Mike Mignola

Swamp Thing Annual 5 (June 1989)

Neil Gaiman sure does think he’s an inventive writer. The third person narration of the annual’s feature is exceptionally annoying but damn if Gaiman doesn’t write good dialogue. He tries too hard to show he’s familiar with Swamp Thing characters and situations, but when he’s got Chester sitting down and talking, it works. And Gaiman’s […]

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Ka-Zar the Savage 28 (October 1983)

Mike Carlin takes over the writing reins and does a fine job. He handles Shanna’s personal crisis well, though he doesn’t stick with it as long as Jones would have. And Carlin’s Ka-Zar is a far more assured protagonist than Jones’s. It might help this issue’s Ka-Zar has been maturing the last twenty-seven issues. Another […]

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Dark Horse Presents 107 (March 1996)

I’ll start with the worst—Devil Chef. Pollock threatens a second installment. He can draw, this story shows, he just choses not to. It’s an unfunny strip with a lot of details and zero charm. On the other hand, Purcell and Mignola’s Rusty Razorciam is quite a bit of fun. Mignola’s not a good fit for […]

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Dark Horse Presents 100 2 (August 1995)

The opening Hellboy story has, just on the surface, one major problem. Hellboy wrote Abe a letter, the text of that letter is the story’s narration. Hellboy writes letters where he sounds like an expository narrator. How uninteresting. Then it turns out the story’s actually Hellboy’s secret origin (he’s the son of a demon and […]

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Dark Horse Presents 100 0 (July 1995)

This teaser for Dark Horse Presents 100 has some great stuff in it… but it also has some unbearably long entries. Chadwick’s Concrete—though it’s always fun to read Concrete assuming the worst about humanity—goes on forever and turns out to be a prologue. It’s a little lame, though Chadwick’s art is decent. LaBan’s Emo and […]

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Dark Horse Presents 91 (November 1994)

You know, Mignola doing a fight scene isn’t particular impressive. In fact, Hellboy had a fairly boring finish. Mignola tries to maintain the minimalist tone for the fight and so the fight is lame. There isn’t even any resolution to the story itself. It’s just Hellboy versus a big werewolf, who may or may not […]

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Dark Horse Presents 88 (August 1994)

Is this issue the first appearance of Hellboy? I think it might be my first full Hellboy (not B.P.R.D.) story. It’s good, but Mignola does something weird with the conclusion. He sets the whole thing up, then has Hellboy come in and reveal it all before the first installment’s done. Makes all the setup a […]

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B.P.R.D.: 1947 5 (November 2009)

Ok, so the whole thing was all about the Professor paying more attention to Hellboy? I mean, obviously, it can’t have been, what with little Hellboy only appearing in four of the five issues… oh, wait. The final issue features an utterly useless battle between a priest and the two vampires who messed up the […]

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B.P.R.D.: 1947 4 (October 2009)

It’s almost over. I’m going to make it! (I never thought I’d be making that comment about something Dysart wrote). This issue has less to recommend it than the previous one and it moves even faster. The pacing is accelerating. There’s even a lot of little Hellboy in this one and, while he’s cute and […]

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B.P.R.D.: 1947 3 (September 2009)

I wish I’d timed how long it took to read that issue. I’m sure I’d be disappointed. Here, at the end of issue three, I’m to where the first issue should have been ending. Now the actual story can kick off. Maybe. This issue kind of ends the story’s dramatic vehicle, so I guess maybe […]

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B.P.R.D.: 1947 2 (August 2009)

There’s no setting. It’s messing up the pacing. As much as I dislike comparing one thing to another for the purpose of a “review,” it’s pretty clear this series is breezing by because there’s no setting. It’s some guys in France. There’s nothing to the town–nothing about the French recovering from the war, for example; […]

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B.P.R.D.: 1947 1 (July 2009)

I don’t have an opinion yet. Of the story, I mean. The art is wonderful, obviously, it’s Bá and Moon. But the story… is a pickle. It’s not the Professor’s story, it’s the story of his agents, his agents who are very likely expendable. So we open this new story knowing the four men we […]

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B.P.R.D.: 1946 5 (May 2008)

Mignola, Dysart and Azaceta pull it off. They don’t exactly pull it off the way I expected (I’d forgotten the conclusion) but they still come through. Instead of doing something collected, they go all out with a Nazi space rocket and vampires fighting robot gorillas. Let’s not forget the cybernetic Nazi monkey, he was kind […]

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B.P.R.D.: 1946 4 (April 2008)

I’m going to have a hard time on this response. There are monster gorillas at the end. Monster, cybernetic, Nazi gorillas. It must have been murder waiting for the final issue. The thing I like most about this issue is when the soldier, the regular soldier, finally loses it on the Professor. He gets knocked […]

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B.P.R.D.: 1946 3 (March 2008)

And, after the glorious response to the previous issue, this one…. It’s a very confusing, all action issue. The writers now expect the reader to remember all the disposal army guys, but additionally some Russian ones too. There’s still a lot of content for Azaceta to make fit. But he has to sacrifice establishing panels, […]

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B.P.R.D.: 1946 2 (February 2008)

The cartography of this issue is simple. It opens in this secret Nazi asylum, then they go to a bar, then they go to a house, then they go back to the asylum. However, a whole lot happens at the bar, even though it’s all in conversation (the army guys come to respect the Professor), […]

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B.P.R.D.: 1946 1 (January 2008)

I’ve read this series before and mostly remember it (no, I don’t), but I’m shocked how little reaction there is from the Professor over his Russian counterpart, Varvara (who’s apparently a little girl). It’s a strange scene, the most striking before the last one and the last one is a lead-in to a cliffhanger. Seeing […]

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The Incredible Hulk 312 (October 1985)

What a goofy comic book. It’s the Hulk’s origin again (I’m not sure if it’s the first time the abusive father has been included but I imagine Mantlo came up with the idea of Thunderbolt Ross destroying Bruce’s childhood stuffed animal). It’s the origin with Bruce’s father abusing him and murdering his mother (this issue […]

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