#TerrorTrailerTuesday: The “Super Monsters” Edition

Ho-wdy, Ho-rror Junkies!
Look, up in the sky! It’s a bat! It’s a demon! No, it’s #TerrorTrailerTuesday!

This week, we’re paying tribute to ho-rrific superheroes who fight for truth, justice, and the A-Scare-ican Slay!

Y’know, fiends, movie monsters and comic book heroes have much more in common than we s-care to admit. Both are often depicted as social misfits, are usually created through some bizarre accident, wear a theatrical outfit with a cape and/or mask, and have fabulous powers. The main difference between superheroes and monsters is whether they use their abilities to save or to terrorize. Well, the creeps in today’s trailers like to do a little bit o’ both!

We’ve gathered up the best trailers featuring creatures who walk the line between costumed crusader and monstrous fiend! Grotesque avengers, slimy saviors, mystic masters, demonic defenders, and more lurk in the trailers below!

Check ’em out, Kinky Kreeps! 🙂 xoxo

#AnimatedAwesomeness Movie Review: Justice League Dark

(Submitted by Mr. Prince Adam…Thank you, Super Friend! 🙂 xoxo)

SPOILERS

“Beings with supernatural powers join together to fight against supernatural villains. This team of supernatural beings include John Constantine, Zatanna and Jason Blood also known as the demon Etrigan.” (DC Entertainment)

I read the first volume of Justice League: Dark from The New 52 and loved it. I thought it was one of the best books of that initiative. So when I heard they were making this movie, I was so excited. I thought it would be a direct adaptation of that story but it wasn’t. It was its own story using DC’s more supernatural heroes. I love how this movie uses the main well known heroes from the Justice League proper team, to transition to this team of darker, mystical heroes. Now I know who these characters are, but the casual movie buyer may not. So this was a smart decision. The film opens with people seeing others around them as demons and monsters. Innocents are killed in the attack, which brings the Justice League, specifically the Trinity into action. Superman stops a husband from killing his wife, Wonder Woman stops an out of control driver, who is mowing down civilians with her car and Batman stops a mother from throwing her newborn out of a window. These scenes, plus Constantine’s language alone, make the film worthy of its R rating. Speaking of Constantine, The Justice League surmises that magic and the dark arts are behind these occurrences. Skeptical of this, Batman scoffs and heads back to Wayne Manor. Back at Wayne Manor, Bruce Wayne goes through a series of blackouts and when he wakes, discovers the name Constantine seemingly written in blood on walls close by. They look as though they were written in blood. The way these scenes were filmed, it seemed as though Batman was being stalked and attacked by an unseen supernatural villain. We later learn that all this was the work of Deadman, possessing Batman’s body in an attempt to warn him. So Batman turns to my favourite Magician clad in fishnets, Zatanna, to find Constantine. She help Batman and, by extension, Deadman locate John Constantine. The next segment of the film sees John Constantine, Zatanna, Deadman, Jason Blood aka Etrigan the demon and Batman, discuss the culprit of the recent events. Since the likes of John Constantine, Zatanna and of course Batman have all had stints on live action film and television, as well as animation before, the film spends some time on the more unknown quantities in this film. In briskly paced flashbacks, we get the FYI origin stories of Deadman and Etrigan the Demon. For Deadman we see his murder during a trapeze circus act and his post death encounter with a Hindu Goddess, who felt pity on him and granted him his ghostly existence and his ability. With Jason Blood, the flashback takes us back to Camelot, where Merlin magically bonds Jason with Etrigan the Demon after he is mortally wounded. I must confess, I didn’t know much about Etrigan but I absolutely love that his origin is tied to Arthurian legend. I l also got a kick out of the interplay in that scene. Zatanna and Constantine have a history, and their bickering highlighted a past relationship and some sexual tension. This actual played out quite similarly to volume one of the book. When you throw in Boston Brand’s commentary during the arguing, it felt like a episode of The Big Bang Theory, with Penny and Leonard arguing and Sheldon making smart ass comments. Batman’s reaction to the irrefutable existence of magic only adds to the humor. Every time magic is on display early on in the film, Batman grimaces and almost grunts in disbelief.

