Review: Sledgehammer 44 #1

Sledgehammer 44 #1

Story by Mike Mignola and John Arcudi
Art by Jason Latour
Colors by Dave Stewart
Lettered by Clem Robins
Edited by Scott Allie

Review by Rob “Rob Base” Greenwood


Mike Mignola’s newest book entitled Sledgehammer 44 is something that can only be spoke about in high praise. He has without even trying created another Iconic hero in the simplest of ways.

The secret formula for this is, take one part WW2 mix in Concrete (Dark Horse) and the ever loving Blue Eye Thing (Marvel) and sprinkle a little bit of Steam Punk and you have the makings of a fun and awesome adventure.

The story is set in 1944, a patrol of American soldiers are waiting to attack some Nazi stronghold. They have no idea who or what they are waiting for, but all they are told to do is provide back up.

A moment in time can become endless in war but shortly after seemingly out of nowhere, crashing in like a Sherman tank in true heroic style is Sledgehammer 44.

Is he Human or Machine? Or maybe a powder keg of both! No one really knows but one thing that is completely clear is this book needs to be in your collection ASAP.

We are supposed to give ratings but 5/5 is meaningless with this miniseries.  It is in a league of its own and should be a fast and fun ride. With this first issue alone I was instantly reminded why we love and collect Comic books.

Mike can truly do no wrong and you can see his love in this title. I will say that the art is a little bit different. The soldiers are drawn a bit like Doonesbury by Garry Trudeau.  Yet the story is a classic American right hook to the jaw.



January 23, MILWAUKIE, OR—Do you or someone you know have a penchant for the supernatural? Do you like spending time in the great outdoors? Are you between the ages of 9 and 17? Will you be in Portland, Oregon, from July 16 to July 20? If so, Trackers Earth has the ultimate summer-camp experience for you!
Dark Horse Comics is proud to announce a partnership with Trackers Earth offering officially licensed B.P.R.D. and Hellboy camps, made possible through the generous permission of Mike Mignola, creator of B.P.R.D. and Hellboy.
“Trackers Earth is part of what makes Portland such an interesting place to live, and the most fun place in the country to raise a kid. This year my 6-year-old did Trackers camps focusing on forest ninja skills and stealth archery, and attended a school of magic. I wish he were old enough for B.P.R.D. camp, and I can’t wait to participate myself,” said B.P.R.D. editor Scott Allie. 
Trackers Earth is looking for a few good recruits that have got what it takes to join an elite team of paranormal investigators combating the forces of darkness from all across the globe. They immerse you in tactical training of all forms, including survival skills in any environment (both earthly and non), martial arts and self-defense specific to preternatural entities, hand-to-hand weaponry (foam swords, bows, and more) and forensic investigation. All these are key skills that every agent must have; plus, you will be steeped in the history of the Bureau and the legacy of paranormal research.

Call to Action

Recruits get actual field time during the entire camp. Learning is hands-on, with essential survival skills such as shelter building, stealth, and tactical and martial-arts training.

Younger Recruits

Ages 9–10: Younger recruits train in survival and field skills in local green spaces. They also spend their day investigating the haunted history of our city, piecing together the larger mystery revolving around the legend of Adolph Aschoff.

Older Recruits

Ages 11–13 and 14–17: Older recruits also investigate nearby “haunts,” then finally travel to Camp Trackers near Sandy, Oregon, to investigate reports of dark figures and strange happenings at the remnants of the old, defunct town of Marmot. Here they search for a legendary and lost pioneer cemetery (true story) to ask local specters and spirits about the town’s history and the legend of Adolph Aschoff, the man who is said to have sealed away an ancient evil upon the founding of the town.
Wednesday–Friday Overnight: Older recruits culminate their week with a two-night stay at Camp Trackers’ outdoor wilderness site in Sandy, Oregon. This is the perfect opportunity to focus on many of the skills taught at the camp.

The B.P.R.D. Training Camp includes:

• Tactical training
• Survival in any environment
• Martial arts and self-defense specific to preternatural entities
• Hand-to-hand weaponry (foam swords, bows, and more)
• Investigation and forensics
• Folklore and mythology
• Potions and charms 101
• Telepathy training
• Gadgets of the occult: EMF detectors, polarized lenses, and other paranormal investigative gear
• Comparative analogy and physiology of monsters
• Construction of your own quality foam swords and training weapons
• Meeting with the artists of the comic book that documents the adventures of the B.P.R.D.
• Bureau history and paranormal research

“It’s good to be a kid in Portland. Which other camp teaches you not only survival skills but also telepathy.”—Bleeding Cool

To find out more about B.P.R.D. Camp (AKA Hellboy Camp), head over to the official website:


Review Lobster Johnson: The Burning Hand #

By Chuck Suffel


Writer: Mike Mignola, John Arcudi (@artofmmignola) Artist: Tonci Zonjic (@tozozozo) Colorist: Dave Stewart (@Dragonmnky) Cover Artist: Dave Johnson (@Devilpig666)

From the Dark Horse site:
“When a tribe of phantom Indians start scalping policemen, Hellboy‘s crime-fighting hero Lobster Johnson and his allies arrive to take on these foes and their gangster cronies!”


