Doctor Doom is often considered the greatest villain Marvel had to offer. Beyond his insanely amazing costume I never knew why. As a kid, in the early 90’s the only Marvel comics I read were mostly X-Men related titles and Doom sure as hell wasn’t showing up there. I knew of him but I wouldn’t go anywhere near the Fantastic Four. That changed though when recently Kang convinced me to check out Jonathan Hickman’s run on the title from a few years back. It floored me and I wanted more so I had to go back in time. I read through John Byrne’s 1980’s tenure and I’m glad I did. It made me respect the team and comic in a way I never thought I would have. There was another last effecting though; it started me on an obsession with Victor Von Doom.
Byrne fleshed out Doctor Doom in a way that I could only compare to Chris Claremont’s work with Magneto. He turned what was a good concept but ultimately a one dimensional baddie into a living breathing tragically noble (in his own way) character. I always liked Doctor Strange too but knew very little. So when I found that in 1989 Marvel had released an original graphic novel starring both characters, I needed to check it out.
When it was announced that Alex Maleev would be the artist for the new Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. miniseries, I knew Dark Horse had a winning combination. The title is set in the early days of the Bureau and chronicles Hellboy’s first mission with them. A vital portion of his history which had been undocumented until now. Mike Mignola continues to expand and add considerable depth to the Mignolaverse and based on the covers for issue #2 and #5 presented here, Maleev proves that he was the perfect choice as a collaborator.
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Summer always seems to be a hot bed for the comics industry releasing trade paperbacks and this year is certainly no exception. I did my best to compile a list to the ones I feel are worth noting. Please realize though that all issue content and artwork are subject to change and shouldn’t be deemed as official. The dates also reflect online retailer likes Amazon (brick and mortar comic shops tend to get their hands on these a few weeks ahead of time). So think of this as more of a guideline.
Sledgehammer 44 Vol. 1
Release Date: June 10
Collects Sledgehammer 44 #1-2 and Lightning War #1-3
I’m not as well versed in the Mignolaverse as I’d like to be, but I try not to miss anything that takes place further back in its history. Mainly Lobster Johnson and any of the B.P.R.D. secret origin stories that occur in the 1940’s. This trade collects two miniseries, Sledgehammer 44 by Mike Mignola and John Arcudi and art by Jason Latour and Lightning War by the same writing team with Laurence Campbell art.
What about the story you say? I don’t know the finer details but I can tell you it involves a man in iron suit dropped into the front lines of WWII to decimate Nazis. Do you really need to know anymore? It seems like Mignola’s twist on Iron Man and I’m more than ok with that.
I’m wrong about a lot of things. Sometimes I won’t give something a chance based on some strange pre conceived notion I had. Hellboy definitely falls into that camp.
I don’t have a clue what I thought Hellboy was about, but I remember seeing previews for the movie when it came out and I guess I thought it was some kind of weird Van Hesling type character that hunted beasts. That all changed when I saw this picture.
I asked Martian Luthor Kang what it was from and when he said Hellboy my jaw dropped. I told him I didn’t know anything about the series and he followed that up with saying that it was more Indiana Jones than it had a right to be. Once I heard that I sought out the first trade immediately.
I was pleasantly surprised.