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Review: Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1957—Family Ties

Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1957—Family Ties

Hellboy comics can be a hell of a lot of fun. Mike Mignola has created characters and a world that balances a rich and complicated universe but also can deliver stories that can be picked up and enjoyed with little knowledge. Mignola has figured out how to balance the ongoing narrative with the one-shot. Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1957—Family Ties is example of the comic you can just pick up and enjoy. You have to have little knowledge of the characters but if you do, there’s clearly more to this issue.

Written by Mignola and Chris Roberson, Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1957—Family Ties has Hellboy and Agent Xiang looking for a book that can summon demons. It takes them to a house where unnatural things are occurring or it could be horrible family relations. There’s not a ton you really need to know to enjoy the comic. It’s a pretty typical “fight demons” type of story. Where it works well is the build up and tension.

Mignola and Roberson keep the readers guessing. Who’s the malignant force in the house? Who is going to be the demon they must fight? Where’s the demon they’ll have to fight? It’s all pretty standard but the way it’s presented will leave you not knowing who can be trusted until that’s revealed. There’s also some solid creepy moments. You get a cinematic feel as the horrors are presented. While it doesn’t deliver scares, there’s a general unease created by the imagery that works really well.

That’s due to the art of Laurence Campbell. Joined by Dave Stewart on colors and Clem Robins lettering, the visuals for the comic are excellent. There are some solid moments that really will make readers unease but never grossed out. There’s the type of visuals you’re not expecting so they deliver a slight punch as they’re revealed. But, it’s all done in a way that doesn’t really scare as opposed to make readers “sick”. With the colors and pencils combined, the art has a vibe about it that is more unease and gross than make you not want to turn a page.

Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1957—Family Ties is a solid start to this series of one-shot comics. It has some details that fans of the Hellboy world will enjoy but those who have never read a story can ignore and not miss anything. It’s a solid horror comic for this Halloween season and one fans of Hellboy or the horror genre should check out.

Story: Mike Mignola and Chris Roberson Art: Laurence Campbell
Color: Dave Stewart Letterer: Clem Robins
Story: 8.15 Art: 8.3 Overall: 8.2 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Mike Mignola to Illustrate His First Full Length Comic in Five Years – Sir Edward Grey: Acheron

For the first time in five years, legendary Hellboy creator Mike Mignola is both writing and illustrating a full-length comic book, one which provides the next chapter in the fabled Hellboy Universe. Titled Sir Edward Grey: Acheron, the one-shot story is set following the events of B.P.R.D.: The Devil You Know, in which the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense managed to fight off the monsters on Earth long enough for humanity to barely escape underground. The story is Mignola’s first full-length comic book since Dark Horse Comics published Hellboy in Hell in 2016. Here he reunites with award-winning colorist Dave Stewart, as well as letterer and longtime collaborator Clem Robins. Dark Horse Comics will publish Sir Edward Grey: Acheron this winter, featuring a main cover by Mignola and Stewart and a variant cover by acclaimed artist Ben Stenbeck.

Sir Edward Grey: Acheron will be published by Dark Horse Comics on December 1, 2021.

  • Sir Edward Grey: Acheron

Hellboy: The Bones of Giants Goes from Prose to Comics in November

Timed to the twentieth anniversary of the publication of Hellboy: The Bones of Giants, legendary Hellboy creator Mike Mignola and bestselling novelist Christopher Golden are adapting their classic prose novel into an all-new four-issue comic book series, drawn by Barbarian Lord creator Matt Smith and featuring colors by Chris O’Halloran and lettering by Clem Robins. The debut issue of Hellboy: The Bones of Giants comes to comic shops on November 3, 2021.

In Hellboy: The Bones of Giants, lightning strikes from a clear sky on a frozen riverbank in Sweden. The skeleton of a huge man is revealed, his fingers clutched around the handle of an iron hammer. No one who comes to see this marvel from Norse mythology can move it. No one, that is, but Hellboy, who lifts the hammer just in time for lightning to strike again, welding it to his hand and leading him toward a bizarre series of visions and encounters. What ensues is a wild adventure full of Norse legends, mythical creatures, and a threat that could bring not just Earth, but the Nine Realms of Norse mythology to their knees.

