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Comic Review: Lobster Johnson: The Scent Of Lotus #1
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Mel16   |  
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Lobster Johnson: The Scent of Lotus #1Lobster Johnson: The Scent of Lotus #1
Written by Mike Mignola and John Arcudi
Illustrated by Sebastian Fiumara
Colored by Dave Stewart
Lettered by Clem Robins
Cover by Tonci Zonjic
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: July 24, 2013
Cover Price: $3.50

In 1993, Mike Mignola created Hellboy and later, the B.P.R.D. (Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense), but he didn’t stop there, expanding the Hellboy mythos and with it, the Hellboy universe through an ongoing monthly series for both Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. With Dark Horse Comics as the home for the Hellboy universe, secondary, supporting characters have received their own spin-off series, including, most recently, Lobster Johnson, a pulp adventure-era costumed vigilante. Johnson made his first appearance in 1999, but didn’t get his own series until 2007. Since then, he’s appeared in no less than five additional series or one-shots, including Lobster Johnson: The Scent of Lotus, the first issue of a two-parter.

The Scent of Lotus #1 opens with a familiar, if not entirely unwelcome, scene – the titular character, Lobster Johnson, racing across a rooftop in pursuit of his prey. While his associates on the ground keep him apprised of developments via radio receiver (it’s the 1930s, after all), Johnson suspends his pursuit when he comes across a murdered Chinese courier. While he listens in from his rooftop perch, a girl reporter, Cindy (and Johnson ally), quizzes a couple of detectives about the crime. We soon learn the courier worked for the Chinese mob (tongs), but that connection did little to prevent his death to his superiors’ as yet unknown competitors for the underworld dollar.

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Comic Review: The Strain, Vol. 2
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Maximus Prime   |  
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The Strain, Vol. 2The Strain, Vol. 2
Story by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan
Script by David Lapham
Illustrated by Mike Huddleston
Colored by Dan Jackson
Lettered by Clem Robins
Covers and Chapter Art by E. M. Gist
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: June 05, 2013
Cover Price: $19.99

Adapted from the novel by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan, volume two of the comic series The Strain has just been released by Dark Horse. Written by David Lapham, with art from Mike Huddleston and color by Dan Jackson, this action-packed thriller has really picked up the pace and shed some new light into the mystery of the vampire plague. Read on to find out my thoughts!

Dr. Ephraim Goodweather is on the run and wanted for murder. He and his partner Nora have teamed with the aging Jewish vampire hunter, Abraham Setrakian, to get the truth out about the vampire Sardu and human cohort Eldritch Palmer’s devious plans for world domination. Setrakian knows all about the vampire catastrophe hitting New York, as he has a long history with Sardu dating back to his time in a concentration camp; and for certain reasons, Setrakian feels it is his fault for ushering in the oncoming apocalypse. It’s a race against time as a disease is spreading through the five boroughs of New York City and other players are beginning to make themselves known, including other original vampires called The Ancients.

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Comic Review: Hellboy in Hell #1
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PS Hayes   |  @   |  
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Hellboy in Hell #1Hellboy in Hell #1
Story & Art by Mike Mignola
Colors by Dave Stewart
Letters by Clem Robins
Cover by Mike Mignola with Dave Stewart
Designers: Mike Mignola & Gary Grazzini
Assistant Editor: Daniel Chabon
Editor: Scott Allie
Publisher: Mike Richardson
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: December 5, 2012
Cover Price: $2.99

Hellboy in Hell #1 was the first Hellboy comic that I’ve ever read. Ever. I have nothing against the character, is just seemed that it was one of those books that never interested me. That being said, what I found when I read this comic surprised me.

Mike Mignola packs a LOT of humor in this story, and frankly, I really wasn’t expecting that. Again, I’m not familiar with the Hellboy character or universe, so I didn’t know what to expect, but it sure wasn’t this. As a character, Hellboy is very tongue in cheek and quite a wise-cracking badass. Unfortunately, I found the story a little hard to follow. This is obviously aimed at Hellboy fans, so I’m sure I missed a ton of “in jokes” and references to past stories, but that’s OK. It’s an entertaining read with a couple of really good, funny parts to the story.

