Tag Archives: Comics

Dark Horse Comics Announces Hellboy Day in March 2019

Next year, on Saturday March 23, 2019, Dark Horse Comics will celebrate the 25th anniversary of legendary comic book creator Mike Mignola’s most famous creation with Hellboy Day. In 1994, Dark Horse Comics published the debut issue of Hellboy: Seed of Destruction and introduced comic book readers to the Right Hand of Doom, the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense, and one of the most iconic comic book characters—and universes—of all time. For 2019’s Hellboy Day celebration, Dark Horse will publish a 25th anniversary, promotional edition of Hellboy: Seed of Destruction issue 1, featuring a new cover by Mignola and colorist Dave Stewart, which will be given away at participating comic book shops; and select stores across the country will host Hellboy Day events.

Dark Horse is inviting comic book retailers to celebrate this milestone anniversary for the world’s greatest paranormal investigator by holding store events and sales of Hellboy titles. In addition, Dark Horse will be creating a series of Hellboy Day promotional materials for retailers, including a Hellboy Tattoo Sheet, a Right Hand of Doom bookmark, a window cling, an open/close sign, and a new, folded version of the Hellboy double sided poster and Mignolaverse timeline that debuted at New York Comic Con. Retailers will have the chance to order promotional, giveaway materials and are invited to take advance of additional backlist sale pricing in order to hold celebrations at their stores. Qualifying retailers who take advantage of backlist sales promotion will be automatically entered to win special prizing packages from Dark Horse.

For nearly 25 years, Mignola and a host of celebrated writers and artists have chronicled the adventures of Hellboy facing his supposed destiny as Beast of the Apocalypse, and explored the mysterious backstories of B.P.R.D. agents including Professor Trevor Bruttenholm and Abe Sapien. Hellboy’s adventures have appeared in what are known as the Mignolaverse — the strange, shared universe of comic books and graphic novels, comprised of acclaimed titles including Hellboy & the B.P.R,D., Abe Sapien, B.P.R.D., Crimson Lotus, Frankenstein Underground, Lobster Johnson, The Visitor: How and Why He Stayed, and Witchfinder. Hellboy has appeared in graphic novels and comic books, prose novels and short story collections, two animated features, two live action films, toy lines and all manner of merchandise. Neil Marshall’s forthcoming Hellboy film starring David Harbour, Sasha Lane, Ian McShane, Penelope Mitchell, and Milla Jovovich will be released by Lionsgate on April 12, 2019.

Tom Clancy’s The Division: Extremis Malis from Dark Horse and Ubisoft this January

Dark Horse Comics and Ubisoft have revealed more information from their upcoming comic series—Tom Clancy’s The Division: Extremis Malis. Dark Horse and Ubisoft tapped writer Christofer Emgård, artist Fernando Baldó, colorist Michael Atiyeh to further explore the world of Tom Clancy’s The Division in Tom Clancy’s The Division: Extremis Malis. The gorgeous Tom Clancy’s The Division: Extremis Malis covers are by J.P. Leon. A must-have for fans of intrigue and tales of survival, this three-issue comic series is the perfect introduction to the post-pandemic world of Tom Clancy’s The Division 2, the sequel to Ubisoft’s record-breaking videogame Tom Clancy’s The Division.

Months after a bioweapon attack devastated New York City, the Division agents are the last hope of a United States struggling to hold itself together. During a mission gone horribly wrong, Division Agent Caleb Dunne’s partner is gruesomely killed and Dunne vows to track down the mysterious woman responsible. As he gathers clues to her whereabouts, he uncovers a grave threat to a nation already on the brink of total collapse.

The first issue of Tom Clancy’s The Division: Extremis Malis goes on sale January 9, 2019.

Underrated: Comics Not In Diamond’s Top 100 For September ’18

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: Comics not in Diamond’s top 100 sellers for September


This week we’re going to be looking at a list of comics that are all fantastic, but don’t get the attention that they deserve. Now I’m not even going to pretend to have a definitively exhaustive list of underrated comics here, because we’re hoping  that you decide to check at least one of these series out next time you’re looking for something new either online or at your LCS, and giving you a huge list to check out would be counter productive to that. Instead, you’ll find four to six comics that are worth your attention that failed to crack the top 100 in sales. The only hard stipulation for this week: not one of the comics made it into the top 100 for July’s comic sales, according to Comichron, which is why they’re Underrated.


