Tag: Mike Mignola

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    Joe Golem is Back With More Pulpy, Supernatural Fun in Joe Golem The Outer Dark #1

    In 2012, Mike Mignola (Hellboy, Lobster Johnson, Baltimore) teamed with Christopher Golden (The Myth, The Boys Are Back in Town) to co-create and co-author the novel Joe Golem and The Drowning City. The tale takes place in an alternate timeline Manhattan, which is currently under thirty feet of water.

    Simon Church is a Victorian-era detective who is kept alive for more than a century via a complex combination of bio-mechanical magic, clockwork gears, spit, and shoelaces. His assistant, Joe Golem, has bizarre dreams that speak to him of a former life. He has visions of being mud and stone and hunting witches. Unfortunately, he can’t quite piece together his own origin.

    Four years after the release of the illustrated novel, Mignola and Guest revisited The Drowning City with a five part prequel comic book miniseries, The Rat Catcher and The Sunken Dead.

    Joe Golem The Outer Dark

    Mignola’s latest book The Outer Dark takes place two years after Rat Catcher. Three Germans on a water taxi attack passengers and police. One of the Germans, Bodo Wegener, escapes after killing two people with his bare hands while screaming in German about the otherworldly voices in his head. The local detectives usually end up on Mr. Church’s stoop when things get a little too weird, and this case is definitely “Simon Church weird.”

    Joe Golem — The Outer Dark Sports an All-Star Creative Team

    Patric Reynolds (Aliens: Fire and Stone, Hellboy and the BPRD: 1954) did the art for Rat Catcher and is also the artist for this new series. Reynolds brings an aesthetic to the project that looks like it’s straight from a pulp mystery novel. The Drowning City doesn’t exactly look like a place I’d want to raise children but I’d definitely want to explore it in daylight.

    Mignola and Golden give us a script that will appeal to fans of horror, pulp, noir, steampunk, monsters and magic. There is enough backstory that a new reader can easily pick up the series. However, if you haven’t already read The Rat Catcher and The Sunken Dead, I’d recommend picking up the hard copy. Readers of series like The Goon and The Damned will feel right at home with Joe Golem.

    Joe Golem: Occult Detective — The Outer Dark #1, Dark Horse Comics, May 31, 2017, Written by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden, Art by Patric Reynolds, Color by Dave Stewart, Cover by Dave Palumbo, $3.99

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    Crime, Action, Berzerk – This NCBD is intense!

    This week, like every week we’re talking a look a few releases from this week. Check out our other blog articles so see our thoughts on other books. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Action Comics #975
    By: Dan Jurgens, Doug Mahnke, Patrick Gleason

    Since Rebirth first launched, the mystery that captured my attention was Mr. Oz telling Superman “You and your family are not what you believe you are.” Adding on to that mystery was the sudden appearance of Clark Kent, Superman’s previous alter ego. For months, DC has promised that their Superman: Reborn event will start unraveling the mysteries surrounding the Man of Steel, and Action Comics #975 does just that.

    While Superman #18 was light in both action and plot, Action Comics #975 wastes no time blowing your mind. After many beautiful splash pages by Stephen Segovia, we learn that the identity of Clark Kent is actually [REDACTED]. I never saw this coming; however, thanks to the backup story written by Paul Dini, it makes perfect sense. In addition to having a huge repercussion on Superman’s life, the reveal promises to progress the overall plot of Rebirth in a significant way.

    If you’re keeping up with DC’s Rebirth event, this book is a must-read along with Superman #18. The reveal of Clark Kent’s identity is something that is going to have comic fans talking for years. If this is only the second issue of this event, I can’t wait to see where Superman: Reborn goes from here. [Josh P. at TFAW.com]


    All-New Wolverine #18
    By: Tom Taylor, Nik Virella, Michael Garland, Djibril Morissette-Phan, David Lopez

    Wow, what an end. Not to say that All-New Wolverine is over. That’s hardly the case. It’s the end of, well, you’ll have to read it to find out. All I can say is this was an exciting issue to read on March 8th!

    It’s been a fantastic ride following Laura Kinney on her way to becoming Wolverine. Tom Taylor has written a great storyline along with the fantastic art from Nik Virella and Michael Garland.

    If you haven’t been reading All-New Wolverine, you really should. This series gives us an amazing strong character with a complex and interesting background. It’s been a heck of a ride for her. I for one, will be staying on this roller coaster. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]


    Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1954 – Ghost Moon #1
    By: Mike Mignola, Chris Roberson, Brian Churilla, Dave Stewart, Mike Huddleston

    Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. 1954 sees Hellboy and company in unfamiliar territory: Hong Kong, China. In a brand new story from Mike Mignola and Chris Roberson, Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. are investigating a paranormal disturbance that takes them deep into the heart of Kowloon. While the story is exposition heavy in the first half, the action comes fast and frantic in the latter half of this comic. As Hellboy finds himself fighting against mythological Chinese creatures, the remainder of his team unearths a far greater threat.