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Comic Review: Dominique Laveau: Voodoo Child #1
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The Geeks of Doom   |  @   |  
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By Lucid Crash

 Dominique Laveau: Voodoo Child #1Dominique Laveau: Voodoo Child #1
Written by Selwyn Seyfu Hinds
Pencilled by Denys Cowan
Inked by John Floyd
Colored by Dave McCaig
Lettered by Clem Robins
Cover by Rafael Grampá
Cover Color by Dave Stewart
Vertigo Comics
Release date: March 21, 2012
Cover Price: $2.99

Marie Laveau and her immortal voodoo legacy are just as integral to the spirit of New Orleans as Mardi Gras or Jazz. Who better to invoke then to fight the demons of a city struggling to find itself, just months after the tragedies of Hurricane Katrina? Combining gritty social commentary with supernatural fables, with Dominique Laveau: Voodoo Child #1 writer Selwyn Seyfu Hinds introduces readers to a place where the werewolves, vampires, and voodoo courts may not be as frightening as the street thugs lurking around what seem to be every corner. Characterizations are a bit sparse, yet we know who the protagonist is and that she has fabulously weird supporting cast who leave us to wonder who the villain might be.

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Comic Review: Monstermen and Other Scary Stories
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Spartacus!   |  
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Monstermen and Other Scary StoriesMonstermen and Other Scary Stories
Written and Illustrated by Gary Gianni
Additional Stories by William Hope Hodgeson, Clark Ashton Smith, Robert E. Howard and Perceval Landon
Letters by Sean Konot, Todd Klein, and Clem Robins
Introduction by Michael Chabon
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: March 7, 2012
Cover Price: $24.99

At one point early on in Gary Gianni’s Monstermen and Other Scary Stories a main character gets a curse that leaves a disturbing mark on his head. It has to be seen to be fully understood because I can only describe it as a Stegosaurus Mohawk… and it’s maybe one of the single coolest things I’ve ever seen in a comic. A few pages later it’s gone, like a ghastly sight in a haunted house, never to be seen again.

Monstermen and Other Scary Stories was originally published as back ups in Hellboy beginning in the mid-90s, though Giannis’ work seems to be about as much Edward Gorey as Mike Mignola. Many avid comic book readers will be familiar with his work, which began first on Classics Illustrated adaptations, most famously on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. He then won an Eisner for Best Short Story for the Heroes contribution in Batman: Black and White before settling into his current gig doing Prince Valiant. Monstermen stands out in his body of work as being his most original and innovative title.

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Comic Review: Dark Horse Presents #8
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RoughJustice   |  
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Dark Horse Presents #8Dark Horse Presents #8
Stories by Mike Mignola and John Arcudi, Evan Dorkin, Tony Puryear, Neal Adams, Howard Chaykin, Alan Gordon, Brian Wood, Martin Conaghan, Rich Johnston, M. J. Butler

Art by Duncan Fegredo, Jill Thompson, Tony Puryear, Neal Adams, Howard Chaykin, Thomas Yeates, Kristian Donaldson, Jimmy Broxton, Simon Rohrmüller, Mark Wheatley

Colors by Dave Stewart, Moose, Jesus Aburto, Thomas Yeates, Lori Almeida

Letters by Clem Robins, Jason Arthur, Ken Bruzenak, John Workman, Jared K. Fletcher, Jim Reddington

Creative Concepts by Tony Puryear, Erika Alexander, Robert Alexander, Thomas Yeates

Covers by Duncan Fegredo with Dave Stewart, Kristian Donaldson with Brian Wood

Back Cover and Spot Illustrations by Geof Darrow
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: February 1, 2012
Cover Price: $7.99

Dark Horse brings out their best and brightest talent for the 8th installment of their legendary anthology Dark Horse Presents. For anyone new to Dark Horse’s line of titles this anthology is a perfect jumping-on point. Dark Horse Presents #8 collects both new and old titles that accurately showcase the publisher’s diverse line of comics. Not every comic featured in the anthology is a hit, though. However, with stories from Mike Mignola and Brain Wood, Dark Horse Presents #8 is a collection worth picking up.

