The start of this series is not as good as the Hellboy books. It covers Abe, Roger, and the new member of BPRD, Johann in depth, which is pretty cool,The start of this series is not as good as the Hellboy books. It covers Abe, Roger, and the new member of BPRD, Johann in depth, which is pretty cool, since it was not very apparent before how they would go about defeating a paranormal threat.
I am interested to see where this goes and if they introduce more BPRD agents with strange abilities.
Also, the art in this book does not quite appeal to me as much as the art in the Hellboy books. I do not believe that Mignola did any of the art, I think he just wrote the stories, and it is obvious that the artist is emulating his art style. The art is still good, Mignola's just appeals to me more....more
Collection of random Hellboy stories. They don't dissappoint and Mignola's writing and art remain consistantly good in this volume.
This book has twoCollection of random Hellboy stories. They don't dissappoint and Mignola's writing and art remain consistantly good in this volume.
This book has two stories that are drawn by other artists, which, though I didn't like it in the first BPRD volume, is really good here.
The second story that is not entirely drawn by Mignola is Makoma, which uses the art of the two artists to transition to a dream sequence of sorts. This is one of the cooler things I have seen done in comics and works very well in this context. ...more
This book basically just consists of two fairly long Hellboy stories, "The Third Wish" and "The Island". They are almost as long as the main story arcThis book basically just consists of two fairly long Hellboy stories, "The Third Wish" and "The Island". They are almost as long as the main story arc Hellboy features and have fairly epic and interesting stuff in them. I will say that the stories and the art make this one of the better Hellboy books.
The Third Wish is like most Hellboy stories, in that he is solving some problem and there is a small amount of tangential information about the main Anung un Rama stuff.
The Island is more related to Hellboy's main story, in that he is fighting against what amounts to the demon form of himself, rather than his current form, of a demon raised by humans. It is very interesting and there are some really awesome scenes.
The art is entirely Mignola and is really well done and captivating....more
This is the best Hellboy book, in my opinion. It focuses on one story throughout and does a really good job with it. Mignola does a really good job ofThis is the best Hellboy book, in my opinion. It focuses on one story throughout and does a really good job with it. Mignola does a really good job of bringing a lot of the stuff from earlier in the series together, such as the homunculus, von Klempt, Rasputin, etc...
This book, of course, looks really good and the story is epic and interesting the entire time.
This is the start of Hellboy's vacation, which was recently ended, so we will see if they continue with this level of quality....more
This is another collection of random stories. There is also a cool story at the end that gets into Hellboy's right hand and what the significance of hThis is another collection of random stories. There is also a cool story at the end that gets into Hellboy's right hand and what the significance of his arrival on Earth is. Definitely worth reading if you are a Hellboy fan. ...more
This is sort of a collection of random Hellboy adventures. I really like these collections that Mignola puts together, as they showcase his awesome abThis is sort of a collection of random Hellboy adventures. I really like these collections that Mignola puts together, as they showcase his awesome ability to take a random folktale and shove Hellboy into it in an interesting way.
This is one of the better TPBs in the Hellboy series. All the stories are cool and the art is, of course, really well done. ...more
I like this volume better than the first. It focuses somewhat more on a specific case they are following, rather than the grand story arc of where HelI like this volume better than the first. It focuses somewhat more on a specific case they are following, rather than the grand story arc of where Hellboy came from and what Rasputin's deal is.
The art is, of course, great. Mignola doesn't stray from his style.
I liked the inclusion of the BPRD as a detective agency and the introduction of the homunculus. This book also has the classic scene of Hellboy breaking off his horns, which is sweet. ...more
This is a pretty good introduction to the Hellboy universe. Three of the main characters are introduced and the origin of Hellboy is also covered.
MignThis is a pretty good introduction to the Hellboy universe. Three of the main characters are introduced and the origin of Hellboy is also covered.
Mignola's art style is really unique and cool to look at. He does a ton with negative space while still using a really good color palette.
