Reviews - Hellboy: Buster Oakley Gets His Wish, Infinite Vacation #2, 2000 AD Prog 1729


Followers of this site are probably aware of the fact that my reviews tend to be 1 -2 K word affairs, that pull the comic apart and critique ever aspect. Not everyone’s cup of tea, I know, but it’s just the way I write, and lots of people tell me they like my review style, so…

However, these reviews can be exhausting, and the format doesn’t really lend itself to doing regular weekly release reviews. Therefore, I have decided to try out something new. Each week, on Wednesday or Thursday, I plan to post a handful of mini-reviews of a number of the week’s releases. I plan to boil the reviews down to 1 to 2 paragraphs, to keep things short and sweet.

As my “day job” is an evil night/third-shift schedule (11 p.m. - 7 a.m.), I can never make it downtown during the week, because I mostly sleep during daylight hours, like a Vampire. However, due to the magic of the internet, and publishers who are living in this century, I now get sent a ton of digital copies of the week’s comic. Not all publishers do this, so you can mostly expect to see stuff here from: 2000 AD, Archaia, BOOM! Studios, Dark Horse Comics, Image Comics, Oni Press, and Radical Comics. Occasionally I get send stuff from other publishers, but DC and Marvel don’t do digital review copies. Yes, you read that right! I’ve had review copies from them before, but I had to request them, and then they sent them though regular mail, it’s an ordeal.

If you work for an indy/small press publisher, and want to get your books to me for review, please email me at [email protected]!

This week’s reviews (click the title to skip to the review):


A young boy tries to summon a demon, using a book on witchcraft, but something far different heeds his call. Meanwhile, Hellboy is assigned to investigate a case of disappearing livestock, which the farmer blames on local kids experimenting with the occult. However, when cattle goes missing we all know who’s usually to blame for that… aliens! In perhaps the wackiest Hellboy stories in years, HB gets abducted and has to battle evil aliens and maniacal robots, in order to escape their spaceship. The issue also features a bizarre cow/human hybrid, ghost cows, and anal probings! Aw, crap…

The last few arcs of Hellboy have been pretty dark and serious stuff, so this light-hearted and fun story came as quite a welcome surprise. Mike Mignola weaves an hilarious and quirky tale that takes us places that we don’t usually expect a Hellboy story to go. Aliens have appeared in Hellboy before (see Seeds of Destruction), but not quite like this. These are your classic anal probing/ cattle abducting aliens from popular urban legends. Kevin Nowlan‘s artwork is a perfect fit for this story, being much  less moody than either Mignola or Fedrego’s usual  style - which suits the pulp style of the story to a T. Make sure to pick a copy up, because it’s guaranteed to make you laugh!

Mark is on the run from a killer who has murdered millions of other Marks across the multiverse, and is now after him. Meanwhile, the police think that he’s the one killing the other Marks, and send their best Mark to bring him in. Luckily, he’s rescued in the nick of time by three other Marks, who swap him with a pedophile Mark. The Infinite Vacation corporation is not happy with Mark for capturing the wrong Mark, and so he suffers punishment at the hands of… Mark! Meanwhile, while hiding out off the grid as a deadender, Mark meet the girl of his dream again, which should be statically impossible! Confused? You will be!

Wow! This comic will make your head spin!

Nick Spencer demonstrate exactly why Marvel recently snapped him up with an exclusive contract - the man is a god damn genius! Between this, Morning Glories, and all of the other great books he has out right now I really wouldn’t be surprised to see him pick up the Eisner for best writer this year! Infinite Vacation is mind-blowingly good sci-fi. It’s smart, slick, sophisticated, and thought-provoking. It’s like Spencer is channeling Philip K. Dick! On the art front, Christian Ward brings the story to life with some gorgeously stylized artwork and stunning composition. Even the parts of the story told with photos of real people work, and that’s hard to pull off!

The standout thrill in this issue is definitely the second part of the two-part Judge Dredd story, What the Hitler Saw. Al Ewing delivers an action-packed story, filled with laughs, which brings to mind classic Dredd strips from the 80s. Al does a brilliant Dredd, and if John Wagner were to announce his retirement tomorrow, Al would definitely be my first pick as his replacement. The artwork on the strip is done by Leigh Gallagher of Defoe fame, otherwise known as ‘The most handsome man in comics’ (see the Easter Egg in prog 1728′s credits!). I think this is the second time that Leigh has drawn Dredd, with the first being a Megazine story last year, and while I don’t want to inflate his already massive ego, I have to say that he nailed old stony face! His artwork here is much lighter in tone than his work on Defoe, and suits the story perfectly. Fans in the know may spot that he’s inserted a number of friends and colleagues into the story, including his fiancee, and fellow 2000 AD artist PJ Holden. Brilliant stuff! Who do I have to sleep with to get immortalized in a Dredd strip?! Oh, Leigh… maybe not then!

Elsewhere in the issue, we’ve got time traveling cowboys battling dinosaurs in the cretaceous period, courtesy of Flesh; ghostly goings on in new thrill Dandridge; another mind-boggling Twisted Tale from demented genius Bob Byrne; and Red Seas… the less said about that the better! It’s an almost perfect issue, and a brilliant mix of the old and the new. Don’t let yourself be deprived of this amazing dose of Thrill-Power, ask your comic store if they stock 2000 AD, or order a copy digitally for only $2.40!

Related posts:

  1. Infinite Vacation #1 Sells Out, Second Printing Scheduled
  2. An Image Comics Teaser for Infinite Vacation
  3. A Second Image Comics Teaser for Infinite Vacation
  4. A Third Image Comics Teaser for Infinite Vacation
  5. A Fourth Image Comics Teaser for Infinite Vacation

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