Rasputin: The Voice Of The Dragon Written by Mike Mignola and Chris Roberson
Art by Christopher Mitten
Colors by Dave Stewart
Cover by Mike Huddleston Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: November 15, 2017
Cover Price: $3.99
Nothing brings to mind evil like the idea of Nazis. The righteous anger that flows at the mere mention of the name is true, especially in the world of Hellboy. But alongside that is another name that conjures up similar ire and fear: Rasputin. In Mike Mignola‘s Rasputin: The Voice Of The Dragon #1, we witness an allegiance form of the most diabolical sorts.
I’ve always felt that I could count on Dark Horse Comics to give me unparalleled supernatural stories. I mean, no matter what is going on, they always have some of the greatest (and darkest) writers around. Hell, Lovecraft would have read these comics! My one gripe, though, is that it’s sometimes difficult to jump into a series because of all the back story and history that goes into their long running books. Take this one, for instance: B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth, Volume 9: The Reign of the Black Flame doesn’t just have a lengthy title, it’s also got a metric ton of plot lines that have preceded this one. Which leads me to my problem…
It has been more than two decades since Mike Mignola‘s demon-spawned defender of humanity Hellboy first debuted in the pages of San Diego Comic-Con Comics #2. Since then the character has endured into countless comic book miniseries, specials, one-shots, spin-offs, direct-to-video animated features, and two big-budget Hollywood adventures that have only furthered enhanced and expanded Mignola’s rich, mysterious, and often terrifying mythology.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of one of their most beloved characters Dark Horse Comics has assembled Hellboy: The First 20 Years, a lavish hardcover volume (also available for Kindle) of original and vintage artwork chronicling Hellboy’s rise from his auspicious beginnings as a cult favorite horror comic hero to an icon of pop culture.
B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth, Vol. 6 Written by Mike Mignola & John Arcudi
Illustrated by Tyler Crook
Colored by Dave Stewart
Lettered by Clem Robins
Covers by Mike Mignola with Dave Stewart
Chapter break art by Ryan Sook Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: August 7, 2013
Cover Price: $19.99
Regardless of how well versed a comic book reader might be in the various comic book universes (DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, etc.), jumping into a new series can be a daunting challenge. Picking up an issue in the middle of a story arc can be just as challenging, if not outright frustrating. Mike Mignola, the creator of the Hellboy universe, has partially solved that problem by clearly demarcating the beginning, middle, and end of particular story arcs. It’s a major selling point Mignola and Dark Horse exploit smartly, but even then, the Hellboy universe can pose a significant challenge to hopeful new readers or casual readers. B.P.R.D. (Bureau of Paranormal Research and Development), Mignola’s long-running Hellboy spinoff unfortunately falls into this category.
Mignola first spun off the B.P.R.D. into a standalone series more than a decade ago. Short story arcs and self-contained miniseries were the norm at first, but they’ve grown increasingly more complex and, some might suggest convoluted, since then. The latest standalone story arc scripted by Mignola and John Arcudi, B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth, began with the New World miniseries three years ago and shows no signs of wrapping up anytime soon. The latest trade collection, The Return of the Master, is far from a jumping-on point for new or casual readers (they should begin at, well, the beginning and work their way up). As the title implies, The Return of the Master involves the return of a familiar B.P.R.D. and Hellboy villain, possibly Rasputin, but possibly another villain (or villains) altogether.
Fans of Hellboy, B.P.R.D. Secret Origins, and FUBAR should definitely straighten up and pay attention! The latest addition to the horror-and-mythology-meet-WW2 family – and arguably the most beautifully rendered of the lot – is Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem from Dark Horse Comics.
Set in Poland just before the German invasion, the story unfolds around a Jewish boy named Noah who watches all of the men in his village “” including his own father “” march off to join the Allied forces in an attempt to hold back the enemy. Noah stays behind with his grandparents and has only the regular radio broadcasts to keep him informed of the battles that are drawing closer every day to the peaceful countryside he calls home.
After the long wait for his father’s return to the village with no word of his condition, Noah and his grandfather brace themselves for news of his death. This moment of emotional bonding between the boy and the old man quickly takes a turn when an Allied fighter plane roars overhead and crashes just outside the boundaries of their village.