    Handling the art duties is Brian Churilla, a newcomer to Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. comic. Churilla knocks it out of the park with some fantastic artwork on every page – the last page is especially stunning. Not only is this issue a must-own for Hellboy fans, but it’s also an excellent jumping on point for someone new to the franchise. Make sure to grab this one! [Josh P. at TFAW.com]

    Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys #1
    By: Anthony Del Col, Werther Dell’Edera, Fay Dalton

    I love pulp. No, not the stuff that’s in orange juice, well maybe that too. I mean pulp fiction. As a genre, it’s one of those things that you can get really right, or really cheesy. Both Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys separately are great resources for Pulpy goodness and Anthony Del Col delivered.

    It’s a simple setup. Cops think Joe and Frank Hardy killed their father. Nancy Drew, however, thinks differently. The three team up to prove it. It’s the twists and turns that keep this story going. If you loved movies like Chinatown or tv shows like Veronica Mars (also where is THAT comic?), or if you read the Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew novels as a kid this will be right up your ally. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]


    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below!

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    NCBD Gets Loose (Ends) With the Southern Bastards Team

    NCBD Jan 25th 2017

    It’s New Comic Book Day and we’re bringing you some great books from DC, Image, Marvel and Dark Horse! Remember these are just a few of the amazing books that came out This Week. Check out our other blog articles so see our thoughts on other books. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Loose Ends #1
    By: Jason Latour, Chris Brunner, Rico Renzi

    Similar to Jason Latour and Chris Brunner other series Southern Bastards, this southern based crime mini-series kicks off with intriguing characters. Although not out the gate the what’s going on, by then end of the issue it’s clear what’s happening. I enjoyed the pace of this issue. Set in a practically empty bar on a North Carolina night. Our cast is small, but you get this feeling that you’ve seen these people before and are watching it unfold.

    Only a 4 part series Jason writes in the back of the book that this story has taken him almost a decade to write. Chris Brunner shows us similar line work to Southern Bastards, but Rico Renzi’s colors pop out more in this series. As a lover of crime comics, I’m looking forward to seeing where this Southern Crime Romance goes. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]


    Batgirl #7
    By: Hope Larson, Chris Wildgoose, Mat Lopes

    Son of Penguin Part 1 finds Barbara returning to Burnside after her trip through Asia. What she finds though is that her in the wake of her starting up Gordon Clean Energy, the neighborhood has quickly gentrified. Rent has doubled, local shops have been pushed out, and the view of the homeless situation is potentially deadly. At the center of it all, the son of Penguin, Ethan Cobblepot…who’s kinda hot.

    Hope Larson captures the new tone of the Batgirl books perfectly. She makes it feel familiar but also shows she’s not afraid to take us somewhere new. Chris Wildgoose handles the pencils and inks, and his pacing and style mix perfectly with Larson’s. Together they create an intriguing story that is not only fun but makes good social commentary on a lot of modern issues. [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]


    Star Wars #27
    By: Jason Aaron, Salvador Larroca, Edgar Delgado, Stuart Immonen

    As teased in the previous issue, this issue is a story that Luke is reading from Obi-Wan’s journal, and not just that, but a story that Yoda told Obi-Wan that he’s now relaying. Yoda is responding to a distress call, only to discover a tribe of children with a very unique stone that is strong in the Force. Yoda, being the great Jedi teacher, is determined to help these kids solve the mystery of the mountain, and ultimately bring balance to the Force on the planet.

    Jason Aaron continues to weave a great Star Wars run. It’s clear that he not only wants to push the lore but also have fun with it at the same time. A strategy that has always been what makes Star Wars great. Salvador Larroca continues to show why he’s one of the consistently best and cleanest artists in the business, with visuals of Yoda that are so striking they almost feel like you’re watching a movie. [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]


    Hellboy comics at TFAW.com

    Hellboy Winter Special 2017
    By: Mike Mignola, Chris Roberson, Scott Allie, Paul Grist, Christopher Mitten, Sebastian Fiumara, Dave Stewart, Bill Crabtree

    Packed with 3 stores from 1891, 1961 and 1979. We see different adventures of the B.P.R.D.’s earliest cases. All in connection to winter. Our first tale “The Great Blizzard” shows us how Eddie and Jewell from Rise of the Black Flame acquired a bracelet that delivers a terrible blizzard when worn. In winter 1961, our heroes are shopping for the holidays and are interrupted by a crazed Santa. Then finally in 1979 Hellboy, Liz and Abe are searching for some missing children. Finding them proves they also found something else as well.