Hellboy: The Bones of Giants #1

Unlock the Mystery of B.’s Tragic Existence in BRZRKR #4

BOOM! Studios has revealed a first look at BRZRKR #4, the newest issue in the top-selling twelve-issue limited series by the iconic Keanu Reeves and New York Times bestselling co-writer Matt Kindt, acclaimed artist Ron Garney, colorist Bill Crabtree, and letterer Clem Robins, about an immortal being’s eternal struggle with the hidden truth behind his existence, available in comic book stores worldwide on July 28, 2021.

What secret in B.’s past holds the KEY to his immortality? The last piece of B.’s tragic origin and the fate of his parents are revealed as Diana continues unearthing his memories, prompting a new mission in the present day. Will this one unlock the mystery that is his existence? Or will B. be cursed to wander the Earth forever?

BRZRKR #4 features main cover art by superstar illustrator Rafael Grampá and variant covers by superstar artists Christian Ward, and Mirka Andolfo.

BRZRKR #4

Review: Hellboy And The B.P.R.D.: The Secret Of Chesbro House #1 (of 2)

Hellboy And The B.P.R.D.: The Secret Of Chesbro House #1

Hellboy returns in Hellboy And The B.P.R.D.: The Secret Of Chesbro House #1, the start of a 2-issue mini-series as he is brought into the Chesbro house to take on the supernatural aspects of it. The Chesbro house in itself is a place of mystery and lore, with stories of sex rituals, disappearances, and secret rooms that no one can find. The heirs would like to sell it but it must be rid of the evil presence. Once they make contact with the dead spirits do they truly get a sense of what evil resides within the walls of the Chesbro house.

I think one of the great things about a character like Hellboy is that you can place him in a story like this, one that’s not necessarily that original, and just by what he is and what the B.P.R.D. are about and it truly elevates the storytelling to another level. We’ve all read or heard stories of haunted houses and even the basics of the Chesbro house aren’t original. The teens who want to have nothing to do with it or the creepy caretaker who runs the place but Mignola and Golden, just by having their own supernatural avenger, make the story feel really fresh and exciting. It did feel just a hair too long to get to the exciting and then that felt a bit short-lived but Hellboy And The B.P.R.D.: The Secret Of Chesbro House #1 already feels like another great Hellboy story.

There’s not a bad panel in this entire issue. Shawn McManus, Dave Stewart, and Clem Robins unleash a spectacular-looking issue. McManus’s style is so clean and stylish with the right amount of detail added, his art pops in this issue. Illustrating a haunted house would lead to some difficulties for some and the amount of detail thrown into The Secret Of Chesbro House might have slowed some. There are full backgrounds throughout the issue and I think many a reader will appreciate that extra bit of detail thrown in. There’s nothing bad you could probably ever say about Dave Stewart’s colors and I couldn’t imagine too many people doing a better job with the material. Clem Robins is at the top of her game on an issue like this, as I can’t imagine trying to put words on this level of art an easy task.

Part one of Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.’s adventures with a haunted house might seem like a bit of overkill for the characters involved but with great storytelling and art that matches the quality, readers should get a lot of enjoyment out of this story. I’ve been a Hellboy/B.P.R.D. fan for many years and I’m always appreciative of the fact that Mignola and company continue to craft such interesting tales with Hellboy. The Secret of Chesbro House is yet another quality adventure in the Mignolaverse.

Story: Mike Mignola with Christopher Golden Art: Shawn McManus
Colors: Dave Stewart Letters: Clem Robins
Story: 8.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Review: BRZRKR #3

BRZRKR #3

It’s easy to look at BRZRKR and see an action series that revels in the blood, gore, and over-the-top kills. But, when you sit down and read the comics, it’s far more. There’s a surprising amount of heart and focus on character for the series that was a clear tentpole pitch from the start. It’s a tentpole that is far better than expected. Beyond the introduction in the first issue, the second, and now BRZRKR #3, focus on B and his past. While we learn more about this character we also get a sense of his weariness. This is a warrior who is tired of the killing and wants to find peace. He’s a weapon that deep down no longer wants to be used as one. There’s a surprising amount of sadness and loneliness to it all. And it’s also surprisingly depressing.

