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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.

Queer gamers write a queer graphic novel about queer gamers: Renegade Rule

“One of the goals of Renegade Rule was to present a book and world that allows for queer joy” – Ben Kahn

“The closer it is to trope-y fan fiction the more I like it”  – Rachel Silverstein

Meet the writers of a new original graphic novel published by Dark Horse, Renegade Rule!

“The Manhattan Mist have beaten the odds to land themselves in the national championships for Renegade Rule, one of the hottest virtual reality games in existence. But they’re in for competition fiercer then they ever imagined, and one team member’s entire future could be at stake. Four queer female friends will have to play harder than ever against self-doubt, infighting, romantic distraction, and a slew of other world-class teams if they hope to become champions.

From Ignatz-nominated writer Ben Kahn, debut author Rachel Silverstein, and artist Sam Beck is a celebration of friendship, competition, queer identity, and the insane things we do for the things and people we love.”

Rachel Silverstein is a recent law school graduate. Renegade Rule is her first comic book publication. She also has a Master’s degree in elephant paleontology. https://twitter.com/flirtymango

Ben Kahn is an Ignatz Award-nominated comics writer. Their previous works include the comics series Heavenly Blues (Scout Comics) and Gryffen: Galaxy’s Most Wanted (SBI Press). They can usually be found shuttered away in their shoebox-sized New York apartment, afraid to leave the city. https://twitter.com/BenTheKahn

Check out Ben’s horror podcast: Progressively Horrified https://progressivelyhorrified.transistor.fm/

Hear Ben on my podcast to talk about their earlier comics writing: http://bit.ly/grifBee

On Doom Patrol S2 http://bit.ly/DoomPatrolgp

& Young Justice S3 http://bit.ly/YJoutsiders

Mini Reviews and Recommendations For The Week Ending 06/05/2021

Sometimes, the staff at Graphic Policy read more comics than we’re able to get reviewed. When that happens you’ll see a weekly feature compiling short reviews from the staff of the comics, or graphic novels, we just didn’t get a chance to write a full review for. Given the lack of new comics, expect this weekly update to begin featuring comics that we think you’ll enjoy while you can’t get anything new to read – only new to you.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews and Recommendations.


Hellions #12 (Marvel)– The Hellions crash the Hellfire Gala in an issue that is messiness at its finest. At first, it looks like only the “normal” members of the team plus Sinister are going to be in the Gala, but Zeb Wells and Stephen Segovia unleash the whole team on this celebration of Krakoa. Drawing couture isn’t Segovia’s strong suit, but he and Wells create some hilarious moments and give each member their moment in the sun from Wildchild trying to get back with ex Aurora to Nanny getting totally plastered, and of course, everyone wanting to kick Empath’s ass. Hellions #12 also isn’t all jokes as Zeb Wells continues to tug on the plot thread that is Havok wanting Madeline Pryor to be resurrected. This issue isn’t super *essential* to the whole “Hellfire Gala” plot line, but it’s nice to see the Hellions attempting to enjoy themselves for once plus Mr. Sinister interacting with various Avengers and Fantastic Four members is comedy gold. (There’s some veiled Dan Slott shade.) Overall: 8.0 Verdict: Buy

X-Force #20 (Marvel)– X-Force #20 has just the right blend of silly comedy and serious consequences. X-Force is working security for the Hellfire Gala, but instead of just giving Tony Stark psychic patdowns or stopping Deadpool from crashing the party, Beast is using the shindig to expand his network of plant-powered mind control that began with Terra Verde in a previous arc. Joshua Cassara is back on art for this issue, and his Beast is monstrous and matches the imperialist monologues that Benjamin Percy gives him. Cassara’s skill at body horror and group scenes comes in handy as he tops the previous Green Lagoon scene he drew and shows how unsettling telefloronic mind control is. Krakoa being a utopia, yet having a CIA in X-Force has been one of its contradictions from the get-go, and X-Force #20 does a wonderful job showing it go sideways as they don’t fit into Emma’s plans for the nation. Overall: 8.3 Verdict: Buy

