A lot of it felt familiar to me but, man, was it a blast revisiting this wonderful creation. It’s half intelligent paranormal investigations against some pretty wicked creatures, and half Hellboy punching things with his super powerful fist. On one page, you’d be soaking in the mythology and folklore of a castle (Lots of castles in these books!), and on the next page characters would be falling through floors, and then through open, dark spaces, and then crashing. It seemed like character would wall through weak floors a couple of times an issue. That’s part of the joy of this series; it reads like a classic serial.
Part of the other reason why I love this world so much is that the villains are just as well thought out as the heroes - sometimes even more so. Rasputin is the perfect historical figure to turn into a mythological reoccurring antagonist.
One thing I didn’t remember was John Byrne’s involvement in writing the script for the first story arc, Seed of Destruction. He does a great job of setting up this character and universe, but it’s really fun when Mignola really starts to find Hellboy’s comedic voice as he continues the adventures (the delivery of which Ron Pearlman captured so beautifully in the films).
And, of course, there’s Mignola’s iconic artwork, from frog men with tentacles coming out of their mouths, to vampires, to Hellboy himself. It’s such a beautifully rendered and specific look and style that work perfectly for this world, so much so that you don’t want to leave it.
With the new films coming out, this is a good time to revisit one of the great modern classic comic books. It doesn’t in any way disappoint.
Creative Team: Mike Mignola (story, art), John Byrne (script) Pat Brosseau (lettering), Mike Chiarello, James Sinclair (colors), Dave Stewart (color separation)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
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