rise of the black flame

With “Cometh the Hour”, the second story-cycle of BPRD, entitled Hell on Earth, will come to a close at Dark Horse. Not only will this mark a turning point in-story for the Mignolaverse, but it also summons a changing of the guard behind the scenes as long-time scribe, John Arcudi, who has co-written a significant portion of the numerous Hellboy spin-offs with creator Mike Mignola (including a large majority of BPRD itself), will be stepping aside as a part of that creative nucleus.

Jumping in without missing a beat is iZombie co-creator Chris Roberson whose team-up with Mignola and Paolo Rivera on Hellboy & The BPRD 1953 was a blast and went to show that the ongoing adventures of Hellboy and company would in great hands despite the upcoming shifts.

Now Dark Horse has announced the latest spin-off: a five issue mini focused on the Mignolaverse’s ultimate embodiment of evil – The Black Flame. In Rise Of The Black Flame, Roberson and Mignola will be joined by Christopher Mitten (Criminal Macabre, 30 Days of Night) and coloring mainstay Dave Stewart.

This series, which will unveil a new piece of history surrounding the towering villain, will be the third that Roberson and Mignola will collaborate on in the near future, a line-up that includes Hellboy & The BPRD 1954 and Witchfinder: City of the Dead.

Here’s the log-line on the series from Dark Horse:

In RISE OF THE BLACK FLAME, young girls are going missing from the cities of Siam, and the trail leads to the jungle hideout of a bloodthirsty cult– the Cult of the Black Flame.

Roberson shared his thoughts on adding this new wrinkle to the Hellboy world:

“There have been several villains in Hellboy’s world who’ve been called the Black Flame, and the striking visual of a skeleton burning with dark flames is pretty hard to beat,” said co-writer Chris Roberson. “In RISE OF THE BLACK FLAME, we reveal that before there was a man called the Black Flame, there was an ancient cult hidden deep in the jungles of Southeast Asia known by that name. We plumb the depths of cruelty and ruthlessness that groups of people are capable of reaching, and explore how this cult which reaches back to prehistoric times is connected to the most dangerous villain in the history of the Hellboy books.”

And Mitten shared his excitement in the lead-up to his debut with the franchise:

“It is tremendous fun–and a little surreal–to be given the chance to dive into this fantastic universe,” said Christopher Mitten. “Mike and Chris (with whom I’ve long wanted to work) have concocted a fantastic story, and then there’s Dave Stewart…I mean, KNOWING Dave would be coloring and then actually SEEING his artistry in action are two wholly different things. Getting a chance to dip my toe into this expansive world has made me want to dig in and explore more of it, to go off into little corners and find what strangeness, what beauty, lurks there.”

Rise of the Black Flame #1 will hit comic shops on September 7th.