The Monster Show

What’s that ya say? Tomorrow’s Halloween? Well, by gum, let’s dig up some nice monstery comics and see how they look?

Hellboy: In the Chapel of Moloch

Hey, Mike Mignola is back writing and drawing Hellboy again! The technical term for this is: “totally sweet.” Hellboy investigates a case where an artist of middling talent takes up residence in a spooky church and sculpts up a honkin’ huge statue of a demon called Moloch. And the statue actually bleeds when you cut it! Turns out the church was the headquarters, centuries ago, of a Moloch-worshiping cult, and the forces of Hell still have influence here. Will Hellboy go for a simple, quiet exorcism? Or a great deal of smashing and breaking and shooting?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Man, it’s great to see Mignola drawing Hellboy again. He ain’t lost a trick, either — this is spooky, moody, eerie — and yeah, very action-packed stuff. And the writing remains top-notch. Mignola drags up all kinds of creepy historical and semi-historical tidbits to help move the story along. A cult that roasted babies alive? A saint who fought in the Crusades even though he’d been decapitated? Ooky, and fun. More please, Mr. Mignola.

Monster-Size Hulk

Four different stories as Hulk fights… MOOOONSTERRRRS! We get one where Hulk takes on Frankenstein’s Monster, possibly even returning him to standard Marvel continuity. The second story features Werewolf by Night. The third one is a short little two-page comedy starring Marvel’s classic giant monsters. The last one is neat — mostly text by Peter David, with a couple of illustrations, as the Hulk takes on Dracula himself.

Verdict: Thumbs up. I loved the one with Frankenstein, and I thought the story with Dracula was outstanding. This is the Dracula from Marvel’s classic ’70s series “Tomb of Dracula” with a ruthless, megalomaniacal, grandstanding Count Dracula — a character I’ve long enjoyed.

Marvel Adventures: The Hulk #13

Marvel’s all-ages books all seem to be exceptionally good, and this one is a lot of fun. The Hulk tangles with the Living Pharaoh, and he’s managed to enslave most of Marvel’s heroes by turning them into mummies! And they’re pretty creepy mummies, too! Can Hulk, Rick Jones, and their pet monkey (Um, what?) figure out a way to stop the Pharaoh in time?

Verdict: Thumbs up. I’m impressed that they managed to make what’s basically a kids’ version of “Marvel Zombies.” Yes, it’s a little scary, but still fun.

The Goon #29

Skinny is back from the dead as Mr. Wicker — he’s basically a wood-covered, burning zombie. Yeah, takes all kinds. And the orphans get a new playmate — Merle the Werewolf’s son, Roscoe the Werepup. Roscoe claims to be able to fart and whistle at the same time — we’ll see if this amazing talent eventually becomes useful.

Verdict: Thumbs up again. This one has zombies, werewolves, wood monsters, and more. Great, if slightly crude, Halloween reading. But you wouldn’t want the Goon to be anything but.

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