 

 

Fence #10 (Boom! Studios)
September Sales Rank/Units Sold: 378/2,109 
Why You Should Read It:
I was drawn to this book initially because of the fencing, but have stayed because of the rich characterization, the compelling story that doesn’t have a real villain, and the inclusive themes that run throughout the book. That so few people are reading it is a real shame.

Beasts Of Burden: Wise Dogs and Elditch Men #2 (Dark Horse)
September Sales Rank/Units Sold: 257/5,373
Why You Should Read It:
An odd blend between the cutesy idea of talking animals and supernatural horror, Beasts of Burden is one of the best, and most consistently underrated comics around.

X-O  Manowar #19 (Valiant)
September Sales Rank/Units Sold: 210/8,257
Why You Should Read It:
A warrior lost as he comes to terms with the fact his world moved on, and a soldier looking to prove her worth. And a comic that explores the relationship between two allies as they confront a strange alien craft. A fantastic jumping on point fornew  readers

Burnouts #1 (Image)
September Sales Rank/Units Sold: 197/9,346
Why You Should Read It: 
The kind of comic you can turn your brain off with and just enjoy each and every page of this strung out comic where only those totally  inebriated can see the aliens invading our planet.

Ben Reilly: The Scarlet Spider #23 (Marvel)
September Sales Rank/Units Sold: 156/12,680
Why You Should Read It: 
I am an unabashed fan of the Scarlet Spider. Kaine, more than Ben Reilly, if we’re being honest. And because of the title I actually bypassed this book for some time untill I realized that Kaine seemed to fequently appear in the series, so being the fan I am I grabbed the first comic I saw in the series and was surprised to find that in this book Ben isn’t the good-two-shoes that I remembered him being. There’s an interesting dynamic between the two Parker clones as they both try to redeem themelves (one by killing the other after he saves a child).



Unless the comics industry ceases any and all publication look for a future installment of Underrated to cover more comics that aren’t cracking the top 100.

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Wednesdays 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 Wednesday.

Books of Magic #1 (Vertigo/DC Comics) – The latest entry into Vertigo’s new line of Sandman comics. We’ll always check out at least the first issue.

Dead Kings #1 (AfterShock Comics) – Steve Orlando and Matthew Dow Smith is described as True Grit set in the world of Final Fantasy. The creators alone have us sold. That description puts it over the top.

High Heaven #2 (AHOY Comics) – AHOY Comics is guaranteed entertainment and great value for your dollar. The first issue was twisted in all of the right ways and we want more.

Mars Attacks #1 (Dynamite Entertainment) – Ack. Ack. Ack. Ack. Ack.

Old Lady Harley #1 (DC Comics) – Lets see what DC can do with the concept…

Return of Wolverine #2 (Marvel) – The first issue left us with so many questions but we’re excited to find out more about how Wolverine actually returned.

Scarlet #3 (Jinxworld/DC Comics) – Brian Michael Bendis’ story about a revolutionary in America feels like it’s perfectly timed and needed in today’s world.

Spider-Geddon #2 (Marvel) – The first issue of this event was solid and based on how much fun it was we’re excited for this second issue.

Spider-Girls #1 (Marvel) – A Spider-Geddon tie-in, Mayday parker, Anya Corazon, and Annie May Parker team up and we’re totally in for the adventure.

Whispering Dark #1 (Dark Horse Comics) – A soldier’s helicopter is shot down and behind enemy lines she has to deal with a supernatural horror.

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 10/20

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.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews.


 

BM_Cv57_varJoe Hesh

Batman #57 (DC) So after last issue where we left off with Dick Grayson being horribly wounded. We just knew Batman was going to go on a tear here. He was for sure to be the Grim Knight and exact his revenge. With teeth clenched and fists bared, how are we treated to open this one? With a reading of a fairy tale. Now I get that Tom King goes for symbolism from time to time but this was just.. ugh. Instead of an epic showdown with Bruce avenging Dick we get a rushed fight in the snow with barely any dialogue. At least the pictures by Tony Daniel were very pretty. This is one of those frustrating issues where you know what a writer is capable of versus what they hand you. Just ugh. Score: 4 Recommendation: hard pass.

