By Chuck Suffel
Writer & Cover Artist: Mike Mignola
Artist: Richard Corben
This book is a real treat for Hellboy fans, coming right on the heels of Halloween we’ve got a classic monster story! Mr. Mignola dedicates this tome to Boris Karloff (the mad scientist), Glenn Strange (the monster), John Carradine (the skinny Dracula), and Lon Chaney Jr. (the always-sad Wolf Man) so you can see where his head was when crafting this tale.
We go back to Mexico in 1956 where on an investigation Hellboy meets three wrestlers, brothers, who had a vision of the Virgin in which they were told to quit wrestling be ready fight monsters. After teaming up with them Hellboy went missing for 5 months, this is that story.
Interestingly he doesn’t spend all that much time on Hellboys adventures with the brothers instead he shows us Red drunk brooding and pissed grieving over the loss of a good friend. With a wonderful use of flashbacks we see what Hellboy can’t forget, Esteban wasn’t just killed by the vampires he was turned and sent to battle Hellboy. I immediately thought this comic was heading towards a showdown with the big bad who did this to Esteban. Instead we see Hellboy in an alcohol fueled spiral, drinking and wrestling and trying to forget. Then Red gets propositioned (mind out of the gutter people), he gets offered money to participate in a private wrestling match and what a match it is!
With cameos from the three classic Universal monsters this book strikes just the right cord for a Hellboy fan. No B.P.R.D., no big world ending monsters or conspiracies just Red doing what he does, getting in to deep and fighting his way out! As to the art? Corben does an amazing job (as usual) in depicting Hellboy but also his take on the classic monsters was great. He didn’t abandon his style but kept the characters recognizable to those who know them. It’s hard to review a book like this, it’s more of the same wonderful stuff we’ve come to expect from Mr. Mignola and crew. And I can’t wait for more.
Publication Date: November 02, 2011 Format: FC, 56 pages, HC, 7″ x 10″ Price: $14.99 Age range: 16 ISBN-10: 1-59582-757-9 ISBN-13: 978-1-59582-757-9