♦Dark Horse Comics celebrates its 30th birthday this month and here are 10 of its characters that you should be familiar with…
Created by Mike Mignola back in 1995, Hellboy has gone on to capture the imagination of fans on the comics page and even in two cult movies starring Ron Perlman and a number of animated TV films.
- Marv, Sin City
After acclaimed runs on Daredevil and Batman, Frank Miller went back to the source with this hardboiled series. Its star. Marv, was a damaged private eye straight out of the pages of Chandler.
Paul Chadwick’s drama with a difference about a man whose brain was transplanted by aliens into a giant concrete body explored what it was to be human.
- The Goon
Eric Powell’s modern day pulp managed to be odder and stranger than its progenitors, bringing a unique sensibility to the series. They keep threatening to bring it to the big screen.
Matt Wagner’s epic historical drama may have seen its first appearance in one of Comico’s books but it was its publication through Dark Horse that brought it to people’s attention. Along with Mage, it displayed why Wagner is one of the most talented and versatile modern comic creators.
- Usaji Yojimbo
Stan Sakai’s anthropomorphic samurai tale also started at another publisher (Fantagraphics) but when you consider that it has been at the Portland-based publisher longer, it does seem a better fit for them. Sakai has created over 150 issues of this title and there seems to be no sign of him stopping.
Robert E Howard’s barbarian had a long and acclaimed publishing history at Marvel through the 1970s and 1980s but Dark Horse brought it back to the public’s attention after a massive gap. Gathering some of the finest comic creators to work on Conan since Dark Horse first started publishing it back in 2003, the book and related miniseries continue to occupy an important spot in Dark Horse’s comic line.
- The Mask
One of the earlier Dark Horse characters, created by Mike Richardson and drawn by Doug Mahnke, this madcap hero created quite a stir as Jim Carrey starred in two movies and there was even an animated series based on him.
- Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Of course, Joss Whedon’s female vampire hunter had seven hit seasons on US TV but Dark Horse has extended her fictional lifespan through Seasons Eight to Eleven since 2007 in a comic series that is part of the show’s canon. Season Eleven starts this year.
Dark Horse’s Comics Greatest World was an attempt to create a line of superheroes that were distinctly their own. It didn’t quite take off but supernatural female hero Ghost, originally drawn by Adam Hughes, had a lengthy run throughout the 1990s and it also featured the work of such popular artists as Terry Dodson, Matt Haley and John Cassaday.