Magical weirdness kicks off, when the group visits a colleague of Zatanna’s, Ritchie Simpson for help. When they arrive at his doorstep, they find Shroud Spirits of Death waiting for Ritchie’s demise. The group enters his house and they learn Ritchie has a mystical form of cancer. The group surmises that whatever triggered Ritchie’s mystical cancer, likely caused people around the world to start seeing monsters and demons and go on killing sprees. They bring Ritchie back to the House of Mystery and use the mystical Keshanti Key to access one of the unconscious civilian rampagers mind. While inside his head, clues seem to reveal that the culprit for all this chaos is Felix Faust. While the group confronts Faust, Ritchie Simpson reveals himself to be a sinister magician Destiny, from the time of Camelot. He was the character who fought Etrigan in the flashback scene. He lay in hiding to gain access to the House of Mystery, where the other half of the dream stone resides. With the full stone in his possession he has the power to gain vengeance on Jason Blood and rule the modern world. While Batman and the rest of the core Justice League is present during the final battle, it is the teamwork of Etrigan, Zatanna, Constantine and Deadman that defeated Destiny and saved the day. I loved that their plan of action was a combination of mental trickery and magical force. I was happy it wasn’t just fisticuffs the whole way through. I was genuinely shocked that Ritchie Simpson was in fact Destiny. That reveal was deceptive and unexpected. While I don’t know much about Etrigan, this film changes his status quo in this animated universe in a big way. I have no idea if this has ever been done in the comic books before, but for the film to separate Jason Blood and Etrigan, essentially killing Jason Blood, I thought was pretty ballsy. This film is definitely the formation of the Justice League Dark. At the end of the film, Batman extends offers to Zatanna and John Constantine to join the Justice League. So while they took the characters from the New 52 comic books, they definitely went their own way in terms of origin story for the film. My only complaint of this film is the use of Swamp Thing. What a waste of a great character. If he’s in the film for more then 7 minutes I’d be shocked..

The animation is dark and very sleek looking. It definitely takes it’s cues from the art of Mikel Janin. One of my favourite scenes is the twister that occurs trying to conceal the House of Mystery. It’s like Twister, but better because it feature superheroes and the Batmobile. Though, I was cringing to see that beautiful Batmobile get swept up and destroyed. I loved the origin scenes where both Deadman and Etrigan were highlighted. Those scenes had different and distinctive looks and could have easily been their own separate short movies. Also worth noting is the scene where Constantine and Zatanna enter the mind scape of the unconscious rampager. It was very trippy. Like 70’s acid trip trippy. Then out in the real world, Batman is chased through the halls of the hospital by the Shroud Spirits of Death. They look like a cross between the Undertaker’s Druids from the late 90’s WWE and the liquid that spewed from Penguin’s mouth in Batman Returns. The third act finale features plenty of force fields, lit up mystical symbols of energy and corresponding energy blasts. You know, this movie has quite a bit in common with Marvel’s Doctor Strange film. By the way, that’s not a bad thing, as I enjoyed that film. The voice cast was all fairly solid. I am really getting used to Jason O’Mara as Batman. He has officially joined the Bat family in my opinion. By the way, knowing he voices Batman, makes his character on Agents of SHIELD so much cooler. It was great hearing Matt Ryan reprise the role of John Constantine. It was weird hearing him use some foul language but was great that the character was unrestrained by the R rating. By the way, it’s a shame that NBC cancelled the live action Constantine show. I really enjoyed it. I don’t know if Boston Brand is supposed to be from New York but Nicholas Turturro’s New York accent really fit the character. He was distinctive from the rest of the characters. Camilla Luddington is known as the voice of Lara Croft. Here though, she plays Zatanna. There is no trace of Lara Croft in here performance, and I give her a ton of credit for managing the backwards spell dialogue.

Justice League Dark takes the characters from the comic books and manages to tell a wholly original story. That in and of it self is quite the accomplishment. Add the fact that in character origin stories and its villain, this film is better than Marvel’s live action Doctor Strange. That’s an animated film is better than a live action feature film is an absolute win. If you’re a fan of DC’s magical characters, you can be happy they’ve been given the respect they deserve. Buy this movie so that Warner Brothers sees the interest, which will give them confidence to explore these characters in more animated and live action films

#SupernaturalSaturday: Castlevania Season 1 Review

(Submitted by Birhday Boy Prince Adam…Hope your born week has been beyond a blast, Super Friend! 🙂 xoxo)