    Hellboy Winter Special 2017 is a good read for those who are avid Hellboy readers. I’m sure there are a ton of nods to other stories that I didn’t catch, but that’s the fun of reading these issues. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]


    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below!

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    The Long Claw of the Lobster

    Lobster Johnson was first introduced in Hellboy in 1999. He has been a cornerstone of writer’s Mike Mingola’s supernatural world ever since. The Lobster, wearing his signature jacket and goggled helmet, continues to strikes fear into the hearts of both the mundane and paranormal.

    In the standalone adventure Lobster Johnson: Garden of Bones, he stalks the streets of 30s era New York. The Lobster attempts to unravel the mystery surrounding a mob enforcer, And mobster Benny Jeunot may not be quite as dead as the authorities might wish.

    We find The Lobster in a graveyard accompanied by one of his trusted allies, Harry McTell. Harry informs the titular hero about the enforcer in question and how he most certainly can’t be a zombie. Despite Harry’s litany of reasons, The Lobster remains stoically certain about the paranormal goings on.

    An Imperfect Hero on a Mission

    Our hero sends Harry away to search the caretaker’s quarters. Then, The Lobster’s suspicions are given terrifying form. He is assaulted by an enormous attacker that bears a striking resemblance to the late Benny Jeunot. Thankfully, Harry returns in time with a double-barreled surprise for the apparent zombie.

    The duo follow the trail of their attacker and end up at table with three practitioners of a dark art called Fimbakonu. The result is a brutal struggle involving a pack of risen dead and Benny Jeunot. Harry’s quick thinking handily dispatches the revenants. That leaves three necromancers at the mercy of Lobster Johnson himself.

    Garden of Bones is an excellent entry into the Lobster Johnson saga, providing paranormal action layered with the crime-noir that befits the time period.


    Lobster Johnson: Garden of Bones, Dark Horse Comics, Release date January 11, 2017, Written by Mike Mignola and John Arcudi, Art by Stephen Green, Colors by Dave Stewart, Cover by Tonci Zonjic, $3.99

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    Buffy stabs her way into Season 11

    New Comic Book Day is here! Buffy the Vampire Slayer kick soff s highly anticipated new season. Along with the super fun adventures of Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, and Hellboy gets a new mission. Every week we review a select few NCBD books. Check out our other blog articles so see our thoughts on other books. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #13
    By: Brandon Montclare, Amy Reeder, Natacha Bustos, Tamra Bonvillain, Leonard Kirk

    She’s the smartest girl in the room…well, the world actually. Lunella Lafayette AKA Moon Girl is a nine-year-old prodigy who pals around with a bright red time-displaced Tyranosaurus Rex named Devil Dinosaur.

    Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #13 kicks off a new story arc “The Smartest There Is,” and serves as a great entry point for new readers. The thing I like most about this series is that it’s just plain fun. Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder are adept at writing for kids and adults, keeping the language easy, but expertly incorporating nods to Marvel’s history.

    This issue also has a fun dream (or is it a glimpse of the future?) sequence illustrated by Leonard Kirk. This sequence alone makes this issue worth the price of admission. I’m also a fan of the surprise character who pops up on the final couple pages of this issue…

    If you’re looking for a fun and colorful (literally, Tara Bonvillain’s colors are lovely) series to break up the standard capes and cowl books on your reading list, this Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur is highly recommended. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]


    Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 11 #1
    By: Christos Gage, Rebekah Isaacs, Dan Jackson, Steve Morris

    For those new to the series, yes, Buffy The Vampire Slayer has lived on in the form of a comic series for 3 seasons after it’s television ending. Now with Season 11 being the perfect jumping on point for new readers. After the end of their last crisis, Buffy, and vampire boyfriend Spike, are now supernatural crime consultants for the San Francisco police department.

    The bulk of the issue is reintroducing the reader to a lot of familiar faces. Giving exposition hinting at how that character has changed over the course of the last few seasons, making brand new readers to the comic series welcomed. Which is great, because before you know it, the action is turned up to…11 (get it?).

    Christos Gage has been working with these characters since Season 9 (originally on Angel & Faith before taking over the main book). He writes the cast with the same tone fans have come to rely on. Rebekah Isaacs, captures the characters likenesses perfectly. Making it feel like we’re once again seeing some old, familiar friends.