Crush & Lobo #1 (DC)– Crush & Lobo #1 has stellar storytelling from artist Amancay Nahuelpan, a sassy running monologue from writer Mariko Tamaki, and colorist Tamra Bonvillain definitely sets up the contrast between Crush and girlfriend Katie in a clash of grime and pastels. This first issue has a real “whatever” vibe and doesn’t take itself too seriously while unpacking Crush’s issues with relationships and parental figures. Lobo is in the title, but isn’t in the comic as much. However, his absence is its own kind of character and shades Crush’s actions and attitudes throughout the issue. She’s a really entertaining lead character, and I’m interested to see her adventures with her famous father that will hopefully lead to more outrageous action sequences from Nahuelpan Overall: 8.4 Verdict: Buy

The Worst Dudes #1 (Dark Horse)– I’m not a big fan of police procedurals, but I can get behind ones that involve pink lion beast suspects, space madness drugs, comet bars, missing demi-gods. and, of course, copious and creative amounts of profanity. These are all things that show up in Aubrey Sitterson, Tony Gregori, and Lovern Kindzierski’s The Worst Dudes #1. Its plot is the equivalent of “lol, so random” and its color palette is a unicorn puking a rainbow, but it fits the tone of the story, which is basically gumshoe detective meets decadent, depraved space empire. Also, Gregori has real visual comedy chops, and I definitely went back to some of his panels to catch details I missed the first time. Overall: 7.9 Verdict: Buy

Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write. See you next week!

Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).

Review: The Worst Dudes #1

The Worst Dudes #1

There seems to be an increase in gonzo comics lately. These comics take situations and put them far over the top with characters fueled by drugs and alcohol and featuring an ever-increasing body count. The Worst Dudes #1 is an example of the trend with a detective story at its core.

The comic revolves around a dirty cop, a drugged-up back-up dancer, and an angsty adolescent god. All of them are tied together by a missing heiress. The result is a first issue that’s vulgar, rude, and really weird. It’s a bit like 90s Lobo but rated-R.

Written by Aubrey Sitterson the comic continues his gonzo over the top storytelling. Sitterson is settling into a style that takes a story we’ve seen before but ramps it up to 11. Nothing is normal here. Every character is a caricature in some way taking a personality aspect and dialing it up to obnoxious levels. The results are an over-the-top delivery where the insanity is part of the fun. There’s a lot one can be offended by but that’s also part of the charm of the comic in that it goes for the raunchy aspects. It mines so many 80s films in that way with making sure each situation is never normal.

Tony Gergori has the impressive task of delivering all of the detail and raunchy visuals. Joined by Lovern Kindzierski on color and Taylor Esposito on lettering, the comic’s visuals are over the top. Sitterson sets up the joke but it’s the art that often delivers the punchline. There’s so much in the small details, it’s crazy what’s packed in. The color pops from the page emphasizing the depravity and forcing you to look and soak in the adult nature of it all. And it delivers laughs. There’s such exaggeration at times it’s hard not to.

The Worst Dudes #1 is a throwback comic in some ways. It celebrates the crazy, over-the-top comics of the past. There’s an almost underground quality about it in the writing and art. There’s also sure to be something to offend a lot of people. It’s a sex, alcohol, and drug-fueled start and I’m sure there’s only worse to come.

Story: Aubrey Sitterson Art: Tony Gregori
Color: Lovern Kindzierski Letterer: Taylor Esposito
Story: 7.85 Art: 7.85 Overall: 7.85 Recommendation: Read

Dark Horse provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!


Wednesdays (and now Tuesdays) are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this week.

Basilisk #1 (BOOM! Studios) – A new horror series from Cullen Bunn, nuff said.

Batman: The Adventures Continue Season Two #1 (DC Comics) – The Court of Owls enters the Batman animated world. Yes, please!

By the Horns #2 (Scout Comics) – A revenge story about a woman going after the unicorns that killed her beloved. It’s over the top fantasy adventure and the first issue was so good.

Crush & Lobo #1 (DC Comics) – We want to see where this goes.

DC Horror Presents: The Conjuring: The Lover #1 (DC Comics) – DC gets back into the movie tie-in business and launches a new horror line at the same time!

Everfrost #1 (Black Mask Studios) – Van Louise wants to get off her world but her plans are troubled by a mounting war. We’re intrigued by this sci-fi series and excited to read the debut.