“A vampire hunter fights to save a besieged city from an army of otherworldly creatures controlled by Dracula.” (Netflix)

This animated series is based off of a third part in a video game series I have never played. I have no preconceived notions or expectations of what it’s SUPPOSED to be like. All I can say, is that the series that Netflix produced is something I really enjoyed and I’d like to see further explored. Thankfully, Castlevania has already been renewed for a second season. So my recommendation is to definitely get in on this before that eventual second season. The good news is, the first season consists of only 4 episodes, so it’s not a huge overwhelming time commitment. Surprisingly, in that 4 episode time we see Dracula fall in love, and get married. His wife is then burned at the stake by the Bishop and the people of Wallachia, for the accusation of being a witch. Dracula, when he discovers what happened to his wife, gives the people and the church a year to make peace with what they’ve done, before he wipes them off the face of the Earth. The story jumps forward a year, and we see the beginning of Dracula’s genocide on the humans. We also see the arrival of Trevor Belmont, which brings plenty of exposition about the fact that he is the last surviving member of the Belmont family, a disgraced clan of monster hunters, who have been excommunicated by the church, due to claims of being connected to dark magic. Speaking of magic, Trevor Belmont rescues a member of the Seekers, an ancient sect that uses magic to assist and help the people of Wallachia. Guess what, even they have been excommunicated from the church because of their magic. After fighting off some of the demons Dracula has unleashed on Earth, Trevor Belmont then rescues the granddaughter of the Elder of the Speakers, who is trapped in the catacombs of a cathedral. After rescuing the granddaughter, she and Belmont track down Dracula’s castle only to find a sleeping vampire Adrian Tepes. He awakens, a misunderstanding occurs and a fight ensues between the three. When Adrian revels that they fulfill a prophecy that says a vampire, hunter and a scientist will kill Dracula, they band together and hunt for Dracula.


What I loved about this series is that it respects several incarnations of the Dracula character. We have nods to the historical Vlad the Impaler, in the character’s name and the fact that he impaled his victims and skewered their head on a lance. He was also suave debonair, tall, dark and handsome. I loved that this show also highlighted that Dracula was at the forefront of science and technology, in the time period. Thus, in this story, Dr. Lisa Tepes comes to Dracula’s castle, despite knowing the myths about him, in search of his knowledge and science prowess to put into practice with her medicine. Initially, he is cold and distant, but quickly warms up to her, and witty banter kicks into high gear. Before you know it, she encourages him to start living and travelling like a human being. The series then jumps forward 20 years, they are married and Lisa is being burned at the stake as a witch for her interest in science. I wish the season had more episodes, so that we could’ve seen the development of their relationship and the change in Dracula. That way, when he snaps after her murder, it’s even more powerful and painful. I also liked the mythologies set up for both Trevor Belmont and the Belmont family. Trevor Belmont reminds me of a cross between Peter Quill aka Star Lord and Van Helsing. However, the mythology is glossed over because of the season’s short episode order. This is also true of the Speakers but we get an even more truncated version of their backstory. This seasons really needed 10-13 episodes to effectively flesh out all these storylines and backstories. Clearly though, the producers knew they were getting a second season, clearly saving plot threads for the follow up installment. While Dracula has a horrible endgame for Wallachia and its people. the true villain of this season is not Dracula, or the demons he unleashes. The villain is really The Bishop. He is going on a killing spree, taking out people who are suspected of having anything to do with magic. It is his decision to burn Lisa Tepes at the stake, which sets Dracula off on a vengeful murderous rampage. While Dracula’s ultimate endgame can’t be condoned, I can sympathize with his pain. The Bishop is doing all this, so he can be the one to defeat Dracula seen as the ultimate saviour of the Church and the people of Wallachia, ultimately ascending to the rank of Pope. The Catholic Church was full of corrupt leaders, who took part in burning witches at the stake, and using this true to life scenario because the story is set in mid-1400’s is smart. That little bit of reality set in this fantasy world, almost makes you forget this is an animated project.