You heard it right comic book fans, Lobster Johnson is back! For the uninitiated Lobster Johnson is a vigilante crime fighter who operated in New York in the 1930’s. He fought both criminal and paranormal threats with a small band of allies from his secret base in the city’s sewers. We first meet him in the pages of Hellboy years after his death when he appears as a ghost (spirit?) to come to the aid of Hellboy and Roger.

Now granted it’s only a five issue mini but when it comes to “The Lobster” I’ll take what I can get. And what we get is pretty great, taking place in February of 1932 this prohibition/depression era book hits all the right notes. Tonic Zonjic’s art is dead on, the clothes, cars and buildings look great. There’s at least one classic movie actor cameo (which I can’t believe was unintentional). Dave Stewart’s colors show the muted, drab qualities of the depression with out being depressing (couldn’t help it, sorry) while still having life and moments of true beauty. I truly hope Mike Mignola and John Arcudi had as much fun writing the dialogue as I had reading it, they use some of the lingo of the day without getting bogged down by it.

Speaking of the writing, I’d like to talk a bit about the story but it’s really difficult with out getting all spoilery. As I said it’s 1932, the city is New York City and something just ain’t right. Indian ghosts running the streets? Scalping police officers? Be prepared for; ghosts, mobsters, hitmen, reporters, thugs, oh and a great cliffhanger ending that had me trying to turn to a next page that wasn’t there! I call this story an Occult Hard-Boiled Horror Mystery Thriller. In other words another great offering from Mignola and the Hellboy crew!


Follow Chuck on Twitter @Chuck_Suffel



Following up on an announcement made at this year’s New York Comic Con, Dark Horse unveils the schedule for Mike Mignola’s 2012 Year of Monsters program.

The program kicks off in January with a highly anticipated Lobster Johnson miniseries, The Burning Hand. Following up on the critically acclaimed 2007 series The Iron Prometheus, this new story pits the 1930s vigilante against one of the more terrible villains of the twentiethcentury.

These special variant covers will be available to any retailer who orders five or more copies of the standard cover. These are sure to be sought-after items with a broad appeal to fans of Mike Mignola’s work, as well as monster fetishists of all types!

“Mike Mignola got into the comics business with the simple goal of drawing monsters for a living,” said Dark Horse managing editor Scott Allie. “Mike celebrates 2012 by pitting his greatest characters against his favorite monsters on these special covers, unrelated to the stories inside.”

The schedule for the first half of the year can be found below. Lobster Johnson: The Burning Hand #1 arrives in stores on January 11, 2012.

Dark Horse Announces 5 New BPRD Titles!


The epic story line that began back in 2010 with B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: New World is coming to a head in 2012. Dark Horse announces the most ambitious B.P.R.D. publishing schedule yet, with five new titles and some of the most earth-shattering events in the history of the series! First up, in February comes B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Long Death, written by Mike Mignola and John Arcudi, with art by James Harren (Abe Sapien: The Devil Does Not Jest, Heralds). A team is sent to the deadly woods from New World to investigate a new series of disappearances, but they discover more than just the monster responsible, as loyalties are questioned and tensions mount! March will see the release of B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Pickens County Horror, written by Mike Mignola and Scott Allie, with art by Jason Latour (Wolverine, Scalped) and an all-new cover by Becky Cloonan! This chilling two-issue series brings a B.P.R.D. crew into the grips of a backwoods vampire clan hiding out in a Gothic southern home. Next, in May comes B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth­: The Transformation of J. H. O’Donnell, pairing Mike Mignola with Scott Allie again for the discovery of what drove the Bureau’s expert on ancient foes to near madness after a mission with Hellboy twenty-four years earlier. This supernatural thrill ride features art by B.P.R.D. newcomer Max Fiumara (Amazing Spider-Man) and a cover by Becky Cloonan. That same month features the return of the regular B.P.R.D. team of Mike Mignola, John Arcudi, and Tyler Crook, with B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Devil’s Engine. The Zinco Corporation again rears its ugly head after a devastating earthquake, pitting Devon and Fenix in an uneasy alliance against bat-faced monsters and the evil empire’s other mad-science experiments! Additionally, this new series will feature covers by former Hellboy artist Duncan Fegredo! Finally, Cameron Stewart returns to the B.P.R.D. universe in June with B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth­: Exorcism! In this story we learn more about Ashley Strode’s evolution as an agent after she meets up with a familiar face for a series of exorcisms in a rural Indiana town. Mike Mignola and Cameron Stewart team up to share writing duties, with pencils by Cameron and covers by Viktor Kalvachev! “Let’s break some stuff that can’t be fixed. Let’s turn some corners where there’s no going back” said Mike Mignola. “In both Hellboy and B.P.R.D., we’re saying, “Well, once we do this—once we round this corner—that’s it!” It’s not like, “Oh, Batman, different costume.” We’re doing stuff where there’s no way to fix it. That is the new reality in our world. You’re REALLY going to see that in 2012.” B.P.R.D. is sure to be the most-talked-about series of the coming year, as the team stands at the brink of the end of the organization and the world itself! It’s all going to hell in 2012!

