

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The man behind the woman jamming the stakes into vamps' hearts lays out plans for the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 at San Diego Comic Con 2011.
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Two of the stand out stories from the first two issues of the rebooted Dark Horse Presents are easily David Chelsea’s SNOW ANGEL, and Patrick Alexander’s THE WRAITH. So it was a pleasure talking to the two of them about their work on the book, their process, and what other stories they’ve been digging in the collection. And it will be a pleasure for you to read that chat, I bet, so here we go:

MTV Geek: Just to start off, for both of you, how’d you come to be in Dark Horse Presents?

Patrick Alexander: As I understand it, some malevolent criminal working at Dark Horse printed out a gag strip from my website, and pinned it to the office wall for the unauthorised enjoyment of others. Mike Richardson saw the comic, laughed at it, and contacted me to offer me work. You can see how I've been damaged by this copyright violation.

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So on Friday at San Diego Comic-Con 2011 Woodsy did a day of some Star Wars panels and also got to hang out with my hero Bonnie Burton, the Sr. Editor for www.starwars.com! First I went to the  Dark Horse Comics: 20 Years of Star Wars Panel with Randy Stradley and a host of Star Wars guests from comics and more, including:

Mick Harrison (Dark Times)
Scott Allie and Stephane Roux (Jedi -- The Dark Side)
John Jackson Miller (Knight Errant)
Dave Filoni and the Fillbach Brothers (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)
Timothy Zahn (Choices of One)
Shelly Shapiro (editor-at-large, Del Rey)

They discussed the future of digital comics and gave out a cool poster too:

Check out MTV Geek's Don Hatfield's full coverage on the panel.

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The wait is over Star Wars fans -- Lucasfilm and Dark Horse announced on Friday at San Diego Comic-Con 2011 that over 50 Star Wars comics are now available via the Dark Horse Digital Store on iPhone, iPad and PC! To make it even better they’re going to give us a couple issues for free. Read More...

We could be wrong about this, but we’re pretty sure this was the panel that fans – by the thousands – waited out for in the blazing hot sun here at San Diego Comic-Con 2011. I mean, that’s what we did. But after several hours, and our skin starting to glow red, peel off, and reveal the lizard underneath, a packed-to-capacity crowd was treated by an appearance by the god of Comic-Con himself, Joss Whedon.

Scott Allie, the Editor of Buffy, Angel, and other titles came the stage right at the top, and mentioned that an eight page Spike story by Jane Espenson would be available for free in stores in August. And then it was time for the hilarious and self deprecating Whedon to take the stage. Whedon talked about the upcoming Buffy Season Nine, which will be more grounded that season eight. “I know most of you have had sex in universal wars, and had sex and created new universes… But I think we can make season nine more universal than that,” joked Whedon. Read More...

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