Tag Archives: Hellboy



This new Baltimore story arc proves to be quite satisfying. This one finds Baltimore and his band of brothers telling tales while they dig graves. The graves aren’t all quite ready for use but these guys seem to know what they’re doing. I love the artwork by Peter Bergting who provides a sure-handed take on Mike Mignola’s style. The story, by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden, kicks off with a reliable dose of droll and quirky narrative. Quite a number of things are set into motion not the least of which is Baltimore learning more about the whereabouts of the Blood Red Witch and seeing her handiwork firsthand.

I fall in with readers who decide now is a good time to step in. I think it is part of the fun to find your way into the big picture of plot and characters. For instance, I appreciate that I need to go back and read The Cult of the Red King, but that’s okay. This issue is engaging without prior knowledge. For one thing, it gives you some interesting hooks into Baltimore’s backstory such as his Indian guide, Harish. He saw some pretty dark stuff during his command of the Indian Expeditionary Force while on a mission in Tanganyika. Could have been destruction by zombies, you just never know.

The love for atmosphere and setting is definitely alive here as both artist Peter Bergting and colorist Dave Stewart add to and enhance the Mignolaverse. If you love steampunk, or just general exotica, you can’t go wrong with scenes set in such times and places as St. Petersburg, Russia, circa 1920. That’s pretty strange and weird, right? Well, not to a regular fan of the Mignolaverse. No, to a diehard fan, that’s as common as the 7-Eleven down on the corner. But have that very same fan try and get a chili dog in 1920s St. Petersburg, and he’s going to come back down to earth. You know, come to think of it, 7-Eleven should sell comic books. Bring back the spinner rack!

So, here is a solid issue to what looks to be a action-packed adventure. It fits right in with a busy next few months as Dark Horse Comics rolls out the conclusions to Hellboy in Hell, Abe Sapien, and Hell on Earth over the course of this summer. Also from Dark Horse this summer is the 384-page prose anthology, “Children of Lovecraft.” For such a recluse, Howard Phillips Lovecraft sure did leave behind a thriving literary progeny. Dark Horse Comics is part of that and this book is a shining example with work by Richard Kadrey, Brian Hodge, A. C. Wise, Siobhan Carroll, Orrin Grey, and many more. This item goes on sale August 31 with cover art by Mike Mignola.

Continuing with the subject of Mike Mignola, there is a new study of the Mignolaverse, “Hellboy’s World: Comics and Monsters on the Margins” by Scott Bukatman. This book is an insightful look at the influences on Hellboy, including H.P. Lovecraft. You’ll find a review for it here shortly. Well, with all that said, you will undoubtedly find something to enjoy from Dark Horse if you are a Hellboy fan or just someone who enjoys good horror and a good story.

BALTIMORE: EMPTY GRAVES #1 is available as of April 6, 2016. For more details, visit Dark Horse Comics right here.


Filed under comic books, Comics, Comics Reviews, Dark Horse Comics, Hellboy, Mike Mignola



There are all sorts of horror to consume and a Mike Mignola horror comic book is one of the best across any form. And then you bring to that one the horror canon’s greatest, Frankenstein, and it sets up something worthy of taking notice. This is not, say Frankenstein vs. Superman or Spider-Man, as much fun as that can be. No, this runs much deeper as you have two distinct visions in horror coming together that have exceptional qualities that naturally fit together. It’s more akin to Boris Karloff bringing his unique sensibility to the character of Frankenstein’s monster. But let’s jump in and check this out.

First of all, I love the fact that this Frankenstein is not just about long stares and grunts. The guy can actually hold a conversation. And I’m intrigued by the additional bolts. He has two big bolts where his nipples should be. Is this for when he needs a really special electrical jolt? I’m just saying. So, this Frankenstein fits right into the quirky, dark, deadpan, and offbeat humor that is the universe of Mike Mignola. And what does the big buy have to say for himself? Basically, he’s not too happy. He’s feeling very regretful for what might have been as he wanders in search of greater meaning. Yeow, that’s more Mignola-speak coming out of the iconic monster than any fan has a right to hope for. So, for you newcomers, this is what to expect: a Frankenstein who is more freaky, intellectual, and downright moody.

This first issue, written by Mignola, drawn by Ben Stenbeck, and colored by Dave Stewart is a knock-out. Now, your hardcore Mignola fans can tell you about the roots to this story. They’ll direct you to that time when Mike Mignola’s celebrated character, Hellboy, got into the ring and actually fought Frankenstein in Mexico in 1956. Yes, Mexico in 1956! Mexico! 1956! You see, another wonderful trait in any Mignola story is the seemingly random pairing of an exotic locale with an obscure date. Why Mexico? Why 1956? It just is what it is. And it’s fun. Here’s the deal, way back when Hellboy fought Frankenstein, nobody knew for sure that it was indeed Frankenstein. But now we know that, yes, it is.

