One thing that’s always intrigued me about the works of Mike Mignola is that while Hellboy and the BPRD are entrenched in the supernatural realm of of otherworldly horrors, the majority of stories don’t play out with the trappings of the horror genre. Rather they adapt the aesthetics and apply it to the action-adventure story to deliver a thoughtful and atmospheric tale loaded with suspense, but not often a genuinely scary or frightening one. I think Abe Sapien #1 , penned by Mignola and Scott Allie with artwork from Sebastián Fiumari is definitely one of the comics that takes a large step in the horror direction. Continue reading
Three children with gurgling and bubbling flesh rise with crackling energy from the earth. As bones knit and skin coalesces a subdued bemusement spreads across their faces. Three of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse are without their Death. They’re only choice? Find him and kill.
East of West by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta immediately forges itself as a comic hinting at the familiar before delving far into the bold and different. This off-number group of apocalyptic heralds is born into a world seemingly like our own world, to a point. The American Civil War to be precise. It was as this time that a Native American empire was forged to rival the Union and Confederacy. A 3-part prophecy arose in disparate cultures. A stone missile from the heavens ravaged the lands. This is not our world in short. Continue reading
The second installment of Red Team, the new crime-thriller series from Garth Ennis and Craig Cermak opens with a mirroring scene from the first issue: the interrogation of the eponymous team after it’s all gone wrong. This time it’s Detective Trudy Groux in the spotlight, debriefing us on how a straight-edged group of police officers decided to step outside the law and commit heinous murder in the face of denied justice. Continue reading
BPRD: Vampire #1 is the second outing for Brazilian brothers Gabriel Bá and Fabio Moon into the world of Hellboy and the Burea of Paranormal Research and Defense. This time the award-winning artists also turn their focus to co-writing duties with series creator Mike Mignola. Penning the tale of B.P.R.D. Agent Anders, a man deeply scarred by vampiric horrors.
The Manhattan Projects #10 by Jonathan Hickman, Jordie Bellaire and Ryan Browne, who is filling in for series regular Nick Pitarra, drops us into the headspace of the deranged Joseph Oppenheimer. As the fictional twin of Robert Oppenheimer, his fraternal love drives him to devour the eternal soul of his brother who finds himself awakening in the vast landscape of Joseph’s twisted mind.
Bedlam #5, written by Nick Spencer and drawn by Riley Rossmo, is aptly named for the madness dripping from the pages of the comic, like a mad house barely able to contain it’s inmates from escaping and leaping out at you. It stars Fillmore Press, formerly known as mass murderer Madder Red and now aiding the police in homicide investigations having been “cured” of violent tendencies. And to Fillmore’s credit he is the most adorable and bashful mass murderer I’ve come across in some time.
Hellboy in Hell #4 by Mike Mignola and Dave Stewart is the final chapter in the first arc of a new chapter in the Hellboy mythos.
Reeling from his tour of hell and the bloodshed so far Mignola finally gives Hellboy a chance to catch his breath since his death plunged him into the depths of the underworld and Big Red is left to wonder what’s next in this period of his “life”.
Fury MAX: My War Gone By Vol. 1 by Garth Ennis and Goran Parlov is the first collection of their still ongoing series detailing the struggles of Nick Fury and his life of war throughout the 20th century.
Opening with Colonel Fury slumped in an armchair late at night, swilling on whiskey in a bathrobe and rambling into a dictaphone, our first view of the eponymous man is a tired and broken figure. He’s reluctantly telling his story as if it’s all he has left in the world. A massive splash acts as a flash back from his perspective and a flash-forward from ours, promising at details to come in this timeline of global conflicts. Already the weariness of Fury bears down on us, conflicting our eagerness as readers.
Prophet #34 has solidified my opinion that this is the sexiest comic on the stands right now.
While previous issues have provided us with organ-transfer fertilization, lizard-on-mammal love-making, phallic cryo-pods bursting from the Earth, robotic pining and a whole manner of symbiotic fusion and fluid sharing between man and goo, in this issue by Simon Roy and Brandon Graham we meet my a brand of John Prophet clone super soldier bred specifically to act as concubines to their brothers in steamy brothels in a cavity inside another one of their brothers bred to be the massive infrastructure of their base. Kinky doesn’t begin to describe these activities.
From the very onset of the cover art, suggesting a beat up old paperback novel bought for a fraction of a dollar on a New York street, to the closing pages of Marvel criminals converging in a Mario Puzo fashion, Fraction and Aja’s Hawkeye #8 delivers a solid crime-heist story that would make the veterans of EC comics proud.