New Comics Wednesday: Solomon Kane: Death’s Black Riders #4
Solomon Kane is Robert E. Howard’s second most famous creation, after Conan. Instead of a barbarian, Solomon Kane is an puritanical Englishman from 300 years ago whose soul purpose, it seems, is to hunt evil. I did not know this when I read the Solomon Kane e-comics on Dark Horse Comics’ MySpace page. I just found my self enjoying the eerie stories and the taciturn hero. Those e-comics inspired me to pick up Solomon Kane: Death’s Black Riders earlier this year.
Now that the fourth and final issue of this mini-series is out, I can say I am satisfied–for now.
Marvel used to publish Solomon Kane comics, just as it used to publish Conan. Now, of course, they are both published by Dark Horse. Solomon Kane is a more recent edition, 2006. That is the year that it was announced Scott Allie (mostly known for his editing at Dark Horse) would be taking over the writing duties. Dark Horse paired him with artist Mario Guevara. Their first collaboration was Solomon Kane: The Castle of the Devil. Mr. Allie took an unfinished fragment of writing, with the title, from Mr. Howard and created a fine adventure/horror story. The collected edition is out now; it includes the first of the MySpace e-comics I mentioned.
This recent series, Death’s Black Riders, is also a story that Mr. Allie has fleshed out from a fragment Mr. Howard left unfinished. I think the stories of both the mini-series are good. Kane is quiet, and violent, but willing to question what he thinks is right in his quest for righteous truth. I also like how the villains in both stories are not quite who I thought they are. Do not get me wrong, they are the villains, but they are far from one-dimensional.
Mr. Guevara also does a fine job nas the artist. I was not able to find much information on Guevara, a Mexican artist. Besides these two mini-series, he was the artist for Dynamite’s Blackbeard. His depiction of Kane, while a little line heavy at times, makes me think that the puritanical man never wastes a word. Kane’s hawk nose seems perfect for a man of his dedication. Mr. Guevara’s monsters are definitely other-worldly.
I do not know if there is more Solomon Kane works in the pipeline. I hope so, and I hope these two continue to do the work. If you do not believe me, check it out. The stories online are free (see the link above), the trade paperback of the first story is available, and your friendly neighborhood retailer might still have the first three issues of this comic.
This final issue has a few extra pages, but still carries the $3.50 price tag.
Bottom Line: $3.50/$3.50