    If you’re a fan of Buffy, Joss Whedon, great female characters, or fun in general. Make sure you’re getting this first issue of another great adventure with the Scooby Gang. [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]


    Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1954 – The Unreasoning Beast #1
    By: Mike Mignola, Chris Roberson, Patric Reynolds, Dave Stewart, Mike Huddleston

    Since the end of Hellboy, it only makes sense to go backwards. It all started with Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1952. The first mission Hellboy ever went on. Continuing through the years with 1953 and 1954. This is the start of the second mission for 1954 (that we’re shown). Involving a haunted family by a firey monkey.

    Having not read a Hellboy since the end of Hellboy in Hell. After reading The Unreasoning Beast #1, I’m back in the fold. As this is Mike Mignola’s baby, I didn’t expect anything less than a stellar story. Especially with Chris Roberson co-writing. Artist Patrick Reynolds’ style is immediately recognizable and works so well within this world.

    Although the story ends with a happy ending. As much as it can when dealing with the supernatural. You get this eerie feeling we’re not done yet, and it has nothing to do with the fact that there is a second and third issue already solicited. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]


    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below!

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    Heroes From Another World

    In the canon of comic book characters there are classic heroes like Superman and Batman, but there are also some off-center heroes that are not exactly the typical tights-wearing dogooders.

    These characters not of this world and ones who have more in common with classic monsters than masked vigilantes. However, their outsider status frequently grants them the ability to comment on humanity differently than their more conventionally human counterparts.

    Let’s start with the tragedy of Dr. Alec Holland, or as he’s better known to readers–Swamp Thing. Holland is a brilliant biologist working on a top-secret bio-restorative formula in the swamps of Louisiana. When a bomb planted in his lab goes off, Holland is splashed with burning chemicals and he runs into the swamp. The muck of the swamp merges with the chemicals and turns Holland into the moss-covered hero he has been ever since.

    Man or Monster?

    swamp-thingOriginally created by comic book legends Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson, the original Swamp Thing stories deal in traditional monster tropes. We see Swamp Thing do battle with the mad scientist Arcane and his mutated UnMen, there are angry villagers, giant robots, and even a werewolf. Wein does manage to weave in a story about Holland trying to reclaim his humanity as an undercurrent in the fairly pulpy horror stories.

    Writer Alan Moore brought this undercurrent of humanity to the surface when he took over the book in 1984. Moore reconceived the character as a part monster that had been imbued with memories of Dr. Alec Holland. By inverting the story of a man made into a monster to monster made into a man, Moore created a metaphysical tale of character dichotomy. This change in creative direction brought a whole new audience to DC’s horror tale.

    Swamp Thing has changed creative hands a number of times in his four decades of history. The likes of Mark Millar, Brian K. Vaughn, Grant Morrison, and Scott Snyder have all added to his character development. With the ongoing struggle between man and monster and the trippy mythology gifted to him by Moore, Swamp Thing presents different creators with the chance to tell deeply human and emotional stories in the world of the macabre and the supernatural.

    Defining Deadman and Redemption

    deadmanSwamp Thing is not DC’s only undead superhero. Five years before Alec Holland fell into that swamp, readers were introduced to the aptly named Deadman. Created by Arnold Drake and Carmine Infantino, Deadman is the ghost of acrobat Boston Brand who was murdered during one of his acts. The Hindu god Rama Kushna gives Brand’s spirit the power to possess any living being. With this power and his new superhero identity as Deadman, he sets out to track down the man who killed him, a mysterious figure known only as “The Hook.”

    Much like Swamp Thing, it would be another comic book luminary not involved with the initial creation of the character who would come to define Deadman. Writer/Artist Neal Adams took over creative duties in the second issue and not only brought his legendary high detail art, but a new depth to Boston Brand’s story. In Swamp Thing, Alec Holland is an altruistic scientist trying to better humanity with his experiment. For all intents and purposes, Holland is a straight ahead good guy. Boston Brand on the other hand is not exactly a bad guy but he has cold streak of selfishness. He’s ruthlessly focused on keeping the circus business alive often at the expense of the feelings of his fellow performers.

    By creating a character that in life was not the greatest person, Deadman became a story of redemption. Brand was always seeking revenge on his killer, but he couldn’t resist using his newfound abilities to help people as well. This aspect of the character was made explicitly clear when he was rebooted for DC’s New 52. The creative team of Paul Jenkins and Bernard Chang added a new wrinkle to Deadman’s mythology. He must use his powers to help people in order to atone for his selfish life or be forced to spend eternity forever in limbo between life and death. The core of Deadman’s character becomes clear, this is a guy who has been given a second chance. The human urge to rectify one’s past behavior is a palpable and very emotional undercurrent to a story about a superhero who can possess people’s bodies.

