By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
- Releases Feb 7th
- Mild Spoiler Alert
The action in Rasputin: The Voice of the Dragon #4 by Dark Horse Comics is getting intense. In what readers know so far, Sandu and Bruttenholm went behind enemy lines to figure out what the ghost of Albert Mayhew represents. The Nazis are interested in him. The last issue saw them discover macabre experiments to bring the dead back to life. It’s funny to see how the Nazi’s treat the dead. Or rather, in how somewhat Frankenstein their attempts are like. Instead of stitching different bodies together, they are brought back to life with bubble nodules, rubber tubes, and Tesla coils. The artwork of Christopher Mitten really shines here. The designs for the jackal guardians are simply fantastic!
The dual is now behind enemy lines to investigate what the enemy is up to. Unfortunately, have been captured, and just how they can escape will require a miracle.
Nazi scientist Karl Ruprecht Kroenen reveals what he is after, to unlock the secrets to life everlasting. The Egyptian themes hinted since the start of this series is finally making sense. That’s assuming readers know a lot about this ancient civilization. For those who do not, the Ancient culture believed in the fact that death is not final. Life continues in a different sense. The five parts of the soul — the Ren, the Ba, the Ka, the Sheut and the Ib — represent different aspects of what defines the mortal not only in body but also in spirit. While recent analysis say there are nine, the bigger question is in which development writer Mike Mignola is going with, and if they have significance in this story.
For the mad scientist, he seeks to unlock the secrets of life, how it may be preserved, extended, amplified and harnessed. Readers may not know how the ancient Egyptian practices will figure into Kronen’s equation, but if the final pages are going to be telling, it’s to bring back a figure of the recent past than historical.
The tale is hitting its climax. Rasputin is certainly nearby, and he has a lot invested to earn his title — the name of this comic book. This work is also a great jumping in point to a new part of Mignola’s vision of life before Hellboy. It’s not to say he is unneeded. His story is told. The Omnibus collection is being released May 9th to tell the seminal character’s story in chronological reading order. Perhaps this timing is intentional to allow for new readers to come enter the Mignola-verse after getting a primer to Bruttenholm’s beginnings.
As a fan who came into the series mid-way, trying to figure out the reading order was not the tough part. It’s in knowing what to read first. I’m thankful that my question to a Dark Horse Comics representative from last year at Emerald City Comic Con was not ignored. This plan was most likely in the works even then, but to tell the public when it will happen was a dark secret not even Bruttenholm can uncover until the time is right.