I love me some Hellboy. Mike Mignola’s paranormal investigator with the filed-down horns is a moody-looking good time whenever I get to try out one of these books.
The volume here contains a number of short stories, all with a short intro from Mignola as he explains a bit about where the story was originally published, what Mignola was inspired by, and any changes he made for the trade volume.
Now, anthologies are only as good as their best stories and as weak as their worst, but fortunately Mignola’s moody artwork and consistent story pacing make for a fun time. Hellboy stories, thus far, aren’t really earth shattering works, but they are fun. Mignola works a lot of old folklore into his stories, and his artwork suits the plots fine, with creepy cutaways and giant monsters causing problems all over. If I had a personal favorite, I’d actually go with “The Wolves of St. August,” a werewolf story Mignola says was his first scripting effort. He didn’t think it was all that good, but he did like a panel he drew of a wolf-headed young girl.
Hellboy fans will probably dig this. Anyone else may be better off trying one of the previous volumes first before coming back to see how Hellboy’s encounter with the Baba Yaga went.
And can I say, it always strikes me as weird and cool that Hellboy can just wander around wherever without a disguise or anyone batting an eyelash over his appearance.
Eight and a half Roger origin stories out of ten. Yes, Roger the Homuculous is back.