Ryan C

Batman #57 (DC)** – So, two issues of build-up leads to — a fistfight in the snow captioned entirely with sound effects. Tom King thinks he’s being clever by mixing in flashback sequences of a young Bruce Wayne and a young KGBeast being read the same fairy tale, but it’s seriously forced and obvious, as is Tony S, Daniels’ painfully generic super-hero art. Mark Buckingham and Andrew Peopy’s pages come off considerably better, but it’s not enough to save yet another lackluster issue. Overall: 3 Recommendation: Pass 

GideonFalls_07-1Cover #2 (DC/Jinxworld)** – I was pleasantly surprised by the first issue of this spy thriller, but the second sees Brian Michael Bendis reverting to form with droning, overly-expository dialogue, stilted speech patterns, and little to no plot advancement. David Mack’s art is still nice, but there’s not much for him to sink his teeth into when most of the story involves two people standing, sitting, or driving around talking. Yawn. Overall: 4 Recommendation: Pass

 Gideon Falls #7 (Image)** – The gradual improvement in this horror series continues, as Jeff Lemire cuts down on the dialogue, ups the atmospherics, and weaves his once-disparate plotlines into something very cohesive and, crucially, creepy. Andrea Sotrrentino’s unorthodox page layouts are now complementing the script nicely, and there is very much a “modern EC” feel to the proceedings at this point. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Black Hammer: Age Of Doom #6 (Dark Horse) **- An “alternate universe sidestep” focusing on just one of our central characters comes to vibrant life thanks to Jeff Lemire’s pacy scripting and guest artist Rich Tommaso’s incredibly striking, pitch-perfect artwork, so for those of you worried that this series was taking two issues “off” to tell something of a “stand-alone” story, rest easy — this is absolutely terrific stuff. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Joe Ryan

Justice League #10 (DC) – This Series moves at an epic scale with breakneck speed. It’s a big bombastic team Comic, so that should be expected. Snyder kicks off Drowned Earth with a solid issue with some fantastic art by Manapul. If you want to read a comic where the world and galaxy are ending every issue, and these heroes are saving it at the last JUSTL_Cv10_varsecond, then this is for you. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Justice League Dark #4 (DC) – Tynion on a team book of outcasts and unique and weird characters is a great marriage. Wonder Woman, their fearless leader has been compromised so to speak, and all of the Magic users are desperately trying to save everything. Gods, demons, chaos, and more make this mini event and comic a fun read. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Batman #57 (DC) – Like much of Tom King’s run on Batman, this issue has had some controversy. I do understand some of the backlash, but I also read this series very differently than Bat-Books of the past. To me this series is the perfect hero not beingperfect anymore. He’s been through a lot, and is cracking. Ever since the run started in Rebirth, we’ve seen countless examples of flaws, weaknesses, and cracks in the Dark Knight. I believe the events of Batman #50 have really broken him, and with what happened to Dick, it has put him over the edge. This may prove to end up not working in the long run, but for now, I am intrigued by where it is going. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy

Runaways #14 (Marvel) – This is one of my favorite Marvel books every month, and while this was a solid issue, I really missed Anka on art. The art wasn’t bad by Miyazawa, in fact it was good, but Anka and this book are a perfect pair for me. As for the story, it set up some big and interesting things for The Runaways and the returning Alex Wilder that should be huge going forward. Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Buy

Shean

Shuri #1 (Marvel)– In what plays out as a love letter to everyone’s favorite character from the movie, we get an immersion to her point of view. I went into the book looking at what the author did with the crossover story and felt some trepidation as the quality wasn’t consistent. I am glad to say she has proven me wrong as we get a female Tony Stark just way smarter, no bravado just pure genius. By issue’s end, we find a much more balanced leader than what has been portrayed as she is poised to take the mantle again as the whereabouts of her brother is unknown in what looks to be both a fun and engaging series. Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel Zombie #1 (Marvel)– I will keep this one sweet and short. This book has Echoes of Walking Dead/ Fido/ and Last Avengers, in what is an entertaining, melancholy and ultimately hopeful story. Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy

What If? Ghost Rider #1 (Marvel)– In a different origin story for the current Ghost Rider, he becomes his otherworldly self through a ritual. in this story, Robbie must manage a death metal band which seems normal by their standards.His whole perception of them changes when they performed this evil ritual including Robbie. By issue’s end, the band is killed, Robbie had become Ghost Rider and an evil being from. He’ll has arrived on earth. Overall: 9.8 Recommendation: 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 (**).

