Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Hellboy: Volumes 9 & 10, Reviewed

The Wild Hunt is possibly the best graphic collection so far in the Hellboy universe. The artwork is beautiful (Duncan Fegredo is amazing), especially the huntsmen. The plot is crazy-good, partially because I've always been a fan of Arthurian legends and partially because so much happens in this volume.

Hellboy's destiny still calls, and we wonder how long he can refuse. Also, the antagonist's identity becomes known, and this makes the arc better for it, instead of waiting around for a long time before a reveal.

If you've read the previous eight volumes of Hellboy, then you'll likely read this one as well. Otherwise, I wouldn't recommend starting here, but if you did I would think it'd be enough to get you to read the rest of the story.

The Wild Hunt was a remarkable volume in the grand story arc of Hellboy's life.  Wonderful.

***
I love these Hellboy short tales. The Crooked Man and Others contains four short stories, and all of them were enjoyable.

"The Crooked Man" is the longest arc and Mignola's first foray into American folklore. He chose the Appalachian region for his setting and source material, and I loved it. The artwork was different than the normal Hellboy style, but the change was fitting to this piece. I really liked the illustrations of the Crooked Man, and I thought this dark tale was great for the creepiness.

"They That Go Down to the Sea in Ships" is possibly the greatest art style I've seen in Hellboy. Each panel was beautiful, especially those of Blackbeard. The story was fast-paced and filled with the usual paranormal-ness of Hellboy and I really enjoyed this piece.

"In the Chapel of Moloch" is simple and straightforward. Hellboy is sent to investigate something for the BPRD and encounters problems. Nothing special for this piece other than the fact that Mignola illustrated it and his work is always nice to see.

"The Mole" was a short, fun piece with great illustrations and a somewhat humorous plot. Essentially, Hellboy has a mole on his hand that needs looking at.

Overall, Volume 10: The Crooked Man and Others offers some gems in the Hellboy catalog, and this collection is worth it for the inclusion of the first two stories alone. Any fan of the series should read this volume.

***
That's it for now.  I've read all ten volumes and have loved them all.  If you've not read this series and are a fan of paranormal/occultish type things with a heavy dose of world folklore, this is a must read.  Not only is the art beautiful throughout, but the stories and development of Hellboy's character make for fascinating reads.

The only collection I've got left to read is Hellboy: Masks and Monsters, which features Hellboy, Starman, and Batman, which may or may not make for an interesting read.  I'm not sure if it has anything to do with the continuity of the Hellboy universe or the DC one or neither, but I guess I'll find out.  I'm unsure when the next TPB collection will come out, so this could be it for a while.

3 comments:

Carl V. said...

The Wild Hunt certainly felt more like Mignola's earlier stories and I enjoyed it as well. While I prefer those first few collections when Mignola was doing the art himself, he has managed to get some really good artists to continue on with those duties, Fegredo being one of the best.

So glad you decided to read these. I would certainly recommend reading BPRD now. They are up and down but overall are still very entertaining and are a solid part of the whole Hellboy universe.

logankstewart said...

Oh, I love Mignola's work, but Fegredo is amazing. I feel like he captures Mignola's minimilism, but adds minute details that makes each panel truly shine.

Hopefully I'll get to try the BPRD stuff some day. We'll see.

Carl V. said...

Try the libraries if you don't want to spend money on the BPRD stuff. If you like the side characters then I think you'll enjoy these stories. They build on each other pretty well. There are some that are just so-so, but there are others that are fantastic stories, every bit as engaging as the Big Guy.