Speaking of animation and the action, both were great. The art has a mix of Manga art, infused with traditional comic book art, by the likes of Michael Turner and John Romita Jr. I love the Roman/Gothic architecture of the cathedrals and Dracula’s Castle. The castle in particular looked pristine and beautiful when the lights are turned on. It’s hard to believe a vampire and demons live in such an abode. In terms of look, Dracula reminded me of a more rugged version of Luke Wilson from Dracula Untold. The gargoyle type creatures and the devil wolf dogs looked like Man-Bat mixed with Golam and direwolves mixed with Hulk Dogs, from Ang Lee’s movies. I loved that every so often, the skyline would be seen as the sun was setting. The orange/red color was more foreboding then it was beautiful, putting the viewer on notice that blood was about to be spilled. Speaking of blood being spilled, this show is damn bloody and violent and that’s great. It doesn’t shy away from showing blood and there is plenty of dismemberment that takes place. When Trevor Belmont starts kicking ass, corrupt priests lose fingers, an eyeball and even their head. In this series, Dracula can appear as a disembodied head engulfed in fire. I don’t know that this is one of his typical abilities, but it looks cool. The traditional traveling and forming from a swarm of bats is present and made this long time Dracula happy. There’s a scene at the beginning before the title card, where the bats swarm the screen. It reminded me of a more visceral, violent version of the moment in Batman Begins, where the bats swarm the screen, forming the Batman logo at the beginning of the film.


This first season of Castlevania is short, sweet, extremely dark and beautifully violent. Having said that, the four episodes feel like a combined episode of a typical live action pilot. The four episodes are all setup, for what’s to come next season. Thankfully, there’s enough mythology and demon fighting to make this an exciting thrill ride of an appetizer. Castlevania along with American Vampire, are the two best additions to vampire mythology in quite some time. The ending promises an even more satisfying and succulent experience, so definitely take a bite out of Castlevania Season 1, you won’t regret it!

Comic Book Review – Vampirella #8-10: A murder of Crows

(Submitted by Mr. Prince Adam…Thanks for the Vampi goodness, Superfriend! 🙂 xoxo)

“Vampirella’s back and on the hunt! Dynamite Entertainment’s acclaimed mistress of the dark continues her supernatural adventures, running a gauntlet of murder and despair across an increasingly imperiled globe. A trio of demoness assassins – the Kerasu Shimei (the ‘Crow Sisters’) – have clawed their into our world, and are intent on building a bloody monument to murder, sin and mayhem, and it will take all of Vampirella’s considerable skill to send them screaming back to Hell…” (Dynamite)

This book continues shortly after the one shot from last issue, where Vampirella was recuperating from her wounds from the battle with Dracula and Le Fanu. The book picks up with Vampirella and Sofia on a stakeout, tracking a trio of gruesome murders where three people of shady character have been crucified, with Japanese Kanji drawn in their blood beside them.  Vampirella has been contracted by a mysterious benefactor, who she has yet to reveal to Sofia, Through Vampirella’s inner musing, she reveals that she is keeping her benefactor a secret from Sofia, to not bring her deeper into Vampirella’s world.  Vampirella reveals that as much as she enjoys having a human partner, she wants to get Sofia out of this life because the last time she had a human partner, it didn’t end well for either of them.  In these quieter introspective moments, we start getting a sense of how attached and how much Vampirella cares for Sofia.  As nice as that is, the best parts of these scenes are the insinuation of the mysterious benefactor’s and former human partner.  I’m assuming her ex-partner was Adam Van Helsing, who she had a nightmare about in the previous issues.  As for who her benefactor is, I have no idea.  However, writer Eric Trautmann has me hooked liked a caught fish, waiting to see how both those plot threads play out.  In the first seven issues, Sofia is thrust into this monstrous world. She’s intrigued and captivated by it all.  Now that she’s had time to process it a little more fully, as a reader, you can see her fear and so can Vampirella, even though Sofia tries to hide it.  I love how the writer hasn’t thrust her forward so quickly, to the point where she’s okay with all the weird crap she’s witnessing.  She tries to cope by referencing that everything Vampirella does in this volume fulfills every trope from the horror movie genre.  She uses smart ass commentary to mask her fears.  That’s something I would do.  I hope the writers keep using Sofia as a conduit for the audience.  The other reason I absolutely loved this volume of issues, is due to the fact that the villains of this issue spring directly out of the first volume.  The Three Crow Sisters are Hell-Spawn, who were able to escape hell, when Vampirella’s battle with the Yag-Ath Vermellus, softened the barrier between hell and Earth.  The reason why they have killed those 3 people is because they represent cowardice, the immoral and the deceitful.  This coupled with killing Vampirella, who represents insolence, dishonors her fellow Vampires and is disloyal to them, will serve as a monument to corruption. These acts will tether them firmly to Earth, preventing them from being dragged back to hell. We also learn that the masks they currently wear are temporary tethers to Earth and amplify their strength and speed.  They are very formidable opponents, but she ultimately kills them.  However, not before the big revelation that the Crow sisters know of Vampirella’s true origins, whereas, she herself does not.  She has memories from different origins, which in actuality are different incarnations of the character in the comics, through the years.  In the book continuity, she is not sure what her real past is.  This is similar to what Wonder Woman is experiencing post Rebirth. I like this story hook, as it allows new readers to familiarize themselves with multiple possibilities, without doing too much extra “homework.”

