One Mad Dog


[Solomon Kane Volume 2: Death’s Black Riders] – (Scott Allie, Mario Guevara, Darick Robertson. Guy Davis)

“Death’s Black Riders” collects #1 to #4 of Dark Horses “Solomon Kane: Death’s Black Riders” series and the “All The Damned Souls At Sea” short story.  It is set in the Black Forest, just like the previous Dark Horse Volume (Castle of the Devil), and features the writing of Scott Allie and art of Mario Guevara.

“Deaths Black Riders” has more of a Conan or even a BPRD/ Hellboy feel to it than Solomon Kane. It is basically one long monster bash from beginning to end and lacks the more considered brooding approach that Solomon Kane normally has. From the moment the book begins the dialogue is confusing and hard to follow and the cluttered and muddy art makes it difficult to figure out just who is talking.  It was quite a way into the book before I actually realized which character was Solomon Kane. The story also suffers from poor pacing and some of the fight scenes and dialogues run on too long.  I quite enjoyed some of the interactions with the priest but the demons were a little too H.P. Lovecraft for my tastes.

Mario Guevara’s artwork was not as good as in the first volume and I found it quite difficult to follow at times.  I liked Guy Davis’s artwork in the short story better but I still struggled a little to follow what was going on once the boat started breaking up. If I hadn’t read the notes in the back of the book I would not have guessed that the boat turned into some kind of sea serpent. Even Guy Davis’s art seemed to be a bit off par. I enjoyed the Mike Mignola TPB cover and Darick Robertson’s excellent single edition covers in the special features.

Death’s Black Riders isn’t a bad book but it suffers from not being a particularly good Solomon Kane adaptation with art that in my opinion is a little substandard. It has some great special features and is still worth a read if you liked the first volume. ISBN-10: 1595825908. 6/10

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[Solomon Kane: Castle of the Devil v. 1] – (Scott Allie, Mario Guevara, Mike Mignola, Dave Stewart, John Cassaday)

This story is set in the haunted Black Forest of Germany and is an adaption of  Robert E. Howard’s  fragment “The Castle of the Devil”.  Solomon Kane is like the anti Conan, a devout puritan man wielding gods punishment on evil doers in a dour way.  This story revolves around a devilish baron and his evil secret that lies hidden in the ruined monastery beneath his castle.  Castle of the devil is a good story with plenty of supernatural goings on and gory killings. Even though Mike Mignola only drew the cover, the book does have a hint of his style of story telling and a great sense of atmosphere.  The artwork is good and fits the story well although Kane at times does have a certain Marilyn Manson look to him and things can get a bit muddy in places.

The excellent extras include character sketches and some top rate covers by Joe Kubert and John Cassaday. [ISBN-13: 978-1595822826]. 8/10