The Nice House on the Lake #1 (DC Comics/DC Black Label) – The first issue is good. It’s really good. A solid start to this series written by James Tynion IV.

Nocterra #4 (Image Comics) – The series has been a fascinating one as it plays with light and dark. The ride has been solid and we’re excited to see where it all goes considering how the last issue ended.

Out of Body #1 (AfterShock) – A man must figure out who tried to kill him. Problem is he’s in a coma.

Sam & His Talking Gun #3 (Scout Comics) – The title says it all really. The second issue shifted things and delivered an origin story and we want to see where the third takes us.

Serial #4 (Abstract Studio) – This horror series has been growing on us with each issue. We want to see where it all goes as we learn more about the murderer and the young girl tracking it down.

Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters #1 (Marvel) – The event features a lot of issues but we want to see what happened when Boba Fett attempted to deliver Han to Jabba.

Worst Dudes #1 (Dark Horse) – The series has been teased as over the top gonzo and we want to see if that’s true or not.

The World of ‘Black Hammer’ Gets a Little More Unbelievable

The world of the Eisner Award-winning Black Hammer series continues to expand with this meta team superhero saga taking place between two different worlds in The Unbelievable Unteens! Written by critically acclaimed author and Black Hammer co-creator Jeff Lemire and illustrated by returning Black Hammer artist, Tyler CrookThe Unbelievable Unteens spins a genre-bending origin story for a brand-new superhero team!     

After signing at a comic book convention, Unbelievable Unteens artist Jane Ito finds herself visited by one of the characters from her own creation—but was it her own creation? Were the Unteens an actual school of teenaged misfit superheroes who battled supervillains under the lead of the mysterious Dr. Miles Moniker? And if so, who wiped their memories and why?  As Jane’s world is turned upside down and she learns the true nature of her identity she discovers a sinister plot leading her to assemble a team she had suspected was purely fictional.

The Unbelievable Unteens #1 (of four) will hit comic shops on August 11, 2021. It is available for pre-order at your local comic shop.

It’s love, xenophobia, and the terror of fascist dictatorships in Killer Queens

Join rising star writer David M. Booher, artist Claudia Balboni, colorist Harry Saxon, and letterer Lucas Gattoni in the new Dark Horse mini-series Killer Queens, arriving August 2021. The all LGBTQ creative team tackles issues of love, xenophobia, and the terror of fascist dictatorships in the hilarious queer sci-fi epic!

Meet Max and Alex, two gay reformed intergalactic assassins-for-hire on the run. Their former boss—a fluffy monkey with a jetpack—is hot on their tail to take back his stolen ship. Even reformed assassins have to eat, so they take a mission from Alex’s old flame: your standard no-kill, casualty-free kidnapping recovery from a nearby moon. Only complication? Half the moon is ruled by a fascist dictator hostile to foreigners. They’re the Killer Queens, so what could possibly go wrong?

Killer Queens #1 (of 4) arrives August 18, 2021, with covers by Balboni and Saxon, Chris Ables, and Jen Bartel. It is available for pre-order now through your local comic shop.

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Red Room #1

Wednesdays (and now Tuesdays) are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this week.

Fantastic Four: Life Story #1 (Marvel) – A new take on the Fantastic Four looking at their lives in real time across the years.

Home #2 (Image Comics) – The series takes a hard look at immigration. The first issue delivered a finale that took the series in a fantastical direction and we’re intrigued as to where it goes from there.

Nottingham #3 (Mad Cave Studios) – A fresh take on the Robin Hood mythology.

Phantom on the Scan #2 (AfterShock) – The first issue had a solid X-Files vibe to it and we want to learn more about these characters, their powers, and why they’re dying.

Rangers of the Divide #1 (Dark Horse) – A new series following a Commander who stumbles upon a team of cadets after the nation’s peace keepers disappear.

Red Room #1 (Fantagraphics) – Ed Piskor’s new monthly comic series kicks off with a double-sized issue. Red Room is cyberpunk, outlaw, splatterpunk, entertainment.

Shang-Chi #1 (Marvel) – The previous miniseries was fantastic and we’re expecting no less when it comes to this new series.