    Hellboy Seeks Humanity

    Another otherworldly hero with a slightly different streak of humanity thahellboyn those mentioned before is Dark Horse’s Hellboy. The brainchild of writer/artist Mike Mignola, Hellboy is a half demon, half human who was born in hell. Unlike Swamp Thing or Deadman, Hellboy comes from another world and is brought into ours. As opposed to Alec Holland or Boston Brand trying to reclaim their humanity, Hellboy seeks a humanity that he was not born with. Hellboy though monstrous in appearance combats monsters and other supernatural evil for an organization called the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense (or BPRD).

    Hellboy presents a character that rebels against his supposed destiny. He was created by evil to enact evil. His right hand is meant to bring about the end of the world. Hellboy chooses to ignore his destiny and instead lives a blue-collar lifestyle of a cop or a plumber, albeit one who combats demons and monsters for a living.

    Almost everyone has at one point or another in their life wondered about their place in the world or grappled with other people’s intentions for them. Most people probably don’t have apocalyptic prophecies connected to them, but Hellboy is a comic book after all.

    Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. They also come in varying degrees of being alive. However, humanity is at the core of all these stories. Whether it’s the struggle to regain humanity or a quest to understand humanity, it becomes clear that being human is not related to physical features. In fact, the most physically monstrous can often have the most emotionally complex and human of stories.

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    Between the Occult and the Detective

    Between the Occult and the Detective

    There are two comic themes that when combined can make for enthralling reading — detectives/private eyes and magic. This coupling of sleuthing and the supernatural (including religion, the occult, sorcery and more) is pervasive in comics and the noir characteristics just heighten the thrills.

    hellblazerAnd no one fits that bill better than the Hellblazer himself, John Constantine. Created originally in Alan Moore’s Saga of the Swamp Thing in 1985, it wasn’t until 1988 when Hellblazer #1 hit the stands. Ever since, John has been working his magic in comics, on film in the Constantine movie, and in the short-lived and underrated Constantine television show. He’s  also part of pop culture in general (the Supernatural TV series borrows heavily from John Constantine for Castiel’s character).

    With 30-plus years of this character’s history, it can be daunting to know where to start. A good entry point is a graphic novel. Surprisingly, it’s not the  first volume — John Constantine, Hellblazer: Original Sins, but the fifth volume: Hellblazer: Dangerous Habits. Written by longtime Hellblazer writer Garth Ennis, this volume actually inspired parts of the 2005 Constantine movie.

    The story is pretty simple — John’s dying. All those cigarettes have caused an advanced terminal lung cancer. Knowing that his soul is damned and Hell is ready for him, John moves to cure his disease and save himself. What happens after he sets down this course is truly amazing.

    Another must read Hellblazer arc was created by celebrated crime novelist, Ian Rankin, for Vertigo’s crime imprint called Dark Entries in 2009. This was the first Original Graphic Novel (also called an OGN), meaning it was never released as single issues. The plot involves John trying to figure out why a house on a reality TV program is haunted. Of course, he can’t stop production, so he joins the series and starts to unravel the mystery.

    One of the big draws is the inclusion of religion within the series. It’s not just focused on Christianity. Voodoo magic is used regularly not only by Constantine, but his frenemy Papa Midnight. Although Catholicism is most prominent, the series never ignores the idea of other religions in the world.

    Look Overseas for Great Horror Comics

    Hellblazer isn’t the only series to blend magic and religion. Around the same time, Italian writer Tiziano Sclavi was introducing the world to Dylan Dog. A self-proclaimed Nightmare Investigator, Dylan, unlike John Constantine, was likeable. By 2011, Dylan Dog reached 300 issues, but only a handful made it to the United States.

    Dylan’s occult interactions mainly revolve around the classic monsters like vampires, werewolves, and zombies. Although, demons have crossed paths with him a few times.

    Many were first introduced to this character in the Dylan Dog Case Files from Dark Horse Comics. This graphic novel featured selected stories that were translated and released just prior to the Dylan Dog: Dead of Night film that starred Brandon Routh. The Dylan Dog Case Files is a great compilation of stories from the Italian series, but up until September 2016 it was the only source of Dylan Dog stories available in the U.S. Now, new stories are starting to come out from Epicenter Comics. Reportedly, there will also be reprints of past stories.

    How to Steal a Ghost

    ghostedAnother series that blends crime and the occult is Joshua Williamson’s Ghosted. Williamson is currently heading up The Flash series in DC’s Rebirth, and it’s been great.

    Ghosted, published by Image Comics, is further evidence that Williamson is the real deal. The series follows one of the world’s greatest thieves as he’s pulled into the world of the occult. He’s broken out of prison and offered the chance to steal something no one else has — a ghost.

