First properly introduced in Hellboy: Wake the Devil, Sir Edward Grey has evolved into his own titular character within the dubbed Mignolaverse. This enriched universe is filled with inventive characters ranging from pulp-inspired icons (Lobster Johnson), literary figures (Frankenstein: Underground), occultist explorations (Hellboy, Witchfinder), fantasy (Koshchei the Deathless), and science fiction (Abe Sapien), along with a team-centered book (B.P.R.D.). Among these is the grand tying of mythos that has been seen through the likes of things like Baba Yaga (the Troll-Witch) along with a varied amount of other mythological beings and stories that permeate throughout this narrative and are weaved by Mignola himself.
Prominently known for his interactions with the titular Hellboy in the series, Hellboy in Hell, acting as Vergil within his Dante’s Inferno exploration through Mignola’s Hell. Sir Edward Grey’s past is further explored with this new outing of The Witchfinder: Reign of Darkness. Here, we see the paranormal investigator looking into the heinous Jack the Ripper murders.
With the advent of another arc for the series of Witchfinder, we see how Mignola tackles the mythos that Alan Moore formulated from conspiracy theories about the killings being of an occultist nature within From Hell; however, to say that Mignola hasn’t tackled Victorian England or the Ripper murders would be a lack of understanding of what spotlighted Mignola, noting his works on Batman in both the Doom that Came to Gotham and Gotham by Gaslight. In one, it was involving Lovecraftian sensibilities that influenced throughout Mignola’s universe, and, in the other, it tackled the Victorian sensibilities along with his Batman investigating the Ripper murders.
Here, Witchfinder is less interested in the Jack the Ripper murders and looks to explore how they fit into the cannon of the Mignolaverse’s tapestry. The premise of this series, Witchfinder: Reign of Darkness, is to act reminiscent to the Victorian Penny Dreadful pulp magazines. More importantly, it’s further reflected in the art style with the art seeming to be a representative mix of old Victorian art sketches with modern feats of art predominately seen within the comics industry. All of this amalgamated together bring a cohesive work that you’ll want to see progress as Mignola finally inserts the long-missing myth of Jack the Ripper into his universe.
Creative Team: Story by: Mike Mignola and Chris Roberson, Artist: Christopher Mitten, Letterer: Clem Robins, Colors: Michelle Madsen, Cover Artist: Christopher Mitten.
Publisher: Dark Horse
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