Fabiano Neves returns on art and once again does great work.  This is going to be odd to say of a Vampirella book but the car chase scene looked good.  The art really captures the close quarters and break neck speed of the chase.  Also, the exploded car flip diversion Vampirella creates with the car, looked straight out of a Fast & Furious movie, minus Vin Diesel’s monotone acting, while still keeping the beautiful women.  The female villains wearing Guy Fawkes, V for Vendetta esque masks, looked creepy as hell.  And because the masks aren’t literally V for Vendetta masks, it never feels derivative. Since we essentially had hot vampire vs hot vampire in volume 1, they had to change things up a bit.  This is definitely visually striking.  I loved the visual of the crucified murder victims being on one hand being a darkly colored page, with his blood being the most colored object, while the other two were shown in black and white.  It gave the crime scenes a more mysterious, cold and frightening look and feel to them.  The page where Vampirella and Sofia are scouring around the abandoned farmhouse which is pitch black, and their backs are facing the “camera”/reader, is a quintessential horror moment.  It leaves you expecting and waiting for something bad or scary to happen.  That’s hard for a comic book to pull off, but to be fair, I may have cheated by playing a horror soundtrack as I read this book,

The more I read of Vampirella, the more I like the character and this book.  If you thought the story blew its load too early by using Dracula write off the bat, you’d be wrong.  I’m constantly impressed with every scroll of the digital page.  This character is under appreciated in the comic book world. If you haven’t read this book, or given this character a try, you simply must.  If you don’t, you’re truly doing a disservice to yourself and the genre!

Kinky Komic Book Review: Spawn #8

(Submitted by the illustrious Mr.Prince Adam…Thanks, Super Friend! 🙂 xoxo)

Billy Kincaid, killed by Spawn, finds himself in Hell with other new arrivals. As they travel toward the Tower, they fall one by one to the horrors of the demonic realm. (Image)


This one-shot is written by comic book legend Alan Moore. Most people love him and think everything he touches is gold. I’m 50/50 on him. I both love his work, and hate some of his work. This book is essentially 22 pages of Billy Kincaid, child killer, traversing his way through hell. He’s joined by three other characters, two of which aren’t important at all, yet are only there for exposition purposes. In the Spawn mythology, or at least this issue written by Alan Moore, hell is composed of 10 different spheres. The characters in the book all have to climb up a tower and are randomly taken to their respective sphere. While I like this idea, some of it is too much of an obvious rip-off of Dante’s Inferno! We don’t get an explanation for all the spheres of hell, just the ones important to this book. The Sixth Sphere of Hell is the soul stealer sphere, which keeps souls as pets. The Tenth Sphere is the Prime Monad. Here, souls are picked to use a circuitry in hell’s macro computer. Then there’s the Eighth Sphere, where Billy Kincaid resides. In this sphere, the inhabitants basically are employees of the devil the same way the Violator was in the first four issues. The way that Billy Kincaid found out about his lot in hell is a fascinating twists. One of the inhabitants of hell travelling with Billy is a little girl. Of course, Mr. Kincaid being a murderous bastard attempts to kill the little girl. However, before he can choke the life out of her, the girl transforms into The Vindicator. The Vindicator introduces Billy Kincaid to this universes version of the devil, who we’ve seen in issues #1-4 of this book. The devil outfits Billy with the K3 – Myrlu, a neural parasite that morphs onto his body and forms a Spawn costume. Why does it do this? Ever since Billy Kincaid arrived in hell, he’s been having recurring nightmares of the way Spawn killed him. I love that even though he is living in hell, his personal hell is reliving his death at Spawn’s hands. After his crimes, he deserves such mental anguish. However, this parasite represents another blatant rip-off by Alan Moore. It’s the Venom symbiote. The other negative of this aspect of the story, aside from Billy Kincaid’s nightmare, we don’t actually get bonafide Al Simmons/Spawn scenes or for that matter, character development.