Hellboy : House of the living dead review

By Chuck Suffel

Writer & Cover Artist: Mike Mignola

Artist: Richard Corben

Colorist:Dave Stewart

This book is a real treat for Hellboy fans, coming right on the heels of Halloween we’ve got a classic monster story! Mr. Mignola dedicates this tome to Boris Karloff (the mad scientist), Glenn Strange (the monster), John Carradine (the skinny Dracula), and Lon Chaney Jr. (the always-sad Wolf Man) so you can see where his head was when crafting this tale.

We go back to Mexico in 1956 where on an investigation Hellboy meets three wrestlers, brothers, who had a vision of the Virgin in which they were told to quit wrestling be ready fight monsters. After teaming up with them Hellboy went missing for 5 months, this is that story.

Interestingly he doesn’t spend all that much time on Hellboys adventures with the brothers instead he shows us Red drunk brooding and pissed grieving over the loss of a good friend. With a wonderful use of flashbacks we see what Hellboy can’t forget, Esteban wasn’t just killed by the vampires he was turned and sent to battle Hellboy. I immediately thought this comic was heading towards a showdown with the big bad who did this to Esteban. Instead we see Hellboy in an alcohol fueled spiral, drinking and wrestling and trying to forget. Then Red gets propositioned (mind out of the gutter people), he gets offered money to participate in a private wrestling match and what a match it is!

With cameos from the three classic Universal monsters this book strikes just the right cord for a Hellboy fan. No B.P.R.D., no big world ending monsters or conspiracies just Red doing what he does, getting in to deep and fighting his way out! As to the art? Corben does an amazing job (as usual) in depicting Hellboy but also his take on the classic monsters was great. He didn’t abandon his style but kept the characters recognizable to those who know them. It’s hard to review a book like this, it’s more of the same wonderful stuff we’ve come to expect from Mr. Mignola and crew. And I can’t wait for more.

Publication Date: November 02, 2011 Format: FC, 56 pages, HC, 7″ x 10″ Price: $14.99 Age range: 16 ISBN-10: 1-59582-757-9 ISBN-13: 978-1-59582-757-9

Follow Chuck
Twitter @Chuck_Suffel

Criminal Macabre: No Peace for Dead Men Review

By Rob Base

Since the advent of Comics there have always been Monsters. Up till recent memory Nothing had been as cool and as dark as the books from EC comics (thanks in part to real life monster Dr Fredrick Wertham).

With the advent of the “comics code” the years following would see the monsters that had shaped the fears in the backs of comic book readers minds taken on a new role as anti-hero or misguided souls or even worse glittery puffy love crap! The worst example is the vampire who becomes a wimpy feeling emo kid. our beings from beneath the bed have been reduced to the comical role.

Monsters have become the butt of jokes!


Yet with the amazing talent of comic pioneers like Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing, Neil Gaiman’s Sandman and even Mike Mignola’s Hellboy monsters have regained their honor and become fully fledged Icons.

Criminal Macabre is a one shot that lives up to the aforementioned titles.Here is the breakdown of the comic as detailed by Dark Horse: Cal McDonald and his army of ghouls are pitted in an epic battle against the terrifying female vampire Salem, who has a deep personal connection to Cal, and her horde of monsters. With little hope of victory for either side, Cal must make his final stand to take Salem back to hell!

The art is streamlined and fresh and the dialogue lives up to the challenge.At times it flows as if you are reading a script based off any classic Tarantino film.The first three pages that were sampled to us show great promise and seem like a title that could contend against books like the Goon and Hellboy! Dark Horse seems to have a possible runaway hit with this title. The only drawback,it being a one shot comic!


Let’s hope the book does well and we can get a follow up regular ongoing series in the near future!