    Think equal parts Ocean’s 11 and The Shining. Things are never as they seem, and our hero has to rely on more than his wits to get out of this situation. Pulling together a team of experts to help him steal this ghost, he assembles a psychic, an occult historian, a tech guy to record the ghost, and a skeptic. Overall, if you want to add a little heist into your horror, Ghosted is for you.

    Don’t Fear, The Slayer is Here

    buffyWho could really forget about the hit television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Buffy hunts vampires, but her adventures go WAY further than that including her best friend going into full-witch mode on her!

    Buffy the Vampire Slayer is Buffy Summers, the chosen one in a long line of young women destined to battle evil forces. She becomes “The Slayer” giving her increased physical strength, endurance, agility, accelerated healing, intuition, and a limited degree of clairvoyance. Buffy receives guidance from her Watcher, Giles, whose job is to train and assist the Slayers. Then it gets more complicated.

    But when the TV show ended, the fun didn’t. After the official comic book continuation of the series in Buffy Season 8, 9, and 10, we’re poised to jump into Buffy Season 11 in November 2016. Unencumbered by network television show budgets, this comic has gone to some great heights in recent years.

    The World’s Greatest Paranormal Investigator

    hellboyHellboy is one of the longest running, most widely celebrated horror series. With hundreds of issues and dozens of spinoffs, Mike Mignola has done something really amazing with this series by creating a new universe.

    Aside from DC and Marvel, there really aren’t a lot of big universes in comics, especially ones that walk that horror/mystery line so well. Hellboy or the “Mignola-verse” is a rich tapestry that features a variety of complex characters set a world that draws on centuries of folk-tales, yarns, and fables.

    Hellboy remains one of the few series that begs you to re-read the stories regularly. It’s great for curling up with during inclement weather or when you find yourself with an extended weekend.

    There are plenty of other occult and horror comics that split their genre with detective and noir storytelling. What are some of your favorites? Let us know below.

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    A Total Eclipse of New Comic Book Day

    NCBD reviews featuring Cyborg, Eclipse, Daredevil and Rise of the Black Flame

    New Comic Book Day Eclipse’s us with great books. From Cyborg, and his origins to Daredevil keeping the peace in Hell’s Kitchen. Remember these are just a few of this week’s new releases that stood out from the crowd. Check out our other blog articles to see our thoughts on other books. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Cyborg comics at TFAW.com

    Cyborg Rebirth #1
    By: John Semper Jr., Paul Pelletier, Will Conrad

    John Semper Jr., Paul Pelletier and Will Conrad’s Cyborg Rebirth #1 hits its mark as a fresh start for readers interested in the titular hero – before he hit’s the big screen in Justice League next summer.

    The first part of the comic gives a guided tour of Victor Stone’s life – leading up to becoming the cybernetic superhero – mixed with a present day brawl with an unknown robotic monstrosity. These battle scenes keep the energy going throughout the book and find time to mix in some fun superhero/villain banter: “I’ve never met data that wasn’t capable of being crunched.” Once the backstory segment is finished, Cyborg comes to a startling realization about his father and his own existence.

    We’re given new questions that’ll frame the next part of Cyborg’s journey. What kind of being is he? Is he a man with a few mechanical parts? Or is he a machine imitating a human? And what does our mysterious narrator want with him?


    Eclipse comics at TFAW.com

    Eclipse #1
    By: Zack Kaplan, Giovanni Timpano, Betsy Gonia,
    Chrois Northrop, Troy Peteri

    Science Fiction mixed with murder. Someone is out in the day, killing people and David Baxter will have to figure it out – before he becomes a victim.

    What if solar flares caused us to live underground, away from the sun. Could we survive? Eclipse from newcomers Zack Kaplan and Giovanni Timpano give us a glimpse into what the world would look like if that was the case.

    Kaplan does a good job setting up this world quickly, so we can get right into the main plot. On a routine daylight patrol, a body is found and it isn’t there by accident. Eclipse has promise to become a very entertaining and grim look at a post-apocalyptic world that we really haven’t seen before.


    Daredevil comics at TFAW.com

    Daredevil #11
    By: Charles Soule, Ron Garney, Matt Milla

    Dark Art continues as a piece of “art” has been found. Made with over 100 people’s blood, the person who found it wants to make money off of it – this is New York City after all. Our heroe’s everyday persona Matt Murdock as D.A. is asked to make sure that the show doesn’t go on.

    Before the “blood mural” can be shown a new piece is found–this time involving Inhumans. Luckily, Daredevil is en route to let this new assailant know how much he loves his work.

    Charles Soule continues to unravel this new world Matt Murdock has come back to after his move to San Fransico. Along with Artist Ron Garney, and colorist Matt Milla, this Hell’s Kitchen has gotten a lot darker. This story reminds me of the environment during Shadowland.