Once again, Todd McFarlane’s art is fantastic. I really liked the depiction of hell and its different spheres. The first sphere absolutely looked somewhat like classic depictions of the Garden of Eden. If it wasn’t for the drab colour palette and a lack of sunlight, you could almost confuse it for heaven. There’s also a metallic looking sphere of hell and a sphere that looks like the Himalayan Mountains. The striking image of a cold/freezing segment of hell is ironic and intriguing to look at. Despite these different depictions of hell, there’s a spectacular splash page featuring a vintage looking fire and brimstone version of hell, which happens to be the sphere Billy Kincaid resides in. The large tower, dead centre with the winding stairs looks daunting and physically strenuous for the souls to have to climb. This splash page was my favourite piece of art in the book. There’s also a demonic representation of Elvis, complete with devil horns, but it was a relatively small part of a panel, so it isn’t my standout piece of art for this issue. Although, a devilishly looking King of Rock & Roll is always a highlight, no matter how big or small the image. I was pleased to see the continuity in look between the monstrous looks of The Violator and the Vindicator. They look to be part of the same demonic family. Though, the eyes of the Vindicator look a little more bug like, making them slightly creepier. Billy Kincaid in a Spawn costume, looked like the Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons cosplaying as Spawn. I don’t know if they’re going to try and make this character menacing but at this early point, he looks laughable, in a good way.


Personally, I didn’t need another issue about Billy Kincaid, featuring his travels in hell. Furthermore, this book has little to no Spawn at all. Still, there is plenty of world building of hell and this mythologies concepts of demons! Even without Spawn, this issues was far and away better than anything I’ve read in the last two issues of this series.

#TBT: The “Darkman on Auto-Pilot” Edition

They destroyed everything he had, everything he was. Now, crime has a new enemy and justice has a new face… and it ain’t Liam Nesson’s! It ain’t even Arnold Vosloo’s!

Who is Darkman? Well, he’s only the most ho-rrifying hero of them all! Part Phantom of the Opera! Part The Shadow! All Raimi!

Yes, indeed! Darkman was created by Sam “Evil Dead” Raimi after he couldn’t get the rights to Walter B. Gibson’s The Shadow. What Raimi came up with is a dark (duh.) figure that’s halfway between a monster and a pulpy superhero. The resulting film, 1990’s Darkman, is a bugnutty rollercoaster ride of a film, filled with bizarro humor, gruesome gags, and insane editing/camerawork that would feel at home in an Evil Dead film. In short, it’s dark magic.
The film was hit at the box office, so Universal was lookin’ to turn Darkman into a franchise hero. While sequels would come later, the first attempt to have Darkman come out of the shadows again was an unaired television pilot. The pilot featured the late, but oh-so-great great Larry Drake reprising his role as the villainous Durant and Chrisopher Bowen taking over as Darkman.
While it’s not exactly perfect, the Darkman pilot is an interesting piece of the character’s history. Bowen’s no Liam Neeson (the OG), but I’m always in favor of making characters more British-y! 😉
The pilot serves as a reboot to the story, but attempts to keep the tone of the movie. Heck, they even use footage from it! It’s pretty goofy in that wonderful early ’90s way and features Larry Drake being Larry Drake. I’d give it…

Give into the Darkness and check out the pilot below:

Side Note: Happy Birthday, Groovy Bruce Campbell!!! 🙂 xoxoxo

Kinky Komic Review: Hellboy – The Corpse

(Submitted by my Wonder Twin, Mr. Prince Adam…Thanks, my hellishly heroic ho-mie! 🙂 xoxo)

