Rise of the Back Flame #1 is another totally solid debut straight from the Mignolaverse. This one traces the origins of the legendary villain, The black Flame from the pages of Hellboy/BPRD and gives us an excellent set up for an intriguing jungle horror adventure that I’m sure Indiana Jones would most certainly sign up for. The setting is Burma and there’s been a series of disappearances of young girls that the locals believe to be the devilish work of a near by cult.
On the case are two Brittish detectives who’re on the case searching for clues, quickly meet Sarah Jewell and Marie-Therese Lafleur who tell them they’ve got an expedition set up to find the Temple of the Black Flame. Sarah Jewell goes on to tell them of some of her incredible supernatural adventures she’s shared with The Witchfinder himself Sir Edward Grey. I’m getting the feeling we’ll be seeing much more of these characters in the future of the Mignolaverse….if they can survive this expedition that is.
Here we have again everything I love about reading comics, grand adventure set in exotic locales with a supernatural mystery brewing. Like I’ve said before Mignola’s books to me are the best on the scene, whether it be Hellboy, BPRD, Witchfinder or Lobster Johnson. They’re always a helluva great time to read and are all connected by a deep lore that’s been running strong for decades. So here we have the opening of another chapter in the saga and a true prequel for fans of the villain of the BPRD’s ‘Hell on Earth’. I’m certainly going to be back for issue #2 as it’s bound to be filled with some excellent storytelling and some creepy jungle adventure, for a good time check out this debut!
I read a cool little debut issue for Dark Horse’s new series Black Hammer by Jeff Lemire & Dean Ormstom. This comes at a good time for me personally as I’ve been seriously missing a good solid superhero comic book to read. I’ve more or less given up on the Marvel & DC universes at least for the time being as it feels a little too fan calculated these days. So here on the shelves was a new series featuring a weird story about a team of retired superheroes who for ten years have been forced to live in rural small town somewhere presumably in the USA (though they may be somewhere else entirely). The team disappeared and have been thought dead since their victory in a giant battle to save the planet.
So here they sit all reacting differently to their predicament as they share a house as a “family” on a farm. Some enjoy the quiet life while others are obviously feeling trapped. The interesting thing about the first issue is the mystery of where exactly they are, how they got there and why they for some reason are unable to leave. I highly doubt this quiet life will continue on this way for too long.
For the time being though this first issue delivers the intrigue as we realize one the children of the superheroes, working as a reporter, seems to be getting ready to try to figure out just what happened to them all. The comic is a solid first issue that brings along with it enough gusto to inspire me to drop another 4 bones on the second.
Artist Dean Ormstom also brings some serious character with his unique art that would fit in perfectly in books like Hellboy & BPRD. So if you’re looking for something different than what the “big two” are churning out these days this is a great first issue worth your hard earned cash.
Mike Mignola rarely lets me down, in fact I’d go as far to say that these days the Mignola-verse is where I really like to spend most of my comic book time. So yesterday it was a no-brainer that I’d have to pick up issue #1 of Joe Golem: Occult Detective. The series is based on characters from the ‘Joe Golem & The Drowning City’ Novel by Mike Mignola & Chris Golden, but the comic is meant to be a stand alone story (actually outside of the Mignola BPRD / Hellboy world) so you don’t need to read the novel first. However this first issue has peaked my interest in the book so I’ll probably check that out soon as well.
Well as you can guess by the title, this one is a bit of a pulp style supernatural thriller and takes place in severely flooded New York City in 1965. There in waters that fill the streets children are disappearing, being abducted by vicious creatures that roam below. We’ve got Joe Golem on the case though trying to figure out just what the hell is really going on here, we also get a bit of background into the cities past and some strange flashbacks or nightmares that will somehow tie into the dangerous waters of New York City.
We also meet Golem’s partner Simon Church a mysterious old man who seems to keep himself alive with strange magic, he also keeps a golem like clay monster in is house that’s likely to play a major role in this story. The artwork by Patric Reynolds is also excellent giving us a great look and feel of the gloom of the dark flooded waterways of mid century Manhattan.
The story is titled “The Rat Catcher” and I’m most definitely on board for the rest of the 5 issues (though inside it states there’s only 3 parts to this story? hmm….) and some spooky tales of adventure & mystery that Mike Mignola has become a legend for telling!
