You may have heard, but other comic publishers like Image, Milestone, Vertigo, IDW, and Dark Horse Comics. The latter has been making headlines when Embracer, the Swedish Gaming developer, acquired Dark Horse Comics and every bit of its IP.

For those scoring at home, that is more than 300 intellectual properties. Several companies consider their IP big targets for video games, TV series, and random CBMs. Some of those properties are so appealing that Netflix has “a strong pipeline of over 40 projects.” Dark Horse already has its mitts with Amazon, Syfy, Sony, MGM, Universal, and Warner Media. Marvel and DC laid out the plans. Dark Horse Comics is only following the path with style.

Embracer Group may as well brag about its course to world domination. This news shores up that the Swedish juggernaut is entering the world of multimedia fame. That may be why the progenitor of Dark Horse, Mike Richardson, is so happy about this:

“I can’t express the excitement I feel as Dark Horse moves into this new chapter in our history. The synergies that exist with the Embracer network of companies promise exciting new opportunities not only for Dark Horse but also for the creators and companies we work with.

“I’ve had a number of compelling conversations with Embracer CEO Lars Wingefors and I’m very impressed with him and what he and his team have built. I have to say, the future for our company has never looked brighter.”

Once the cleaning crew vacuumed confetti from the floor and balloons were let loose, the fans were left wondering. What does this acquisition mean for them? How will Dark Horse Comics grow from this acquisition?

Dark Horse Comics is About to Get on its Giddy-up

Dark Horse Comics Characters

Recently, we covered the top 10 comic book characters who should be in a movie or TV series. Among those are the character X. If you loved what Netflix did with “Daredevil,” you will want this genetic freak on any screen. 

As quiet as it has kept, Dark Horse Comics is no slouch when it comes to producing comic-based multimedia content. Many of their previously created characters are alive in TV or film. However, few casual fans knew Dark Horse Comics had anything to do with that incarnation of talent. 

Popular characters such as Alien, Predator (yes, and Alien vs. Predator), The Mask, Timecop (JCVD’s underrated movie), Ghost, Resident Alien, and the newly minted “The Umbrella Academy” on Netflix are all from the Dark Horse stable. They also created “The Witcher” and this “Stranger Things” phenomenon. So, they know what they are doing. But now, they will work on the recognition they have deserved for decades. 

Like any publishing house, Dark Horse has a few ponies and trotters, but there are some other thoroughbreds in that barnyard as well. If Mike Richardson’s blossoming empire were called anything, it would be “steady.” Think of all those movies and series that have featured Dark Horse Comic characters—nothing outstanding but nothing out of bounds either. 

Their movies have been good. Their series have been better. But their future began with Netflix’s smash “The Umbrella Academy.” And, again, that sound you hear is fans gasping because few had any idea Dark Horse Comics had anything to do with it. 

Don’t believe that? Would Dark Horse Comics be in the same conversation as Marvel and DC Comics if they were any good? Well, they are that good. And now, with Embracer at the helm (and their mighty sway), the mood is about to change. 

No Longer the Dark Horse in the Comic Stable

Dark Horse Comics has a stable of characters who need a CBM

With Embracer’s influence and many deep pockets, this is one company poised to make a splash on both the big and small screen. As seen with earlier franchises, we know Dark Horse Comics has talent in art and storytelling. And they have some momentum with what is currently on TV.

Given Embracer’s propensity to make some solid games as well (i.e., Borderlands, Saints Row, Dead Island, Darksiders), there is some potential for Marvel and DC to take notice.

Here are a few reasons why Embracer will not have to hand out “Hello, my name is” tags at the following media junket.

X

X from Dark Horse Comics would be a great tale for TV
Credit: Mike Richardson/Chris Warner

 

We have already extolled the greatness of this character. The no-name assassin would give a chance for Dark Horse to use what has worked with the gruesome reality of “The Punisher,” the nocturnal gravitas of “Batman,” and the deadly kick-assery of Red Hood, Dick Grayson, or Blade.

His origin would be fantastic to behold, and weekly excursions into the deep trenches of crime would be fantastic television. A movie would not do his origin story any justice. This story has a streamer written all over it.

Nexus

Dark Horse Comics' Nexus is a Space Ghost waiting to be made
Credit: Steve Rude/Mike Baron

This comic needs the dust of the 1980s blown off its covers.  Maybe then, there will be a consideration for something more significant than the run it got on newsstands. The graphic novel turned comic is set 500 years into the future, where we meet Horatio Valdemar Hellpop, who receives alien-imbued powers.

From there, he becomes a hero who resembles the excellent Space Ghost. (Not for nothing, but Steve Rude is a fan and worked a little on Space Ghost.) With some sweet abilities like Fusionkasting—using psychic powers to draw energy from the stars—this guy’s universe would be a CGI utopia on the big screen.

Grendel

Dark Horse Comics Grendel
Credit: Matt Wagner

This is one of Dark Horse Comics’ most interesting because it takes the Batman and Daredevil tropes, and jacks with everything. Hunter Rose is yet another millionaire trapped in his own existence. So, by night, he is a criminal mastermind. Think “American Psycho” in comic book mode. “Grendel” would be amazing in a series.

Even the man, Alan Moore of “Watchmen” fame said, “Grendel is a brave and possibly even reckless experiment that has succeeded admirably.” If it is good enough for that guy, seeing Grendel come to life would be good enough for the rest of us.

Concrete

Dark Horse Comics Concrete
Credit: Paul Chadwick

Hear us out on this one, but it takes a load of imagination (and a visit to a hippie lettuce farm) to dig into this story. If you think that Concrete resembles The Thing, you are not wrong. Concrete is a story about Ronald Lithgow, who undergoes a lobotomy by Aliens (because why not). His brain is placed inside of the head of a seven-foot-tall, two-ton stone figure.

What’s captivating about this comic is that it does not focus on the damage Concrete can do to any city or civilization. Since Lithgow is trapped inside this stone sarcophagus, he can no longer feel, touch, or experience human relationships. Some fans may be underwhelmed because there is no Michael Bay explosion porn, but to show the pain experienced by Concrete could be a study on human nature.

Black Hammer

Dark Horse Comics Black Hammer
Credit: Jeff Lemire/Dean Ormston

Of the people who have read this pride of Dark Horse Comics, I doubt one has closed a comic about Black Hammer and not said, “The hell?!” And that is why this would be a fascinating series. The origin stories alone would assume an entire season. In the series, fans go through traditional superhero journeys but a lens of mesmerizing self-actualization.

Then, the heroes search for what would be considered Darkseid, and Thanos hooked up and then did a Vulcan mind-meld with Galactus. That is how we meet the cosmic powerhouse villain, Anti-God! The Black Hammer gang is also trapped in Spiral City. In another world from their own. And on a quaint acreage of farmland.

Yeah, puff, puff, pass on this one. It’s a series in the making.

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