In his first adventure out, Hellboy matched wits with a fellow implied to be Rasputin. He prevailed because whatever destiny he had as some kind of demon on Earth was of no interest to him, and he preferred to save his friends and be an all-around good guy.
That continues in the second volume Wake the Devil.
This time around, Mike Mignola is working the book solo. Gone is John Byrne’s scripting, and the series may improve as a result. Byrne’s work gave way to melodramatic dialogue boxes. There’s none of that here. Mignola’s dialogue may not be the best, but it works well for his character and establishes Hellboy as a rather blue-collar kind of guy, a fellow who’d just assume knock back a couple beers with the guys from work and flirt a bit with the woman researcher sending him on his current mission.
What is his current mission? It seems some of the Nazis Rasputin worked with, the same ones that woke up in the modern era, included amongst their number one who had a relationship with a fellow who seems to keep coming back over and over, going back to the Napoleonic wars. Hitler had disposed the man last time, but he can come back under the right circumstances, and Lisa Haupstein knows what those circumstances are and where the guy’s body is currently resting.
Yes, this man is some kind of vampire. It’s up to the B.P.R.D. to send its best agents to deal with it. Unfortunately, many of them are busy so a skeleton crew will have to make the trip. Fortunately, one of the remaining agents is Hellboy, and he can go off on his own quite well. And from there, well, he’ll deal with all manner of creepy-crawlies, including the Goddess Hecate and a vampire or two before he does what he needs to in order to not only deny his own demonic heritage yet again, but also to cause a set-back for those Nazi plans…even if he has no idea what’s really happening.
Hellboy’s adventures are just fun, with the right amount of creep from Mignola’s art work. Nine out of ten chicken-legged houses.