Gang of Freaks

Dial H #2

Nelson Jent is busy experimenting with the phone booth that turns him into different bizarre superheroes. The Human Virus, the Shamanticore, Pelican Army, Hole Punch, Double Bluff, Rancid Ninja, Skeet — but he always has to turn back into overweight schlub Nelson Jent, and Nelson Jent feels utterly powerless to protect his friend Darren, still stuck in the hospital. He raids one of the criminal syndicate’s targets after turning himself into the digital superhero Control-Alt-Delete, but gets ambushed by the meta who hurt him in the previous issue — he has trouble remembering which powers he possesses with each new body. Meanwhile, the syndicate’s boss, Ex Nihilo, plans to release his own Big Bad, never realizing until too late that his supposed minion was far smarter and more powerful than he was. Will Nelson’s newest persona, the Iron Snail, stand a chance against the deadly Squid?

Verdict: Thumbs up. So very, very strange characters — and vast numbers of them, too, which makes it even more fun. Seriously, the great pleasure in this is how spectacularly surreal it all is. I need more comics like this in my life.

Morning Glories #19

Well, shallow, cynical Zoe is really an enthusiastic murderer, specializing in stabbing seemingly random classmates to death. But nerdy Hunter saw her last killing, so now he’s on the target list, and we get treated to Hunter running for his life, while flashing back on his own mother’s slow death from cancer. So what’s going to be the twist on Zoe’s murder spree? Or will there be one at all?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Harrowing stuff — like a combination of the tensest parts of a slasher movie and the weirdest parts of a conspiracy thriller. Man, would I like to see some answers sometime soon, ya know?

B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth – The Transformation of J.H. O’Donnell

J.H. O’Donnell has been a background character in the BPRD books for a while — a brain-fried occult specialist who’s probably a bit crazier than anyone working for the organization should be. How’d he get that way? We get a flashback to O’Donnell’s trip to catalog the library of a recently-deceased necromancer in 1987. He had Hellboy along for protection, but once he finds the secret entrance to the necromancer’s real library, he finds himself being followed by the greatest occultists in history — all of them dead, all of them very dangerous. And he can’t even count on much help from Hellboy, who has to battle a bull-headed demon in the sub-basement. And once the occultists show O’Donnell their secret faces and whisper their secret spells in his ears, it’s pretty much all over for him…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Wonderfully creepy and weird, with outstandingly moody art from Max Fiumara and colors by Dave Stewart. This is just a one-shot, but it’s the perfect kind of eerie horror that Mike Mignola does so well.

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