So, again, I ask you, why Mexico in 1956? Well, it’s actually a pretty cool backdrop. Not only do you have the pairing of Mignola and Frankenstein but you can also add to the mix all the magical and spooky Aztec tradition and, to top it off, you have the overall crazy that was the ’50s. Imagine a Day of the Dead celebration times one hundred. Because that’s what it would have been like in Mexico in 1956. So, all this is very geeky fun and yet another fitting tribute to one of the greatest characters in horror for all time, our pal, Frankenstein.

Frankenstein Underground #1 will be published by Dark Horse Comics on March 18, 2015. For more details, visit our friends at Dark Horse Comics right here.


Filed under Comics, Dark Horse Comics, Frankenstein, Mike Mignola

Review: Abe Sapien #5: ‘The New Race of Man (Part 2 of 2)’


Having just read the graphic novel, “Sandcastle,” an eerie mystery taking place on a stretch of beach, I was intrigued to find a similar scene taking place in a Hellboy comic. This is Issue 5 of a new ongoing “Abe Sapien” and rounds up material for the next trade paperback. As tends to be the case with a solid Hellboy tale, this is a great stand alone read. Mike Mignola and John Arcudi are the masters of deadpan delivery in an never-ending world of weird. You can jump off Hellboy and jump back on and the tenor of their tales does not skip a beat.

To carry on a bit with the comparison to “Sand Castle,” here you have two stories that are set in a world gone awry. Shall we call it, “Apocalyptic”? Yes, things have definitely gone to hell. From this devastation, emerges Abe Sapien and assorted survivors on a barren landscape. The beach is always a dramatic setting, very symbolic. Just seaweed, some seagulls, and a vast god-like ocean. In both stories, it’s the strange loner who gets blamed for a murder. And, in each story, there is a foreboding that overtakes everyone. Cool, huh? Yeah, and the art by Max Fiumara is a feast for the eyes, makes the moody atmospherics look easy.

Poor Abe has to do what he can to gain the trust of the locals but they’re pretty blasé about it since there’s far more to be concerned about. Sure, the fish man might be alright but that doesn’t mean everything is going to be alright.

After not checking in with Abe Sapien and the B.P.R.D. for awhile, it’s nice to see that things are as creepy as ever. It’s not be taken for granted and I’m glad to be back on board.

“Abe Sapien #5” is out August 7. “Abe Sapien #6” is out October 9 and the trade paperback collecting Issues 1 thru 5 comes out soon. Visit our friends at Dark Horse Comics.

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Filed under Comics, Dark Horse Comics, Hellboy, John Arcudi, Mike Mignola

Hellboy, R.I.P.

A spoiler alert is hardly needed here, right? You know what’s happened. It’s happened to the best of ’em. Batman. Superman. Captain America. And now…Hellboy. He’s died, well sort of, at the end of this month’s story arc, “The Fury.” But it was a beautiful ending to a beautiful story. Like any Mike Mignola creation that I’ve come across, this one is wonderfully deadpan, fanciful and curious. Will it be significant that Hellboy is a descendant of King Arthur? It is only mentioned in passing. For a story that sends Hellboy back to Hell, it is understanding that some things can only be touched upon.

Duncan Fegredo does such a great job of bringing out the earthy quality to this story. Thankfully, Hellboy has a girlfriend in this one, Alice, who he met in typically obscure fashion, by saving her from a band of malicious fairies in 1959. What does that even mean? Are marauding elves next? Well, like any challenging poem, you just run with it and wait for things to come into focus. But getting back to Alice, Fegredo breathes such life into her that she is a powerful presence on whichever page she graces. And that’s saying a lot considering all the ghoulies Hellboy contends with, including a dragon bad enough for a Ragna Rok throwdown, when dragon battles man.

Such an impressive three story tale that sets up the action for the main event: Hellboy in Hell! This is something of an event which Dark Horse is happy to point out. It is impeccably timed in the last issue of “The Fury” with some final comments by Dark Horse’s managing editor, Scott Allie: “I think we ended this one well. In the fall, be sure to check out the hardcover graphic novel House of the Living Dead. Because after that it’ll be a bit of a wait. And then…,” which is followed on the next and last page by:

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Filed under comic books, Comics, Dark Horse Comics, Hellboy, Mike Mignola