BRZRKR #3 focuses on B’s past as he recounts his early years as he’s pointed in the direction of his tribe’s enemies. Bodies pile up and he questions his mention. He also questions how others see him. Writers Keanu Reeves and Matt Kindt focus a lot of the comic, and the previous, on the sadness of B.

What’s impressive is Reeves and Kindt pull this off in a cacophony of gore. BRZRKR #3 recounts battle after battle of B’s tribe where he’s sent in as a force of nature to destroy the masses. It’s a bloody visual where enemies are beaten to death with the stump of legs (literally). And through those visuals, we still feel sorry for B. The story shifts from one that’s pure action to one about the morality of using weapons, especially living ones. When does a soldier get to rest?

Ron Garney’s art feels like it channels Frank Miller in this issue. With color by Bill Crabtree and lettering by Clem Robins, the visuals are one of bloody battles. Bloody flies around, arrows stick out of B. The quiet of the issue are just breaks from the next adventure. And, even with all of that violence and bloody, it doesn’t distract. The way it’s all presented it feels a bit muted in the way enhancing the sadness of B. It doesn’t distract.

BRZRKR #3 is an impressive issue. It gives us a lot of action and pure destruction. But, it also focuses in on the impact of that all on a person. We get to see the weariness build. We get to see him question his role. It’s clear this is a series that’s about a soldier who no longer wants to fight but all he knows how to do is that. What started as a generic action story has developed into something far deeper.

Story: Keanu Reeves, Matt Kindt Art: Ron Garney
Color: Bill Crabtree Letterer: Clem Robins
Story: 8.35 Art: 8.35 Overall: 8.35 Recommendation: Buy

BOOM! Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Hellboy & the BPRD 1950’s Concludes with 5 Stand-Alone One-Shots

The year is 1957 and change is in the air. This is the year that Elvis Presley appears on The Ed Sullivan Show for the final time. It is the year that the Wham-O Company produces the first Frisbee. The year that Andrei Gromyko becomes foreign minister of the Soviet Union, that Dwight D. Eisenhower is sworn in as the President of the United States, and that Congress approves the Eisenhower Doctrine and its assistance to Communist-threatened foreign regimes. It is, in short, the perfect year for the events of Hellboy & The BPRD 1950’s comics and the Occult Cold War storyline to come to a head.

This September, Dark Horse Comics will publish Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1957—Family Ties, the first of a series of five suspense-filled, stand-alone and interconnected one-shots that will conclude the Hellboy & The BPRD 1950’s comics and set the stage for a new Hellboy & The BPRD set during the tumult of the 1960s. Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1957—Family Ties is co-written by legendary Hellboy creator Mike Mignola and bestselling iZombie co-creator Chris Roberson, featuring art and a cover by Laurence Campbell, coloring by Eisner Award-winning colorist Dave Stewart and lettering by Clem Robins. Each of the 5 interconnected one-shots will feature a different artist; each comic will feature a cover by the extraordinary Laurence Campbell:

  • Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1957— Family Ties, featuring art by Laurence Campbell
  • Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1957— Forgotten Lives, featuring art by Stephen Green;
  • Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1957— Fearful Symmetry, featuring art by Alison Sampson
  • Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1957—Falling Sky, featuring art by Shawn Martinbrough
  • Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1957— From Below, featuring art by Mike Norton

Before they can track down an errant copy of Gustav Strobl’s Witchcraft and Demonology, Hellboy and B.P.R.D. agent Susan Xiang is sidetracked by a beset housewife’s pleas for help in Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1957— Family Ties. Unraveling the mystery of an unwanted house guest may lead the occult investigators right to where they wanted to be, but also right into demonic danger.

Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1957— Family Ties will be published by Dark Horse Comics on September 15, 2021, as a full-colored 32-page comic.

Dive Deeper Into B.’s Shocking History in BRZRKR #3

BOOM! Studios has revealed a first look at BRZRKR #3, the newest issue in the top-selling twelve-issue limited series by the iconic Keanu Reeves and New York Times bestselling co-writer Matt Kindt, acclaimed artist Ron Garney, colorist Bill Crabtree, and letterer Clem Robins, about an immortal being’s eternal struggle with the hidden truth behind his existence, available in comic book stores worldwide on June 16, 2021.