Underrated: Black Beetle: No Way Out

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week:  Black Beetle: No Way Out



black beetle no way outAnother week, and yet another case of “Alex bought something for Underrated without knowing anything about it beforehand.” This week we’re looking at the first volume of Francisco Francavilla‘s Black Beetle: No Way Outanother book that I found at a thrift store for an absolute bargain price. Actually, bargain is understating things. I paid $1 for this book (technically $1.25, but at but 4 get 1 free it works out to a dollar). Which is an absolute steal of a deal for a hardcover trade.

Black Beetle: No Way Out is published by  Dark Horse, written and drawn by Francavilla, and takes the form of a modern reinterpretation of the old pulp novels of the 30’s and 40’s, with all the semi futuristic-steampunk technology and sleek lines that includes.

This throwback feeling permeates the entire graphic novel, genuinely allowing it to read as a pulp novel from a bygone era – but one with the tonal sensitivities of today. It’s within this area that Francavilla tells the story of a vigilante who is equal parts the Shadow, the Spider and the Black Bat – and though comparisons to Batman will be made, the only similarity there is that Batman is more prevalent in the cultural awareness of our medium than the other three characters previously mentioned. I’m not saying the comparisons are unfair, but that the similarities are more in line with the characters Batman took inspiration from rather than Bruce Wayne himself.

The story, then, that is told within No Way Out is very reflective of those pulp novels, especially the original covers that are used as story breaks between the individual issues. Francavilla’s artistic approach is very evocative of the art styles of the time – simple colours, thick lines and a sense of foreboding. With Francavilla handling both the writing and the art duties in the book, we’re given a tour-de-force of a creative offering as he delivers an incredible experience.

And that, ultimately, is why I loved this book so much. It’s an incredibly fun pulp story, a classic hero romp with a hero who in’t shy about using his guns. Of course that does leave a little room for folks to be concerned about a lack of substance in the plot, but I think for the most part that is a concern that can be put aside by the artistic offering.

This is a book that’s absolutely worth a read.

Yes, I only paid $1 for it, and yes, I only bought it because it was in a thrit store, but I am so glad that I did. Black Beetle: No Way Out is easily the best thing I have read all week – including the four other books I picked up – and I am frankly astounded that I had never read this before. I’m equally as astounded that I’d never even heard of the book before.  Consequently, this is a book I don’t see getting the love it deserves – that’s why the book is Underrated.


Join us next week when we look at something else that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.

Black Hammer Gets a Director’s Cut

Since its debut in 2016, Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston’s Black Hammer has taken the world by storm with a loyal fanbase, several spin-offs, and an Eisner Award for Best New Series to its name!

Dark Horse is taking fans behind the panel with this deluxe director’s cut showcasing high res, uncleaned scans of Dean Ormston’s beautiful inked line art from the first issue of the award-winning Black Hammer series. The director’s cut also includes Todd Klein’s lettering, Jeff Lemire’s original script, and a high res scan of the original cover. A must for collectors and all Black Hammer fans!

Black Hammer: Director’s Cut goes on sale January 16, 2019. With 51 story pages, this special edition of Black Hammer #1 retails for only $4.99!

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 10/13

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.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews.


