While conventional wisdom insists on asserting that too much of a good thing can considerably reduce your appetite for, and enjoyment, of whatever it is that you’re rabidly consuming, when the BPRD and Mike Mignola are on a roll, it’s time to defenestrate the tried and tested rules of formality and leave them twitching in a pile of gore and sinew on the blackened cobbles of mainstream fandom. As any Big Red die-hard will happily tell anyone willing to listen, you can never have too much Hellboy and a new one shot hitting the shelves every month during a year when the world has been turned upside down is a cause for ghoulish, joy filled celebration.
Opening with Her Fatal Hour is a tale tied to The Beast of Vargu that embraces, and runs with, the ideas that debts that must be paid and promises have to be fulfilled before the clock strikes midnight and innocence is overwhelmed by evil. A fable steeped in Romany mythology and magic, it’s a knowing wink to the trials and tribulations that all potential suitors face and a testament to the power of motherly love. The second half of this one shot, The Sending is every bit as enjoyable as the previous chapter and gallops headlong into Lovecraftian territory as Hellboy finds himself immersed in plot involving ancient tomes from faraway places, unscrupulous occult obsessed bibliophiles, secret libraries and spectral avengers. It’s a near perfect story of supernatural revenge that opens the door to a potentially much larger mii-series that’s literally begging to see the light of day.
A masterclass in short, snappy characterisation, dialogue and wildly imaginative stygian humour and storytelling, this latest one shot from the pen, and mind of Mike Mignola is a wonderful addition to ever expanding mythology and canon of the Hellboy universe. Brought into being by the savagely detailed, precise art of Tiernen Trevallon and Dave Stewarts’s sublime, faded and period perfect colours, it’s a an adventure in fear, illusion and sorcery that you’ll wat to keep returning to time and time again. Go get ‘em Hellboy… Mike Mignola