The shocking history of B. is revealed as Diana digs deeper into his memories. Meanwhile, the mysterious Caldwell makes his next move to take advantage of this information – and put his master plan into motion.

BRZRKR #3 features main cover art by superstar illustrator Rafael Grampá and variant covers by superstar artists Jeff Dekal, and Jenny Frison.

BRZRKR #3

Review: BRZRKR #2

BRZRK2 #2

BRZRKR has been an interesting series so far. While entertaining, the comic feels like a blatant pitch for a film (which is coming along with an animated series). While not a horrible thing, there’s a focus on big exciting sequences that will play well on screen but not as much in a static image. The first issue teased the concept of the story, playing out like an opening act full of action to suck you in. BRZRKR #2 dials things back a bit focusing on its main character B and giving us an origin story somewhat.

Now working for the US government, the immortal B is an ultimate warrior able to get into harm’s way, take damage, and eventually heal. The first issue hinted at it, but it’s BRZRKR #2 where we experience the profound sadness B has experienced in his life. With a story by Keanu Reeves and Matt Kindt, the second issue has B talking to a doctor recounting what he remembers of his life. He talks about his early years and what he was told about his birth. While specifics aren’t given, there are hints as to the character’s origin and where his immortality comes from.

What we learn about B is that he was a warrior from birth. There’s a “feral” nature about him. And, like any weapon, he needs to be focused and pointed in the right direction. Without that sort of guidance, he seems to fall deep into the death and destruction he’s fueled by. We also get a sense this isn’t the life he wants. There are some interesting phrases thrown out and discussions, but it’s clear B is tired of his very long life. There’s some sympathy conveyed and empathy for us to give towards the living weapon.

And it’s impressive in some ways. Ron Garney’s art delivers a symphony of destruction. Blood flies as people are eviscerated in battle in gruesome ways. With color by Bill Crabtree, there’s a splattering of red as B goes on a path of destruction multiple times in the issue. But, the art also delivers a sadness through it all. The visuals show us the weariness and tiredness of B as he recounts his story. The weight of his life is clear in his body language and facial expressions.

BRZKR #2 is an interesting issue. It dials back the violence and action delivering a focus on the origin of the main character. While it keeps up some action, the focus is more on the character than the visuals like the debut. What happens next will be intriguing as the series has shaken up expectations of what comes next.

Story: Keanu Reeves, Matt Kindt Art: Ron Garney
Color: Bill Crabtree Letterer: Clem Robins
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

BOOM! Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Review: Batman: The Detective #1

Batman: The Detective #1

Bat-computer, queue “Holliday Road” because it’s “Batman’s European Vacation”! Batman: The Detective #1 kicks off a European mystery for Batman as a Wayne Airlines jet goes down due to terrorist action. This gets Bruce, as Batman, out of the Batcave and across the ocean to figure who is behind the attack and why.

The story is a good one with a simple action and mystery to it that feels like a fun, self-contained story. With an opening that’s worthy of the big screen, writer Tom Taylor balances things well. There’s an emphasis on a Batman who has been beaten down. He’s older, and slower, than his opponents. But, he still has the skill the rely upon and defeat the enemy. It forces Taylor to dance between the detective aspect of the character and that of the skilled fighter. By, the issue’s end, Batman has figured out what stands out about the individuals on the downed plane but not why. And in-between figuring that out, there’s fantastic action serquences.

The art is by Andy Kubert with Brad Anderson on color and Clem Robins on lettering. The art has a bit of a retro-feel to it in a good way. The art and story together remind me a bit of the oversized Batman comics I read growing up where a story was wrapped up in two-issues. Kubert delivers a punch, literally. The action sequences are big and the fights sequences solid. Kubert and the team also capture a broken Batman. Bruce looks worn down and tired, Kubert captures this perfectly. You can see and “feel” the pain.

Batman: The Detective #1 is a fun start to a self-contained Batman story. It takes him to unfamiliar territory and seems to mix his different aspects well. It’s a nice break from the greater macro Batman story taking place currently in other series. There’s some that’s a bit classic about it, a comic you can just pick up and enjoy.

Story: Tom Taylor Art: Andy Kubert
Ink: Andy Kubert Color: Brad Anderson Letterer: Clem Robins
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.4 Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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