I would give this book more stars, but the conclusion leaves something to be desired, as it sort of seems thrown in and not really resolved. Of course, the main bad guy will come back in later issues, so maybe this was intentional, but I think I would have liked this arc more if I had read some one shots introducing Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. first.
This is an interesting entry in the VHD series. It is actually three short stories, rather than the regular length novels that Kikuchi usually writes.This is an interesting entry in the VHD series. It is actually three short stories, rather than the regular length novels that Kikuchi usually writes.
The first, Dark Nocturne, involves D helping a town that is plagued by a siren that is luring people to their deaths. There are a couple of guys with cool abilities that work into it as a rival group that D sort of joins but ends up, of course, having to kill. This story is sort of confusing and probably is not the best of the three.
The second, An Ode to Imagined Fall, is better than the first. D is helping a young man and woman who are living in a town where the townsfolk have been sacrificing maidens in order to appease the Nobles that prey on them. This story has some really weird twists and strange happenings, including a strange combination of Golem/Clockwork unit that houses the spirit of a Noble.
The third, Legend of the War Fiends, is, in my opinion, the best book of the three. It covers the story of ancient war machines that were created by Nobles long ago. These machines manifest themselves in the form of a simple farm girl, and a giant ogre. D tries to help them find out what exactly is going on and what he can do to stop them from killing each other, as they are simply fighting because they are programmed to, rather than because they actually care. This is one of the few stories of VHD that does not really end in success for D....more
This VHD book is interesting. Kikuchi sort of abandons his normal method of introducing guys with sweet abilities in favor of setting up a scenario foThis VHD book is interesting. Kikuchi sort of abandons his normal method of introducing guys with sweet abilities in favor of setting up a scenario for D to overcome against a Noble princess who is oppressing a town and her four bodyguards, knights each of a different color. The knights still have abilities, but they are only mentioned in passing, if at all. The book is more about the relationships between the knights, the princess, D, and the town.
D does come the closest to being defeated in this book of any that I have read, but still manages to win in the end, of course. There are some interesting twists to this story that go outside of the normal realm of a D book and help explore his character in a more indepth way than Kikuchi usually allows.
I will also note that either the writing or the translation of these books continues to get better as they go along, so nice work Mr. Kikuchi or Mr. Leahy, whichever it is....more
This book, appropriately, picks up where Edge of Victory I leaves off. The Jedi are still wanted and the New Republic government wants to arrest LukeThis book, appropriately, picks up where Edge of Victory I leaves off. The Jedi are still wanted and the New Republic government wants to arrest Luke Skywalker himself for his actions during the first book in this duology.
It is not quite as good as EoVI, but it still does a really good job with character development and giving more information about the Yuuzhan Vong. The content is split about evenly between a number of people, including Anakin, Han, Luke and Mara, and one of the Yuuzhan Vong Shapers who was in the first book.
This is definitely worth the read, Greg Keyes does an excellent job with this series....more
This is the best book in the NJO series that I have read. It mainly covers the yuuzhan Vong's attempts to capture the children at the Jedi Academy atThis is the best book in the NJO series that I have read. It mainly covers the yuuzhan Vong's attempts to capture the children at the Jedi Academy at Yavin 4, and Anakin Solo's efforts to stop them. There are a lot of really cool things introduced in this book, such as Anakin's newly discovered ability to sense the Vong, the presence of the Shapers in the Vong castes, their attempts to convert a jedi to the Yuuzhan Vong, and a new way for Anakin to see the threat of the Yuuzhan Vong, in terms of aggression towards enemies who are not a part of the force.