I’m super happy that Ron Perlman is taking matters into his own hands recently with Hellboy 3!! To me it’s absoutely ridiculous that this franchise remains with out it’s final chapter! I’m a HUGE fan of the movies and HUGE fan of the Hellboy/BPRD Mignolaverse and while the movie took a bit of a different take on the character in many ways I still think Del Toro nailed the look and vibe of the whole comic book world they exist in. I don’t think it was humanly possible to cast a better Hellboy (Ron Perlman) and all of the FX work was 100%! I mean how amazing was Doug Jones as Abe Sapien too?!
Well apparently not quite amazing enough for the masses as we never got the third chapter of Guillermo’s planned trilogy. Perhaps the Hellboy universe is just too dang bizarre for the people who yearn for ultra chiseled male models in costume? But for some odd reason we are getting a sequel to the rather unimpressive forgettable Pacific Rim? What gives? Well Perlman and the rest of the cast are pretty damn excited to finish the story. Good ol’ Ron has been speaking out about getting the third film made saying:
“I don’t have any news for you, but there’s always a chance, I’m getting to that age where, if I waited much longer, ‘Hellboy 3’ will be performed out of a wheelchair. So I was basically trying to say, if there’s going to be this thing, it should be sooner rather than later. I wouldn’t want to be involved in a crowdfunding. I don’t think it’s the fans’ job to fund a movie; I think it’s up to the people who do it professionally. I think it’s the fans’ job to sit back and buy popcorn and Coke and watch a movie and enjoy it.”
So here at Universal Dork I wanna use my voice (what little one it may be) to get more of the word out about making Hellboy 3 finally happen! Let’s not get a rebooted Hellboy just yet, let’s finish the story we started and see what Hellboy’s fate really is. Will he bring about the destruction of mankind bringing Hell on earth? Or will he somehow fight the creatures from deep down in the firey pits? Imagine some of the other BPRD agents added to the cast like Panya, Roger the homunculus, Benjamin Daimio, Howards or how’s about Lobster Johnson?!
And also how about a B.P.R.D. movie?! Or a Netflix series? Give us something dammit! I have honestly been slowly becoming totally burnt out on The Avengers movies, I think that Ant-man looks like a bland 2008 Marvel movie with another boring villain and the same tired formula as most Marvel flicks being churned out. Highly forgettable shit in the end. I really believe the Hellboy movie universe holds a lot more intrigue, horror and mystery at the moment. To me Marvel movies are starting to feel like a bit like a shiny boring Pepsi commercial. But in this day and age that’s what most people seem to dig, and if a film isn’t going to make massive amounts of cash then Hollywood just ain’t interested. The first two films didn’t make an obscene amount of money, so the idea of a third movie being made today I guess is kinda unfathomable.
To me the movies always seemed a little too unique and smart for the mainstream. Crowdfunding may indeed be the only way to get this one off the ground at this point. Or perhaps they could re-cast some male supermodels in the roles of Abe Sapien and Hellboy and make them all sexy? Ugghhh…Despite all of that I still think Ron Perlman’s Hellboy could be the guy who saves the superhero flick….let’s get the word out there!
Hey not everyone can afford to pick up a heavy load of comic books every week, that clearly will set you back some serious cash especially during the spendy holiday season! So I’m reporting to you a good solid pick this week and that particular book is Image’s “Rumble” #1! John Arcudi, James Harren & Dave Stewart’s brand new series hit shelves yesterday and it’s a helluva good first issue! You can pretty much expect that you’re going to get something pretty unique when Arcudi’s name is attached to the project and this here is no exception to that rule.
There’s something sinister in the air here, and most of it takes place late night at a lonely dive bar. This is where bartender Bobby and his sole customer a old regular named Rufus are quietly shooting the shit about relationships. As the night comes to an end Rufus hits the streets only to be attacked by a giant scarecrow like creature wielding a gigantic sword. Rufus heads back into the bar, missing an arm and we are treated to an truly awesome bar room brawl.
This is all put to life by the brilliant art of Dave Stewart and the story doesn’t simply end there. Add some skeptical cops to the mix along with more creatures into the equation and I was already more than ready to dive into the second issue. Without spoiling any of the rest I’m just going to say if you’re a fan of swords, mystery, monsters and not the usual cast of pretty people we often see in comics then you’ll eat this first issue up. Arcudi really has a unique way with character development too, he gives them real life personalities which make it incredibly easy to get hooked into whatever story he’s got to tell.