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Comic Review: The Strain #2
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Waerloga69   |  @   |  
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The Strain #2The Strain #2
Story by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan
Script by David Lapham
Art by Mike Huddleston
Colors by Dan Jackson
Letters by Clem Robins
Cover by Mike Huddleston
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: January 11, 2012
Cover Price: $3.50

“They have always been here. Vampires. In secret and in darkness. Waiting.”

The Strain #2 keeps the story rolling and manages to hold your attention for the duration of the read. While it does seem to drop a lot of the depth the book had, it doesn’t sacrifice any of the major parts.

The story picks up right after the last issue with the three survivors in the hospital receiving treatment while the authorities are baffled by the seemingly unknown cause of death of the rest of the flight.

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Comic Review: Baltimore: The Curse Bells #5
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wgillis   |  
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Baltimore 5 coverBaltimore: The Curse Bells #5
Written by Christopher Golden and Mike Mignola
Art by Ben Stenbeck
Colors by Dave Stewart
Letters by Clem Robins
Cover by Mike Mignola with Dave Stewart
Dark Horse Comics
Release date: December 14, 2011
Cover Price: $3.50

The adventure of Lord Henry Baltimore and the cursed bells concludes.

In Baltimore: The Curse Bells #5, Lord Henry Baltimore fights the evil priest that now has taken control of the villagers in the nearby town by cursing the bells of an old church. The cursed bells grant the priest ultimate control over anyone who can hear the bells ring. Everyone is under the priest’s control except for Lord Henry Baltimore. Baltimore takes on the evil priest’s army while Baltimore ultimate enemy, Haigus, has other plans. Will Baltimore defeat the evil priest? Will Baltimore get his revenge on the one-eyed vampire Haigus?

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Comic Review: B.P.R.D.: Being Human TPB
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RoughJustice   |  
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B.P.R.D. Being Human TPBB.P.R.D.: Being Human TPB
Written by Mike Mignola, Scott Allie, John Arcudi
Art by Karl Moline, Richard Corben, Ben Stenbeck, Guy Davis, Andy Owens, Jo Chen
Colors by Dave Stewart
Letters by Clem Robins
Cover by Mike Mignola
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: November 30, 2011
Cover Price: $17.99

Mike Mignola and John Arcudi have crafted the Hellboy and B.P.R.D. universe in a way that is continually referencing the past. In a world in which the dead rarely stay dead and old enemies rise to cause havoc again, it is important to know the history of most B.P.R.D. books. In B.P.R.D.: Being Human Mignola and Arcudi tackle the often brought up but seldom detailed pasts of B.P.R.D. agents Abe Sapien, Roger, Liz, and Johann. In this collection of backstories we are introduced to the dark and often devastating pasts of each character as they go on their first field mission or struggle with life as a B.P.R.D. field agent. Some stories are stronger then others in this trade paperback, but the introduction of each character’s past is all wonderfully developed and a must-read for any B.P.R.D. fan.

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Comic Review: The Strain #1
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Waerloga69   |  @   |  
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The Strain #1The Strain #1
Story by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan
Script by David Lapham
Art by Mike Huddleston
Colors by Dan Jackson
Letters by Clem Robins
Covers by Mike Huddleston, Steve Morris
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: December 14, 2011
Cover Price: $1.00

Amazing story, wicked plot, gorgeous art. There, that is my review of The Strain #1… no, seriously. It is that good. Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan wrote an excellent book and David Lapham did a very worthy adaptation for comic form. Add to that mix some great art from Mike Huddleston and you have the making of a stellar comic. No matter what your bag, this has something for you. This is a vampire tale that defies what you may have read in other comics or books. This takes a very modern view of the supernatural.

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