    Rise of the Black Flame comics at TFAW.com

    Rise of the Black Flame #1
    By: Mike Mignola, Chris Roberson, Christopher Mitten, Dave Stewart, Laurence Campbell

    Here’s the setup for Rise of the Black Flame: Young girls are disappearing from the British colonized cities of Burma. The trail will lead a group of international adventurers deep into the jungle, to an ancient evil power, wielded by the bloodthirsty Cult of the Black Flame…

    The story starts off with an abduction of a young “English-born” girl. Two local police officers, the seasoned Sergeant McAllister and a young man named Sandhu, have pledged to track down the abductors.

    Their investigation takes them from Rangoon to Bangkok where the two encounter monster hunter/ghost chaser Sarah Jewell and Marie Therese Lafleur. McAllister has encountered Jewell before, and believes they are in search of the same people, so the four band together to enter the jungle for the search for the Temple of the Black Flame.

    This is a really intriguing story that’s captured my attention in a big way. Fans of the B.P.R.D. will get the most enjoyment out of Rise of the Black Flame #1, but the issue also serves as a great entry point and will undoubtedly lead newcomers down a journey that will be only be sated by continuing down the rabbit hole that is the Mignolaverse.


    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below!

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    Review: Lobster Johnson: Metal Monsters of Midtown #3

    Review of Lobster Johnson - Metal Monsters of Midtown #3

    Lobster Johnson Metal Monsters of Midtown #3The latest Lobster Johnson adventure concludes with a bang — not to mention a few “KRASH”es, “KRANG”s and “BOOM”s — as our hero once again goes head-to-head with the eponymous automatons. This time, however, he’s found a way to level the playing field, having located the secret control station for the decommissioned member of the robotic trio. Now in the virtual driver’s seat of the titanium titan, the Lobster heads downtown, where he finds one of the others waiting for him. What follows is a showdown of colossal proportions, with the two behemoth bots slugging it out while the intrepid Cindy Tynan gives the play-by-play from her mobile radio station.

    As the Lobster works the robot’s controls, we see his sanity begin to slip. This was a peril he knew of beforehand, that of becoming addicted to the mania that overtook Emin Aliyev and the other robot jockeys. When he begins speaking in a long-dead demoniac language, it’s clear he’s become possessed by the ancient Hyperborean spirits that authored this nefarious machinery. Will Johnson be able to win the day without losing his soul? Or will he degenerate into a “fiend” as Emin and his cohorts did?

    In the end, thanks to the help of his capable crew and his own off-the-cuff resourcefulness, the Lobster is able to put the kibosh on the massive mechanical menace, ruling out any loose ends by finishing the job in characteristic fashion: blowing things to smithereens.

    Lobster Johnson: Metal Monsters of Midtown #3, Dark Horse Comics, released July 27, 2016, written by Mike Mignola and John Arcudi, art by Tonci Zonjic, colors by Dave Stewart, letters by Clem Robins, cover by Tonci Zonjic, $3.50.

    Review by James Florence.

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    Review: Lobster Johnson: Metal Monsters of Midtown #2

    Review of Lobster Johnson - Metal Monsters of Midtown #2

    Lobster Johnson Metal Monsters of Midtown #2In the second installment of Lobster Johnson: Metal Monsters of Midtown, the Lobster continues to dive – this time, literally – into the mystery behind the recent scourge of giant robot attacks on Manhattan. His search takes him underwater, off the city docks, where he discovers a freshly sunken automobile. What he finds therein further perplexes matters: an emaciated, bug-eyed corpse, clearly human, but with ghastly facial deformities.

    Following this discovery, we are reacquainted with Frieda Aliyev, the “ritzy dame” who is somehow connected to the earth-shaking events of late. Upon being identified by one of the Lobster’s crew, she attempts suicide, but is saved at the last second by Johnson. Back at her apartment, Frieda comes clean, revealing an intimate association with the corpse found earlier that evening. She recounts her husband Emin’s chance happening upon an ancient Hyperborean worksite while spelunking in China. B.P.R.D. fans will quickly notice the site’s resemblance to the one that, years later, spells disaster for Munich in The Warning story arc (in which the Lobster plays a spectral role). Emin’s encounter endows him with the genius — and mania — of those ancient engineers, inspiring him to construct the titanium terrors that are now wreaking havoc on the city.

    It turns out Emin was not working alone, rather, he brought in two partners to share in his maniacal enterprise. With one robot down and two to go, Frieda offers a suggestion of how the Lobster can defeat the remaining mechanical monstrosities. Moments later, their conversation is interrupted with a “KRASH!” that sets things up for the story’s concluding chapter.