This story could really go anywhere from this point and that’s what’s so damn good about it. I recommend checking this out as it’s off to a great first issue and definitely worth the $3.50!
Ho Ho Ho & the horror of it all! I just finished the novel “Krampus: The Yule Lord” by Brom the other evening and it was an awesome holiday journey! Now this could in fact be old news to a lot of you out there, but I was only recently turned on to Brom by way of this here book. Even though I LOVE the Krampus mythology to death I wasn’t quite sure about delving into the book until I read one of the endorsements on the back cover by easily one of my favorite comic book writers and artists of all time, Mike Mignola. Yeah the man most well known for Hellboy was quoted saying “Terrific. A wild ride–the idea sounded like a stretch and I’m not sure how many guys could have really pulled it off, but Brom sure has. I loved it. It hooked me and I couldn’t put it down. Plus, the illustrations are amazing.”
At that moment I knew I was going to love this book to death. Turns out Mignola was dead on (of course), the book is simply an incredible epic ride. It reads more like a comic book and in my mind I had grand visions of Guillermo Del Toro adapting this one to film. It tells a the story of a man named Jesse who’s a down on his luck, boozin’ musician in West Virginia who lives in a trailer and longs to win the love of his ex-wife and daughter back. On Christmas eve though this year, after a night of drinking he spots something quite strange in the sky above, what appears to be “Santa” flying in his sleigh trying to fight off some sort of demonic men. As Jesse is no believer in Santa, he’s downright perplexed until this sleigh from the sky crashes nearby and he’s face to face in the dead of a cold winter’s night with the creatures himself. As he fights for his life he also stumbles upon something else that has fallen from the mysterious sleigh, an odd bag that seemingly has no bottom to it.
This begins a tale full of mystery, monsters, folklore and grand adventure. Don’t be fooled by the whole “Santa Claus” aspect of it though, this isn’t a kid’s book by any means. This story is filled to the brim with gore, scares, suspense and foul backwoods language. It’s also got a some great twists and turns in the plot that will have you guessing ’til the very end. And it doesn’t hurt that Brom has a truly unique way with words that puts you right there in all of the creepy action as he paints the perfect picture quite literally. Yes, Brom is also quite an amazing artist getting his start with Dungeons & Dragons way back in the day(yeah how cool is that!), this book has some truly breathtaking art within. I’m eagerly awaiting checking out more of this guy’s work.
I’ve gotta say it- now is the time to pick this book up it’s a must read this holiday season and appeared first back in 2012. Once you jump into the first chapter you won’t be able to stop reading, especially if you’re a fan of Christmas horror and Krampus mythos. The story is huge, Brom did his homework on the vast Krampus folklore but it’s kept to a very personal level following Jesse (who I picture in my head as kind of like Nick Stahl in Carnivale every time the character opens his mouth). I hope Mignola adapts this to comic book form or someone picks this up as a movie. I’d love to say more about this book but alas I wouldn’t dare want to spoil all of the surprises-Pick this up now, grab some spiked egg nog, a candy cane and curl up by the fire this season you won’t be disappointed! The Krampus is on the move this holiday season!! Here’s a cool interview with Brom:
December can’t come quick enough! The new series from Dark Horse called Hellboy & The B.P.R.D. is on the top of my list for comic books I’m totally pumped about! It’s cool already to know that Hellboy’s early adventures with the B.P.R.D. will finally be told in detail, it’s great news to know John Arcudi will be joining Mignola as writer on the series, but what’s got me even more pumped is Alex Maleev joining as the series artist! Maleev has been a favorite of mine ever since the amazing Bendis run on Daredevil-if you’ve never read that stuff you are missing out bigtime. I love the current run of B.P.R.D. but I often wish for the return of Hellboy & Abe Sapien to the team. It looks like my wish is coming true, here’s a few pic’s that have me excited about this book!
Here’s some panels from the only other Maleev Hellboy, a short story called “Still Born”
And the synopsis for the new series first arc sounds top notch…
“A bizarre series of murders and rumors of something worse lead Professor Bruttenholm to send a young Hellboy to a Brazilian village on his first mission. Hellboy and a small group of agents uncover something terrible in the shadows of a sixteenth-century Portuguese fortress . . .”