Stray Dogs #4 (Image Comics) – We really don’t know if murders actually took place. But, we’re sucked into this series that’s kept us guessing what’s going on with every issue.

Way of X #2 (Marvel) – Nightcrawler explores the world of Krakoa and that includes the bad that lies underneath. The first issue was a solid exploration of the new world of the X-Men from a different perspective.

We Live Vol. 1 (AfterShock) – If you missed the individual issues, you have no excuse now. This is an emotional journey and one hell of a debut.

White Lily #3 (Red 5 Comics) – Based on real history, the story focuses on a Russian female fighter pilot during World War II, one of the best ever.

Wonder Girl #1 (DC Comics) – The new Wonder Girl starts off here! From what we know from Future State, this is going to be a major character in the DC Universe for years to come!

Review: Jenny Zero #1

Dave Dwonch and Brockton McKinne

Jenny Zero is the story of super-uber-bad-ass-Kaiji-killin’ Jenny Zero. She has a seriously shitty attitude and personality and drinks and drugs like most people breathe. She doesn’t want to live up to the legacy of a father who set her on this path. However, she’s got a job to do and a really weird gun for killing kaiju. As the city is attacked, she mistakes the situation for a killshot and makes it even worse, for her and those around her.

Jenny Zero certainly has a cool premise but the biggest detraction for me was the main character. I felt Jenny was pretty much unlikeable. Jenny just comes off a bit too angry for me. Writers Dave Dwonch and Brockton McKinney do a lot to set up Jennys’ world and some truly exceptional work in building up the supporting cast. The dialogue felt fresh and Jenny is certainly put through a lot in this first issue. Ultimately, there’s not much redeemable about Jenny in the first issue to help me see past her as something other than someone who is on a downward spiral of drugs and family issues.

I could go back and forth about the art by Magenta King. At times, I did feel it wasn’t consistent and then there are times I would look at a page and just love it. It happens. I do feel that Megan Huang’s color work over King’s pencils really took the art to a level that I did enjoy. There is certainly something appealing about Magenta’s style. And while it isn’t built on high detail, the panels are full of art. The dance club pages, I thought, really showed some good attention to background detail that didn’t take shortcuts.

I’m not big on Jenny Zero #1. I really wanted to like it because what’s not to like about some bad-ass gal and her bad-ass gun just gunning down big critters? Sadly, I think the first issue (possibly) doesn’t do the main character much justice and just traps her as another edgy loose cannon with a chip on her shoulder the size of the world. That said, there’s definitely a character secret that reveals itself at the end that’s got me interested in what’s to come.

Story: Dave Dwonch and Brockton McKinney Art: Magenta King
Color: Megan Huang Letterer: Dave Dwonch
Story: 5.0 Art: 6.0 Overall: 5.5

Dark Horse Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXology

Dark Horse Promotes Randy Lahrman to VP of Product Development and Sales and Welcomes Tim Wiesch as VP of Licensing

Dark Horse Comics has announced the promotion of Randy Lahrman to Vice President of Product Development and Sales and the return of former Dark Horse employee Tim Wiesch as its new Vice President of Licensing

With a Bachelor’s Degree in English and an MFA in Creative Writing from San Diego State University, and an MBA from Capella University, Randy Lahrman joined the Dark Horse team in June of 2019 as Sales Manager with over sixteen years of experience in the field. Since joining, Randy has been instrumental in establishing strong relationships with new and existing buyers and business partners. In addition, Randy has fostered excellent external relationships with vendors and key distributors. Randy is supported by his wonderful partner, Amy, his daughter Genesee, and their cat Brock-Lee Obama.

Hailing from a corn field outside of Chicago, Tim Wiesch is a licensing professional who has spent the past decade and a half negotiating deals in the entertainment space across a vast array of mediums and properties. Wiesch began his career at Dark Horse Comics in sales and international licensing before exploring other professional opportunities including licensing at Mondo and the Alamo Draft House Cinemas. In addition to the relationships he’s developed over the years, he’s also expanded his portfolio to include tabletop gaming development, comic book writing, as well as metalsmithing for the fun of it. He is incredibly excited to return to Dark Horse, bringing back what he’s learned as well as what he’s passionate about and incorporating the two into his new position.

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