    Lobster Johnson: Metal Monsters of Midtown #2, Dark Horse Comics, released June 29, 2016, written by Mike Mignola and John Arcudi, art by Tonci Zonjic, colors by Dave Stewart, letters by Clem Robins, cover by Tonci Zonjic, $3.50.

    Review by James Florence

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    Review: Lobster Johnson: Metal Monsters of Midtown #1

    Review of Lobster Johnson: Metal Monsters of Midtown #1

    Lobster Johnson: Metal Monsters of Midtown #1Mike Mignola and crew take us back to 1936 for another installment in the escapades of Lobster Johnson, the shadowy, hard-hitting vigilante spawned from the Hellboy Universe. This time, he must take on a trio of giant robots wreaking havoc on Manhattan — easier said than done, it turns out, as even his most high-powered artillery can’t phase the titanium titans. In lieu of using brute force (Lobster’s preferred method of dealing with baddies), he, along with his capable team, must take to the streets to unravel the mystery behind this mechanical menace.

    Returning artist Tonci Zonjic’s drawing style perfectly fits the period setting, imbuing the story with an authentic old-fashioned flair. In particular, I appreciated his versatile and liberal use of emphatic sound effects, with plenty of well-placed BLAM!’s and KRASH!’s. The giant robots are also really cool: big, clunky, steampunk-inspired beasts that look more like light fixtures with appendages than anthropomorphic automatons. Colorist Dave Stewart compliments the artwork with characteristically tasteful hues, resulting in a read that’s not only intriguing story-wise, but pleasing to the eye.

    Woven throughout the principle storyline is a side plot involving a well-to-do woman who seems excessively agitated as she listens to Cindy Tynan’s live reporting of the robot attack over the radio. Later, during the Lobster’s second encounter with the mammoth machines, we follow her from her upscale Manhattan apartment to a rundown part of town, where, wielding a revolver, she enters an unassuming shack. A moment later, a shot rings out; simultaneously, the robot that Lobster is straddling goes down cold. Clearly there’s a connection – but what could it possibly be?

    Lobster Johnson: Metal Monsters of Midtown #1, Dark Horse Comics, released May 25, 2016, written by Mike Mignola and John Arcudi, art by Tonci Zonjic, colors by Dave Stewart, letters by Clem Robins, cover by Tonci Zonjic, $3.50

    Review by James Florence

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    Review: Baltimore – The Curse Bells

    Review: Baltimore - The Curse Bells

    baltimore the curse bellsWorld War I has ended abruptly and everyone’s attention is now on the plague that’s devastated the world’s population. Worse, not only are some of the dead coming back to life, but vampires have shown up throughout Europe too, including the king of the vampires, Haigus. His nemesis is Lord Baltimore, a soldier who plods through the ravaged landscape, sworn to revenge Haigus killing his family and brutalizing his wife. The Baltimore series follows his adventures, and The Curse Bells offers some new characters and a dark twist to the tale.

    Baltimore has a new associate in this story arc, Boston Globe reporter Simon Hodge. Actually, he’s not part of the Globe any more: he started filing stories about the vampire problem and was promptly fired from the newspaper. He’s fearless, if a bit clueless, and travels with Baltimore as they encounter a cursed monastery where the nuns have been turned towards evil.

    Peeking in the window, they see an abomination poised to occur, a horrible scene led by someone we can only assume is a warlock. Who is he? What’s his story, and what the deuce is going on? There’s a witch called Blavatsky who’s central to the story (though she doesn’t show up until the latter half of the tale) and when the warlock requests a favor from her in return for him bringing her back to life, she agrees. And that favor ties into the carillon bells in the monastery, a favor so ghastly that it’ll be a great tragedy if they’re rung.

    Baltimore isn’t without other enemies, either, and readers of the series won’t be surprised when Inquisition judge André Duvic shows up to do God’s work and try to purge sinners of their evil in ways that are too graphic to even portray in the story. Baltimore’s quest is to find and kill Haigus. Duvic’s quest is to find and “cleanse” Baltimore. And the chase continues.

    baltimore the curse bells, detail

    Interestingly, Haigus is not actually in control of the monastery nor of the warlock, so when Baltimore encounters him, old hatred simmers while he tries to figure out the best way forward. Kill Haigus or stop the warlock and Blavatsky from completing their curse? There are no easy answers in the world of Lord Baltimore, but there is a great style that’s kept throughout the tale, including some remarkably chilling illustrations, and a powerful hero’s journey though a dark world that keeps the series moving forward, series after series.

    Baltimore: The Curse Bells, written by Mike Mignola, art by Christopher Golden, lettering by Ben Stenbeck. Published by Dark Horse Comics, published May 2012.

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