As I’ve said many times before on this very site, the Mignolaverse is without any doubt, my favorite ongoing shared universe. From the poetic and tragic recently concluded Hellboy in Hell, the war-inflected tales of the BPRD series (soon to pick back up), the rip-roaring pulp adventures of Lobster Johnson, the Victorian horror of Witchfinder, and other recently begun spin-offs like Rise of the Black Flame, The Visitor, and the 1950’s adventures of Hellboy, there’s really nothing so elegantly constructed in comics as Mike Mignola‘s signature world.
And announced yesterday by Dark Horse, the expansion of that space continues with two new mini-series and a one-shot headed to shelves this Winter.
The big news here is that Mignola himself is going to be penning two of these projects solo. In recent years, outside of the staggering Hellboy in Hell series, these comics have been more or less exclusively written in collaboration with other scribes (Frankenstein Underground being an exception), most notably John Arcudi, Scott Allie and Chris Roberson. But with both Koschei: The Deathless and Hellboy: Krampusnacht, the master himself returns to fully drive the action.
The Koschei mini is especially exciting for me, as he reteams with Frankenstein and Witchfinder collaborator Ben Stenbeck, who may arguably be one of the most signature Mignola artistic collaborators outside of Guy Davis and Richard Corben.
The Krampusnacht one-shot will see Mignola teaming with Adam Hughes, which I believe is his first foray into this universe – whose work should make for a pretty terrifically beautiful, yet also frightening mix here.
And lastly we have a mini focused on the early days of Rasputin, co-written with Roberson with art by Christopher Mitten, the villainous figure that set this entire saga into motion in the first place. This also gives Roberson to play within the continuity of the Mignolaverse, which he did to great success with the aforementioned The Visitor.
Here’s the full press:
From Baba Yaga and Hecate, to the Black Flame and the Queen of Blood, Mike Mignola’s legendary Hellboy and the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense have battled some of the most dangerous and despicable demons and villains in all of comics. In advance of San Diego Comic Con 2017, Dark Horse Comics is revealing three new titles for the strange, shared Mignolaverse of comic books and graphic novels comprised of Hellboy & the BPRD, Abe Sapien, BPRD, Lobster Johnson and Witchfinder, with all three new titles focusing on villains. With stories by Eisner award-winning artist Adam Hughes—who is illustrating his first ever Mignolaverse story, iZOMBIE co-creator Chris Roberson, and acclaimed Mignolaverse artists Christopher Mitten and Ben Stenbeck, the three new titles will explore the secret origins of two classic villains, Koshchei the Deathless and Rasputin, and introduce the Krampus into Hellboy’s odd world of fantasy and folklore.
“We didn’t set out to publish three stories about bad guys for the holidays, it just worked out that way—and, really, at least one of these guys isn’t ALL bad,” said Mike Mignola. “It’s been a real pleasure working with Chris Roberson and Christopher Mitten again to flesh out more of the history of the Hellboy world—focusing on Rasputin before the arrival of Hellboy. You just knew there had to be more to say about that guy. Just like I’ve always known there was a lot more to say about Koshchei the Deathless, who I’ve loved since Hellboy: Darkness Calls. Now thanks to the great Ben Stenbeck, we get his full, odd, and tragic life story. And then what is there to say about the Krampus? This grim little Christmas story has been gathering dust for years on my mental shelf, apparently just waiting for the right artist to come along and ask to draw it. I just never imagined that the right artist would be Adam Hughes!”
The three new titles are:
● Rasputin: Voice of the Dragon
Mike Mignola (W/Variant Cover), Chris Roberson (W), Christopher Mitten (A), Dave Stewart (C), Mike Huddleston (Cover)
A conspiracy involving the Third Reich and a dead member of a sinister secret society sets Professor Bruttenholm on his first mission—to find the man who’d soon bring Hellboy to earth. The mad Russian sorcerer Rasputin had been thought dead since 1916, when a group of noblemen sought to end his influence over the tsar. Now Rasputin works with the most twisted members of Hitler’s inner circle, and he’s about to cross paths with the man who’ll go on to found the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense.
Rasputin: Voice of the Dragon‘s first issue (of five) goes on sale November 29, 2017.
● Hellboy: Krampusnacht One-Shot
Mike Mignola (W/Variant Cover), Adam Hughes (A/C/Cover/Incentive Variant)
The only thing more exciting than pitting Hellboy against this Satanic spin on Santa is the team-up of Mike Mignola and Adam Hughes.
Hellboy: Krampusnacht One-Shot goes on sale December 20, 2017.
● Koshchei The Deathless
Mike Mignola (W/cover), Ben Stenbeck (A), Dave Stewart (C)
Sent to kill Hellboy by the Baba Yaga in Darkness Calls, Koshchei the Deathless hinted at a long and tragic life before being enslaved to the Russian witch. Now Koshchei relives every horrible act on his road to immortality and beyond, with none other than Hellboy himself—in Hell. Mignola returns to Hell and to the bizarre folklore that’s filled some of his greatest books, reuniting with one of his favorite collaborators, Ben Stenbeck (Frankenstein Underground, Witchfinder: In The Service of Angels, Baltimore).
The first issue of Koshchei The Deathless (of six) goes on sale January 10, 2018.
Entertainment Editor for The Beat covering film, television and the occasional comic book. His work can also be found at GeekRex.com and can be heard on the GeekRex podcast. He really loves the Legion of Super-Heroes a lot.