 

 

Shean

ss1ShatterStar #1 (Marvel)– In this debut issue, we find a semi retired android Assassin who is more than happy to be passing for another boring human. he just so happens to live in a building with heroes from alternate universes, which should be a setup for a sitcom. Instead, it turns tragic as another assassin takes out most of the building’s tenants with the exception of ShatterStar. By issue’s end, needless to say, our hero comes out of retirement for one last go at revenge.  Overall: 9.3 Recommendation: Buy

What If? Peter Parker Became The Punisher #1 ( Marvel)- In a rather dark story we get a Spider-Man who actually Kills. We find Peter Parker punishing criminals across New York as The Punisher while struggling to maintain a social life. He finds a city marred by the Green Goblin, which leads to Gwen Stacey getting kidnapped and Peter killing one last time. By book’s end, as in all good What If? Issues, we get both original characters crossing paths, one that will make the reader ask, the impossible questions. Overall: 9.7 Recommendation: Buy

Star Wars Solo Adaptation #1 ( Marvel)– I will keep this one sweet and short. This is mostly a serviceable adaptation, but not much for fans to get any new insight into the story. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Borrow

Ryan C

qa3.jpgThe Quantum Age #3 (Dark Horse)** – A fun, fast-paced issue from Jeff Lemire and Wilfredo Torres that propels the story forward with a fair amount of gusto, gives some great backstory to one of the main characters, and ends on a killer cliffhanger that will have fans of the so-called “Black Hammer Universe” on the edge of their seats waiting for the finale. Nice, crisp art from Torres that has a cool “retro-futurist” feel to it rounds out the package with a good degree of stylish flair. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Wildstorm: Michael Cray #12 (DC/Wildstorm)** – A suitably satisfying conclusion to this 12-parter wraps up the major plots and subplots while ending things on an ominous note that fundamentally changes our perception of the title character. Bryan Hill’s scripting is solid if unspectacular, while N. Steven Harris continues his welcome pattern of improving as an artist with each issue. Competent, but not mind-blowing or anything. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

House Of Whsipers #2 (DC/Vertigo)** – A pretty major step back from the excellent first issue of this series, as Nalo Hopkinson’s story more or less runs in place (the followers of our protagonist/voodoo goddess literally doing the exact same thing they did last time out and somehow hoping for different results) until it gets to its clumsily-executed and frankly less-than-exciting cliffhanger, while artist Dominike “Domo” Stanton turns in a rushed-looking job with none of the detail or rich atmospherics of the previous installment. Oh well. Overall: 4 Recommendation: Pass

Hey Kids! Comics! #3 (Image)** – Seemingly out of nowhere, Howard Chaykin is putting out his best comic in a decade or more, and it’s gaining steam as his disparate timelines begin to coalesce into a fairly straightforward plot that’s easy enough to follow. Strong characters, a take-no-prisoners approach to comics history, and typically strong Chaykin art and design work are coming together into something pretty damn special here. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: 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 (**).

Curt Pires and Antonio Fuso Get Wyrd at Dark Horse

There are some cases that are simply too weird for law enforcement to solve. Enter Pitor Wyrd, an un-aging, invincible detective with a penchant for the strange who steps in to assist…for a fee. Between a botched attempt at recreating a certain US supersolider, a monster roaming the countryside, and a trail of bodies, there is no case too big, too small, or too weird.

Writer Curt Pires oins forces with artist Antonio Fuso for Wyrd, a four-issue comics series that’s James Bond meets The X Files. The series is colored by Stefano Simeone and features variant covers by Jeff Lemire, Rafael Albuquerque, Gabriele Dell’Otto, and Danijel Zezelj.

Wyrd #1 (of four) goes on sale January 30, 2019.

Linda-058’s Solo Mission Begins in Halo: Lone Wolf

For the past five years Dark Horse Comics and 343 Industries have worked together to bring fans exciting and intriguing stories to expand the Halo universe. Now we’re ready to deploy a new mission starring Blue Team’s Spartan Linda-058 in pursuit of a rogue UNSC scientist!

Halo: Lone Wolf follows Spartan Linda-058 alone on a covert mission. Her skills in infiltration and marksmanship make her perfect for the high-stakes mission to end the threat posed by a wanted scientist on a distant planet. With only an ONI assigned AI at her side, Linda must fight through both the dregs of the Covenant and the hostility of a lost human settlement to stop the rogue scientist in his tracks.

The newest entry in the Halo comics franchise is written by Anne Toole with art by Kieran McKeown and JL Straw, colors by Dan Jackson, and covers by Christian Ward.

Halo: Lone Wolf #1 (of four) goes on sale January 2, 2019.

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