Vampires and Demons and Zombies

B.P.R.D.: 1947 #4

Jacob Stegner thinks he’s the only member of the team from the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense who’s left alive, after everyone else was killed by vampires, but he learns, from a mysterious old cat-controlling lady that’s not so — Simon Anders is still alive, but he’s in the clutches of Annaliese and Katharina Brezina, vampire sisters who officially died in 1701 after long years of debuchery and murder. Does Anders have any chance of survival against these monsters?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Good action and suspense, excellent dialogue, and fun artwork. And we get appearances by creepy Russian demon girl Varvara and much-less-creepy pancake-loving demon boy Hellboy. A nice little dose of pre-Halloween postwar scariness.


Hellboy: The Wild Hunt #7

Hellboy has been given the choice of two crowns to wear — he can become the actual-fer-realz True King of England, the last ancestor of King Arthur, or he can become the King of Demons, the Beast of the Apocalypse. His friend Alice has faith that he’s going to become the King of England and the savior of the world, but Hellboy has his doubts. In a dream, he battles his own demonic self and learns that taking either crown will eventually lead to him wearing both — and if he refuses, Nimue, the new Queen of the Witches, will be able to destroy the world on her own. Can Hellboy battle against fate and his own nature? Oh, and we also get a backup story about Sir Henry Hood, Witchfinder of the 1600s, and one of his battles against the Devil.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Lots of apocalyptic awesomeness. Lots of eerie, creepy stuff. Mike Mignola is playing his cards close to the vest, so I really can’t tell what he’s planning for the future? Is Hellboy going to become the Beast of the Apocalypse? Is the Hellboy-verse coming to an end?

Crossed #7

You remember the Crossed, right? They’re normal humans who’ve contracted some sort of disease that turns them into gleefully sadistic, psychotic killers, and the only way to tell them apart from normal people is the bloody red cross-shaped rash that develops over their faces. Our small pack of survivors are on the run from the band of Crossed freaks from a couple issues back, who’ve managed to track them across a thousand miles of desert. They try to put as much distance between the Crossed as they can, but they get ambushed while forging a river — one of their number gets a minor gunshot wound, they all get a scare — and Patrick, Cindy’s young son, gets washed down the river. Luckily, they’re able to wipe out some of the Crossed pack and find Patrick — but this issue still has a downer ending.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Brutal. As I’ve said before, don’t read this if you’ve got kids who can get their hands on it, don’t read it if you’ve got anything against monstrously grim horror, and don’t read it if you hate stories that don’t have happy endings. But for everyone else, read it, read it, read it. This may be the best pure horror you’ll find in a comic book.

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  1. Katherine Ottaway Said,

    October 20, 2009 @ 7:39 am

    I need some escapist demons and vampires right about now, but I am cheering up. My town of 9000 does not have a comics store. Waaaaa! What do I do now?

  2. Scott Slemmons Said,

    October 20, 2009 @ 7:58 am

    That is a hard question, Katherine — there aren’t a lot of options for comics-readers in small towns. Sometimes, grocery stores, drug stores, or other places that sell magazines will sell a few comics, but they rarely sell anything but very mainstream superhero books.

    Often, the only option is ordering comics from Amazon, and those typically only come as large and somewhat pricey trade paperbacks that collect 6-8 smaller comics into one volume… :/