The third volume of Hellboy consists of several short stories, so I decided to review them each on their own. This first story takes us to 1959 in Ireland, where Hellboy is brought in to investigate a child abduction case. However, when he arrives at the home, the child is in her crib. However, the child’s mother believes that the baby is not her daughter Alice Monaghan, citing that the baby says awful things and laughs at her, when her husband is away. Hellboy believes the mother and burns the child with a hot iron, forcing it to reveal it’s true form. Being a supernatural/horror book, that form is that of a fairy. This fairy named Gruagach instructs Hellboy that baby Alice is being held by other fairies. He confronts them and they offer him a deal; In exchange for burying one of their deceased brethren on the holy ground of one of three possible Christian churches, they will allow Hellboy to return the child to her parents. At two of the churches, the dead spirits rose up shouting; “No Room”, preventing Hellboy from burying the deceased skeleton. When they reach the ruins of a castle with a Christian cemetery, Hellboy is confronted by a disgruntled Gruagach who is furious over being burned with an iron and wants revenge. Things gets really weird when our angry fairy summons a Pig-Man to rise from deep underground, and battle Hellboy. Hellboy is able to defeat this strange adversary, while in the nick of time honoring his deal to bury the corpse the other farriers entrusted him with and returns Alice to the loving home of her parents.

After two volumes of Hellboy battling Rasputin and mystical Nazis, this was a weird and refreshing change of pace. When reading Hellboy, I’ve come to expect the unique and strange. Between his coworkers Abe Sapien, the mystical Nazi’s and the lizard creature in last volume, who knows what we’ll see our favorite horned paranormal investigator take on. Despite all this, I’ll be honest and say I did not expect we’d get a story with fairies. What Mignola does well, is once again balancing something as mystical as fairies, with a real world earth bound fear/predicament as child abduction. In the forward to this graphic novel, Mignola mentioned being influenced by Irish folktale for this story, which is something that definitely shines through in the work. The way the fairies spoke read like an Irish dialect. That, coupled with the fact that the fairies were little people, and that the corpse requested to be buried with gold had me thinking of them as leprechauns more than fairies. Once I made that connection, I instantly developed a craving for Lucky Charms cereal. The best parts of the story for me, was the banter between Hellboy and the corpse that he was tasked with burying, They argued about every possible detail along their journey, From everything to how Hellboy carried the corpse, to the road Hellboy took to eventually get to their destination. This reminded me of a relationship between a grandparent and their grandchild. As both get older, the little habits each have start to get on the other’s nerves, as they spend more time together. The Pig-Man creature cane across like a creepier more demonic version of lesser Batman villain Professor Pyg. I also couldn’t stop thinking of that Seinfeld episode where the gang were at the hospital, and Kramer was convinced he saw an actual man-pig hybrid.

As is usual with Mike Mignola, he also does the art. Superman’s signature pose is his hands on his hips, Batman’s is being crouched on a gargoyle and we all know Wonder Woman is a badass no matter what pose she assumes. Hellboy’s signature pose appears to be carrying a skeletal corpse on his back, as it’s happened in two of three graphic novels. While there are fairies, they aren’t your traditional fairies. In fact, the fairies look like the progeny of Golem and a Leprechaun. Try and get that image out of your head. Mignola’s art isn’t as hyper detailed as more current comic book artists, yet his rendition of Ireland, especially the castle ruins really looks great and makes me want to visit there. Well, that and the fact that Game of Thrones films there. Mike Mignola’s art looking so good is dependent on the work of the colorist. Matthew Hollingsworth was responsible for that aspect of this particular story. I loved the use of black, and then highlighting certain traits of Hellboy, while most of a panel is shrouded in darkness. Specifically in this book I liked how the orange/yellow of Hellboy’s eyes became more vibrant and noticeable when he was angered or frustrated. Even in comic books, the eyes can be the window to the soul.

This story was a quieter, more intimate story featuring Hellboy. I also liked that it was a Hellboy standalone story, in the truest sense of the word, as it solely focused on Hellboy, leaving out his associates in the BPRD. This story is by no means a game changer in the grand scheme of the stories relating to Volume 1 & 2, but it’s a nice little respite, while still giving you a Hellboy fix, as the next epic scale story surely approaches. Definitely worth a read.

Kreepy Komic Karnival: The “Swamp Pop” Edition

(Submitted with all the love by the mysterious being known only as…”The Talker”. Thanks for sharing this with us, Mysterious One. 😉 xoxo)

Dedicated to Bernie Wrightson.

“Ladies and gentlemen, attention please!
Come in close, so everyone can see!
I got a tale to tell.
A listen don’t cost a dime..
..And if you believe that, we’re gonna get along just fine!”

