Clanking Chains

B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth – Russia #2

Kate Corrigan and Johann Kraus meet the director of the Russian Occult Bureau, and he’s not what they expected. In fact, he’s a stitched-together corpse wearing a protective suit similar to Johann’s. But he’s intelligent, erudite, and not particularly sinister. In fact, he’s Iosif, the same walking corpse who Abe Sapien met in a state of extremely advanced decomposition on the ocean floor in last year’s “Abe Sapien: The Abyssal Plain.” Iosif is now smarter than he used to be and has managed to become director of the entire bureau. But Johann soon learns that Iosif may not be the most stable guy as he uses harsh methods to deal with a man he claims is possessed. And what’s going on in the mysterious city of Rampayedik?

Verdict: Thumbs up. A really interesting story with lots of intrigue and supernatural zing. Iosif’s return is amazingly welcome, as “Abyssal Plain” was a big favorite of mine.

Dark Horse Presents #5

Another bunch of great stories in this comics anthology — including new chapters for Filipe Melo and Juan Cavia’s “The Adventures of Dog Mendonca and Pizzaboy,” Robert Love and David Walker’s “Number 13,” Peter Hogan and Steve Parkhouse’s “Resident Alien,” Steve Niles and Christopher Mitten’s “Criminal Macabre,” Neal Adams’ “Blood,” Carla Speed McNeil’s “Finder: Third World,” and Howard Chaykin’s “Marked Man,” along with new stories — Eric Powell’s “Isolation” and Andi Watson’s “Skeleton Key: Dead Can’t Dance.”

Verdict: Thumbs up. Anthologies are always a mixed bag of brilliant and not-so-brilliant, but there were a lot more good stories here than bad ones. Definite high points would be Powell’s robot debauchery mini-epic “Isolation,” Chaykin’s always amazing “Marked Man,” and McNeil’s tribute to strange futures “Finder.”

Blue Beetle #2

Jaime Reyes has an alien super-weapon wrapped around him and screaming in his ear while he tries to avoid killing everyone around him. And the Reach has noticed that Earth’s scarab has just activated, so they start making plans to invade.

Verdict: Man, so not enthused about this right now. This is the problem with rebooting a new series like this — especially when you’re not really changing much of anything about Jaime and the scarab’s origins. We could’ve skipped all the repeat of Jaime’s origin in favor of telling some new Blue Beetle stories. Nevertheless, the writing and art are A-OK, and I’m still a big fan of the character, so I reckon I’ll be sticking with it.

Today’s Cool Links:

  • Looks like Marvel’s recent layoffs were apparently done for the same reason most other layoffs happen — greedy managers who want to make themselves look like big profit-grabbers for their bosses.
  • What the 1% have but can never appreciate, and what they want but can never have. (By sci-fi/horror megastar author Charles Stross)

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