Hellboy In Love – Mike Mignola, Christopher Golden, Matt Smith, Dave Stewart & Clem Robbins (Dark Horse Comics)

Affairs of the heart have led to the ruin of many a good man and woman, but Hellboy has for the most part, managed to avoid becoming a victim of Eros’ bowmanship. Until now. Or rather, until a fateful train journey through the English countryside in June 1979, when he was assigned to protect, unbeknownst to her, Doctor Anastasia Bransfield and the artefacts in her care, by her employer, the British Museum who called in a long overdue favour from the BPRD. Said favour being Big Red, who finds himself on the wrong side of goblins and witches and cults*, as the soon to be subject of his affections has stirred up a monstrous hornets nest by uncovering the truth about history and how it was manipulated and shaped like warm putty by a secret cabal of sorcerers and practitioners of the arts most foul.

The touching, heartfelt love story between Hellboy, who for once is out of his depth and nervously trying to find his feet in unexplored waters, and Doctor Bransfield plays out against a fast moving, ever evolving multinational race against time to find the proof they need to prove Anastasia’s theories. And even though you won’t be able to shake the feeling that it won’t end well for either Hellboy or Bransfield, you’ll never see the unexpected, and surprising finale coming, that, like all of the best stories do, leaves you wanting more. Golden and Mignola have once again crafted a tale that pulls in you into its frantic, intricately plotted machinations from the first page and refuses to let you escape its clutches until the final panel, and the deliciously and devilishly detailed art, courtesy of Matt Smith turns everything in Hellboy In Love up to eleven. It is, as a much wiser man than I once intoned, a love story for the ages… Tim Cundle

*Somehow, I managed to avoid adding “Oh my”…. But only just.

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