Gather from far, gather from near! Your ol’ pal The Talker is back and DEADER than ever! I’ve got an act lined up today that’ll shake you to your roots! A real show stopper that make you GREEN around the gills! Part Man! Part Plant! All Monster! Ladies and Gentlemen, the incredible SWAMP THING!

You folks may be familiar with a Dr. Alec Holland, the scientist who became the Swamp Thing via a freak accident. Well, he ain’t the creep I’m talkin’ about! Swamped, are ya? Well, fiends and friends, our star performer of the evenin’ is an Alex Olsen, the first Swamp Thing! In 1971’s House of Secrets #92, the late Bernie Wrightson and Len Wein drained the  swamp and gave us Swamp Thing, a one-off spook short centered around Ol’ Green-‘n’-Gruesome! Alex Olson  is man caught in a Bermuda Love Triangle that results in a terrible explosion that turns him into the florid freak we all know and love!

So popular was this terror tale that DC gave Swampy his own series the following year, introducing the popular Alec Holland version. Unfortunately for fright-seekers, Swampy’s solo series swayed towards superheroics more than somber scares.  Swamp Thing in House of Secrets wasn’t exactly evil, but he had more in common with Frankenstein than Superman. Alex Olson’s story would bring a tear to my eye… if I still had one. This gothic gem is about  loneliness and the beauty of the beast… peppered with some good ol’ comic violence, of course!


For amusement and education, I give you Swamp Thing!

Sorry, Folks! The Carnival is closed. All Out and Over, All Out, All Over!

Boris Karloff: History’s Greatest (Movie) Monster

So, I posted this pic on Instagram the other day:

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Much to my surprise (and dismay), I discovered that there are actually people of Earth who don’t know who BORIS KARLOFF is!!!

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That is unacceptable, so I figured I’d break it on down and lay out some basic (though he was anything but ;)) Boris knowledge for ya’ll. (Especially dedicated to Mr. @itsfunnguy…You are so getting quizzed on this later!! 😉 xoxo)

He was billed only as “?” in the opening credits to Frankenstein, the film that made him a legend amongst both men and monsters. To a figure most unconventional, he gave both monstrosity and humanity. With an uncommon grace and dignity, he expressed simple, childish emotions in a manner that made us care for and understand the loneliness of an actual monster.  When the picture concludes and the ending credits roll, the man behind the creature is given a name: Boris Karloff.

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Boris Karloff is the gold standard by which all subsequent horror actors are judged.  Following his success in the 1931 with Frankenstein, the British Karloff become Hollywood’s resident ghoul, starring in what would become a roster of classic horror films. His Rogues Gallery of performances would include the terrifying mute butler in James Whale’s The Old Dark House (1932), the diabolical titular menace in The Mask of Fu Manchu, the Satanic fiend in The Black Cat (1934), the original Imhotep in Karl Freund’s The Mummy (1932), and enough monsters and madmen to haunt the nightmares of generations to come. Outside of Frankenstein, he is perhaps best-known as the narrator in 1966’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, infusing it with the same devilish charm we’ve come to expect from the King of Monsters. While he clearly had a plethora of timeless creeps to his name, he will forever be associated with the three Frankenstein films he did. Of the part, he once said. “The Monster was the best friend I ever had.”

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Beloved both on and off screen, Karloff was as perfect a gentleman as he was a monster. Karloff was a founding member of the Screen Actors Guild in 1933 and often donated to charities. Every Christmas since 1940, he dressed up as Santa Claus and gave gifts to handicapped children at a hospital in Baltimore, a stark departure from The Grinch. He adored gardening, cricket, and all things English. For the last decade of his life, Karloff moved back to England, where he had a flat in London and a cottage he called “Roundabout” in the countryside.

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Karloff will forever be a giant in the genre and in our pop culture. Whenever Frankenstein is mentioned, you can be sure that images of Karloff will be stirred up. He is perhaps the only figure (save for Jack Skellington) who rightfully dominates both Christmas and Halloween. As long as there are folks that love monsters, Karloff will remain an icon. Impressive for a man who started his career as a question mark.

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Karloff as the voice of Baron Boris von Frankenstein in Mad Monster Party?.

Karloff as the voice of Baron Boris von Frankenstein in Mad Monster Party?.

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Long Live King Karloff!