Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: The Return of Effie Kolb #1 (of 2)
I like “Hellboy” stories as much as the next person, but do you know what they usually aren’t? Scary. For whatever reason most comics pegged as horror don’t usually scare me. That includes the vast majority of “Hellboy” and Mignolaverse stories. The big exception to this is a three-part miniseries Mignola wrote for artist Richard Corben, “The Crooked Man.” This Appalchian-set story had Hellboy encountering the title character and featured visuals that really clawed their way into my nightmares as Corben really dialed up the creepiness in his art.
Now Mignola is back with a sequel to that story… without Corben. Joining the writer this time around is artist Zach Howard who has a long history on licensed IDW work such as “The Cape,” “Shaun of the Dead,” and “Spike.” I like what I see in the cover he did for this miniseries, though I’m not really expecting him to bring the creepiness like Corben did to the original. I’d sure like to be proven wrong, though.
Huh… this didn’t turn out to be much of a recommendation. Unless what I’m really trying to say is go and read “Hellboy: The Crooked Man” if you haven’t already.
Abraham Stone: Another part of the “Joe Kubert Library,” this collection has a man trying to make a fresh start in life after his family was murdered and he was left for dead by robber barons. This involves him infiltrating the criminal underworld, entering the movie business, and getting to know Pancho Villa. You know what’s missing from this description I’ve paraphrased from the solicitation text? The title character getting revenge for his family being murdered! You’d think that would be kind of a big deal for these stories, and it could very well be. It just seems weird not to play it up here.
Bang! #1 (of 5): Matt Kindt is at it again, this time snagging Wilfredo Torres to illustrate what will hopefully be a much more interesting story than his last one. He illustrated “Black Hammer: The Quantum Age” in case you’ve forgotten. “Bang!” is about a top-tier secret agent, a mystery writer in retirement who solves mysteries, a man on drugs trying to stay one step ahead of chaos, and a mysterious terrorist organization. What do they all have in common? I have no idea. But maybe the science-fiction writer with more information than he knows what to do with does. Yes, I know this sounds like a mess. The thing is Kindt is always a writer with a plan, so I’m sure this is all going to make sense at some point. Even if it may not turn out to be terrifically entertaining -- looking in your direction, “Dept. H.”
Everything vol. 1: A new store has opened up in Holland, Michigan, and the whole town has gone crazy for what it’s offering. Well, almost everyone as there are still a few people who haven’t been caught up in the mania the store has brought with it. This comes to us from writer Christophe Cantwell, co-creator of the TV series “Halt and Catch Fire” and writer of the two “She Could Fly” miniseries. The first volume of “She Could Fly” had its issues, but it was intriguing enough to make me want to check out his next creator-owned title. That it’s being illustrated by I.N.J. Culbard -- someone who knows a thing or two about paranoia as seen in his Lovecraft adaptations and his work on “The New Deadwardians” and “Wild’s End” with Dan Abnett -- is certainly a plus as well.
Fight Club 3 HC: So the second sequel to Chuck Pahlaniuk’s book, still being written by the author, is here. I still haven’t read the first sequel, so this is of no interest to me. It’s not that I don’t want to read the first sequel, but there’s only so much time in the world, you know…
Hidden Society #1 (of 4): New from a couple of Rafaels, co-writers Scavone and Albuquerque. The latter isn’t illustrating this, newcomer Marcelo Costa is. It’s about a wizard from the titular society who enlists the help of a blind girl and her demon, a young magic user, and a cursed bounty hunter to stop some warlocks from waking a primeval force that will scour Earth of all life. You know how it goes with these magical societies. I’m putting this on my radar because Scavone and Albuquerque did good work with their adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s “A Study in Emerald.” So I figured I should see what they’re capable of when they’re working from their own material as opposed to a story from one of the greatest writer’s around.
Strayed: Something, something, military-industrial complex, something, something, destroying alien worlds, something, something, astral-projecting cat… Wait, an astral-projecting cat? I’m in. Not so much for the astral-projecting part. I’m just a cat person.
Tomorrow #1 (of 5): It’s a Peter Milligan-written miniseries, everyone. That means it’s time to start placing your bets on whether or not it’ll be a work of quirky genius or just an ambitious mess. While I generally like Milligan’s works, my gut tells me that this miniseries is likely to fall into the latter category. That’s because it’s a story where an old writer writes about the “younger generation.” In this case, that generation is represented by musical prodigy Oscar Fuentes who finds himself at the mercy of the myriad gangs that have sprung up after a Russian computer virus jumped the species barrier and wiped out nearly all of the adults. That’s… certainly a premise. It’s outlandishness also means that Milligan will have to nail the worldbuilding and characterization here if he wants us to be able to take any of this seriously. Best of luck to artist Jesus Hervas as he tries to make sense of all this.