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SYFY WIRE Dark Horse Comics

Lobster Johnson's nemesis scores her own superspy origin story in new Crimson Lotus miniseries TPB

By Jeff Spry
Crimson Lotus Hero

Dark Horse Comics lords over the fascinating Mignolaverse realm with an enticing assortment of spin-offs, miniseries, and one-shots spawned from Mike Mignola's Hellboy and includes such intriguing titles as B.P.R.D., Witchfinder, Lobster Johnson, and the period-set Asian superspy, Crimson Lotus.

Born from the realm of Depression Era vigilante, Lobster Johnson, Crimson Lotus was given a five-issue origin story miniseries starting back in November, which was written by John Arcudi, and showcased interior art by Mindy Lee with colors via Michelle Madsen. This special series was delivered as a component of Hellboy's 25th anniversary celebration that has been rolling along nicely throughout this year.

Crimson Lotus TPB Cover

AKA Yumiko Daimio, Lotus is a notorious Japanese spy, Nazi war criminal, and lethal assassin witch with paranormal powers of energy absorbing sorcery, a crew of minion Noh monkeys, and the arcane skill to vanish in a puff of smoke. Lotus first manifested in B.P.R.D.: The Dead and made an appearance in the two-issue miniseries Lobster Johnson: A Scent of Lotus.

If you missed this stimulating series, you're in luck as Dark Horse is releasing a deluxe 144-page Crimson Lotus TPB on July 16 which collects all five issues in a remastered volume that also includes new cover and chapter break art by Tonci Zonjic, sketchbook artwork, never-seen process pages, and bonus character designs. 

CL Slice 1

The title's storyline chronicles Crimson Lotus as she started life as a young girl whose family was embroiled in the brutal Russo-Japanese war. Now, three decades later, the skillful supernatural spy plots her ultimate revenge against those who damaged her, as a pair of spies in China attempt to hunt her down before they die as added insects in her anger-threaded web.

Crimson Lotus Sketch 1

"The main characters were greatly influenced by the old Chinese black-and-white serials I used to watch as a kid," artist Mindy Lee tells SYFY WIRE. "The actors in them have simple silhouettes and theatrical makeup. Their dramatic, stylized acting of the time might have also played a role in the way I presented the characters.

"I lived in Hong Kong till I was five and have visited China on numerous occasions. So there was a bit of nostalgia in the creation of this world. The style of the book overall is inspired by storytelling from classic cinema mixed with the exaggerated action of anime."

CL Slice 2

Enter the intricate world of high-stakes espionage and magical murder in our exclusive eye-popping preview in the gallery below, then alert us as to your plans to pick up Dark Horse's Crimson Lotus collection when it arrives July 16.