Steve Niles brings a new Criminal Macabre adventure, The Iron Spirit!

Dark Horse has made a ton of announcements at Emerald City Comicon this year, one of those has been a new adventure for Criminal Macabre fans, The Iron Spirit is a new story that will please current fans of the story and act as an introduction piece to suck in new readers as well. A haunted veteran leads Cal to a creepy base full of mad experiments conducted on unsuspecting soldiers.

It’s an odd tale of death and the undead and all the impacts around both sides, we’ve seen our hero in Criminal Macabre go through a slew of situations and this latest one will be an epic chance to give him a new tale.

The Book is a ways off, Criminal Macabre: The Iron Spirit is slated to hit shelves on September 12, 2012 and we should have a preview a few weeks prior to that to give a heads up on how this new tale pans out.

Link: Dark Horse Blog

Review – Criminal Macabre: Die Die My Darling! (One-Shot)

Story: Steve Niles
Art: Christopher Mitten
Colors: Michelle Madsen
Letters: Nate Piekos of Blambot
Cover: Fiona Staples
Published By: Dark Horse

Cal McDonald is more angry than usual. He’s coming to grips with the idea that he’s dead…forever and fighting is his eternal lot in life. All the things he’s enjoyed (the very few) have all become not so enjoyable and his future seems dimmer than usual. Cal deals with these setbacks in his trademark style, cantankerously to put it mildly. Tensions are running high and Cal and his ghoulish companion Mo’lock are not dealing with all these changes well. A mysterious stranger and his, um, sister(?) make their way through the tornado that is Cal and Mo to tell Cal his next mission. She explains that a war is upon them and Cal must follow her instructions or all hope for humanity will be lost. Cal takes all of this in stride and by “in stride” I mean very lightly. After understanding what they must do, Cal and Mo go on their way. After discovering the “threat” is not at all what he had expected, Cal decides to make his own decisions rather than follow orders. Will Cal’s choices mean the end of the world? I sure hope not, because this is a wild ride and I don’t want it to end any time soon!

This is a great issue for newcomers of the series to start with. The issue does a great job explaining the back story without bas
hing you over the head with it. The reader is able to understand Cal’s personality and the dynamic between him and Mo. The dialog and story are awesome. Cal is such an unlikable character that you can’t help but absolutely love him. He’s completely flawed and his relationship with Mo is completely screwed but their dynamic is amazing. Cal’s “fuck it” attitude and perpetually bored with life mindset is enough in itself to read the comic, but add in the awesome story and Christopher Mitten’s mind-blowing art and you end up with a can’t miss, must read comic!

Release Date: April 4th, 2012
Links: Pre-Order | Preview

Story:★★★★☆ 
Art:★★★★½ 
Dialog:★★★★½ 
Overall:★★★★½ 

Review – Criminal Macabre: No Peace For Dead Men One-Shot

Criminal Macabre: No Peace For Dead Men One-Shot

Story: Steve Niles
Art: Christopher Mitten
Colors: Michelle Madsen
Letters: Nate Piekos of Blambot
Cover: Fiona Staples
Back Cover: Christopher Mitten
Published By: Dark Horse

I must admit that I had never read any of the Criminal Macabre comics before so I had no idea of what to expect.  I read the description, thought it sounded interesting, so I gave it a go.  I’m glad I did! This issue provides enough back story that even a new reader to the series can jump right in and enjoy it.  I can’t speak on whether it stays true to the past story or characters but I can tell you that even if it doesn’t, it doesn’t matter, Cal McDonald is pretty awesome.

Cal is tortured and cantankerous, like every anti-hero should be.  Hating his life but knowing he has a greater purpose, he has to bite the bullet and do what he has to do.  He’s a loner, he’s tired, his car’s possessed but none of this matters, his destiny is greater than all of this.  The group of bad guys has conspired and come up with a plan that would make the average man fold, not Cal, he’s just going to get angry…and even.  The twist at the end is most definitely going to add some interesting and different kinds of story lines, provided it gets incorporated into the existing series.

The Criminal Macabre is fast-moving, action packed and the dialog is snappy.  The Christopher Mitten’s art is superb, I found myself going back just to look at.  I’m very happy that I came across this comic, I will definitely be adding it to the titles that I regularly read.  I would recommend everyone get this, read it and get ready for a helluva ride!

Release Date: September 14, 2011

Story:★★★★☆ 
Art:★★★★★ 
Dialog:★★★½☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆ 

Review – Criminal Macabre & The Goon: When Freaks Collide One-Shot

Criminal Macabre & The Goon: When Freaks Collide One-Shot
Story: Steve Niles
Farts and Negativity: Eric Powell
Art: Christopher Mitten
Colors: Michelle Madsen
Letters: Nate Piekos of Blambot
Cover: Fiona Staples
Variant Cover: Eric Powell
Published By: Dark Horse

I cannot express the excitement I had when I saw that Criminal Macabre and The Goon worlds were colliding.  I’m new to Criminal Macabre and Cal McDonald but I have read The Goon for a very long time.  The prospect of Cal and Goon coming together got me so far beyond excited, however, I had to contain myself.  What if they didn’t mesh, what if my expectations were too high?  So I went into reading this with no preconceived ideas and let the comic sway me whichever way it was going to.

What happens when you put together two very sarcastic, violent anti-heroes?  You get a really kick ass comic, that’s what you get!  The Goon and Cal (and Mo and Franky) come together under false pretenses and have to find a way out of their predicament. How would these two do this? Sit down and have a reasonable conversation with the bad guys?  Perhaps they would run away? No, they will do what they do so well, fight, and fight they do, side by side.

The dialog is light, but there are some extremely funny interactions that make us privy to Goon’s T.V. preferences (who would have known)!  The art is fantastic. Christopher Mitten is excellent in capturing the essence of both Criminal Macabre and The Goon.  There is a really unexpected and cool surprise at the end and it seems that there is a potential for more to come.  Hopefully, there are more of these collaborations in our future because it was really entertaining and these two would make great partners.  I highly recommend this comic and can’t wait for more (hopefully!!).

Release Date: July 20, 2011

Story:★★★★☆ 
Art:★★★★★ 
Dialog:★★★½☆ 
Farts & Negativity:★★★★★ 
Overall:★★★★☆