Another comic I covered briefly in the Panel Culture Podcast “Indie Corner”, though Hellboy hardly qualifies as an indie comic these days! With two movies, a long running spin off (B.P.R.D.), and countless one-shots, Hellboy is the gold standard for what creator-owned comics find that perfect combination of epic storytelling and emotionally rich characters involved. Yet like many other comic fans who know of the title, I don’t read it on a regular basis.
If you are like me in this respect, you need to immediately pick up Hellboy: The Fury #1. Why? This issue is both the start of what feels like the epic finale to the Hellboy saga and the perfect jumping in point for new readers.
As DC struggles to engage a new fan base, and Marvel produces its Point One comics for the same reason, Mike Mignola – the creator of Hellboy, and writer of the latest mini-series – accomplishes all this and more in two pages! Hellboy has a back story as complicated and rich as any character from the Big Two. Mignola quickly guides the reader through the key story points, connecting arcs and plots that are years old, all with stunning art and a level of storytelling that alone makes this comic a worthwhile read.
Hellboy: The Fury is the most interesting Arthurian adaptation I have read in years, as Hellboy struggles to deal with a prophecy of being the True King of Britain. Reading the lead-in pages, I remember why I skipped some of the past storylines, but seeing how it has all come together in this issue’s 22 pages, I can only say that Mike Mignola has clearly been writing to this point for many years.
Duncan Fegredo does an incredible job not only matching Mignola’s long-established artistic style when it comes to Hellboy and the world’s demonic monstrosities, but truly shines as he renders the more classic Arthurian aspects in the book. Dave Stewart, the series’s colourist, then takes the book to even greater heights, adding the perfect palette to enhance both the horror and epic mythological elements that make the story shine.
I buy a lot of books on impulse or to check in with a series that I don’t normally follow. Hellboy: The Fury #1 was one of these, and I am darn glad that I did. You will be too!