This book is really well written, the lightsaber battles especially, and it does an amazing job of showing Anakin growing up some from the brash new Jedi he has been for the past few books. This is really refreshing, since the last few books have sort of been showing each of the characters in an annoying or whiney light, especially Jacen Solo and Mara Skywalker. Hopefully the next book continues where this one left off....more
This book focuses on the attempted defense by the Solo/Skywalker clan of the planet Duro, and mainly on Mara Skywalker and Jacen Solo. Mara is going tThis book focuses on the attempted defense by the Solo/Skywalker clan of the planet Duro, and mainly on Mara Skywalker and Jacen Solo. Mara is going through the recovery from her sickness and finding out that she is pregnant. Jacen is having trouble figuring out if use of the force in any capacity is alright. The author does an alright job with these issues, but sort of goes overboard with the tough, independant woman part of Mara's personality, in my opinion. Every scene with her is really about how she doesn't want Luke to help her, which just becomes obnoxious. Jacen's issues aren't really that well done either. He sort of comes off as really emo and whiny, instead of allowing you to sympathize with his point of view. The situations themselves are interesting, which sort of makes up for how poorly they are handled.
The author sort of does a lot of back referencing to books she wrote in the series that are not really referenced by other authors up to this point. This makes it sort of confusing for someone like me, who has not read that many of the Star Wars books before the New Jedi Order series.
Other than those problems, the book falls pretty much in line with what you expect from NJO. The New Republic divided against itself and being overwhelmed by the Yuuzhan Vong, and another planet being destroyed/occupied. I am, by this point in the series, getting sort of tired of this tack, so hopefully there is some glimmer of hope for our heroes in the next couple of books....more
In general, these short stories are not as polished and well realized as Asher's full length novels, but some of them are still very awesome. The EngiIn general, these short stories are not as polished and well realized as Asher's full length novels, but some of them are still very awesome. The Engineer, The Tor-Beast's Prison, and The Gurnard are my faves, in that order.
The organization of this volume is garbage. The stories are broken up randomly. Sometimes by an interlude from the author and a bold print heading, other times only by two regular line breaks. Even the table of contents doesn't list the stories correctly.
I feel like going through each one, for my own reference: The Engineer: This is the titular story, the longest story, and is probably among the strongest. It has a lot of Jain stuff, which is mentioned in other Asher books I have read, but not explored to this depth. It is followed by a shorter story that may(?) be tied into The Engineer about Janer from The Skinner exploring a strange alien shell beast.
Spatterjay: I think the first story in this sequence is retold in The Skinner, as I already knew the story. Basically it is about Captain Ambel hunting for the Skinner. The rest of these don't seem to actually take place on Spatterjay. The second story matches the tone of a Spatterjay story, as it is mostly about messed up creatures from the sea destroying the crew of a ship. Interesting enough. The third story is more xenobiology mixed with theology. It is about what is basically a missionary who has come to a world to convert an alien species. This story is pretty weird.
The Owner: I don't know as much about this setting; I don't think there is a full length novel on it. It is sort of a wild west type world with a super powered cybernetic being watching over it. The first story is sort of a police investigation drama at the beginning and a chase/gunfight at the end capped with a deus ex deus. This setting, with the Owner and his Proctors, is pretty interesting, though not much is covered in these short stories. The world in the second story seems lower tech (dart-like guns instead of rockets) and feudalistic. Political refuges on the run from the government. The world is interesting, but I didn't find much I liked in the story itself.
Tor-Beast: Only one story in this setting, but it is one of the better ones in the book. This is the Cowl universe, so it covers time travel and Tor-Beast scales, but it also has a gravitic prison that is powered by its prisoner feeding on the life force of random people throughout time. This story is pretty mind bending and cool. Worth reading twice.
Tiger Tiger: This is actually an Owner story, but the book split it up. The tech in this story is even further regressed from the other two. Spears mainly. All three Owner stories taken as a whole are more interesting than each individually, and this one is the weakest.
The Gurnard: This should probably have been put in the Spatterjay section, as it is about alien ecosystems again. This one is pretty interesting; it manages to explore a complicated symbiotic relationship between alien life and the humans living on a planet while also being an indictment against blind faith! Nice work Neal!...more