REVIEW: Hellboy – Winter Special

Writer: Mike Mignola, Chris Roberson, Chelsea Cain, Scott Allie
Artist: Michael Walsh, Michael Avon Oeming, Tim Sale
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Cover Artist: Tim Sale

With the news that Hellboy in Hell is coming to an end soon, it’s a good idea that Dark Horse continues to show there is life in this character.  As such we have a collection of stories to show his strengths and the variety.

Broken Vessels (w) Mike Mignola & Scott Allow; (a) Tim _20160124_144649Sale; (c) Dave Stewart

The first part of the book, has very little to do with Hellboy, other than to set up idea’s for the next chapters. That doesn’t mean you should bypass or ignore it.  Two wanderers huddle around a campfire, but one holds a chilling secret. A stories go, it may not be earth shattering, but it does feature some fantastic art by Tim Sale that’s worth the admission all by itself. The fact it is coupled with the glorious colours of Dave Stewart is also a benefit.

_20160124_144556Hellboy and the B.P.R.D: 1953 -Wandering Souls (w) Mike Mignola and Chris Robins; (a) Michael Walsh; (c) Dave Stewart

Thematically, this story is a sort of sequel to the first.  The team is investigating a series of sightings.  It’s not long till the team are up to their neck in spooks and spirits. Going back in time allows Mignola to keep Hellboy fresh along with giving the B.P.R.D a fan base jump. Writing wise, Mignola works well with other writers whether that’s as a scripter or more plot help.  Art in this chapter is by Michael Walsh who appears on first glance to be channelling Mignola’s style, but quietly develops a more well-rounded look.  Agian, Dave Stewart is on colours, ’nuff said right?

Mood Swings (w) Cheeses Cain; (a) Michael Avon Oeming; _20160124_144503(c) Dave Stewart

Hellboy, Liz and snow demons at Christmas is as crazy as it sounds. Not to be mistaken for Calvin’s Deranged Mutant Snow Goons, these beasties pack a wallop. But the fun in the story isn’t the fight; it’s Liz’s dialogue, from the “I’m not allowed to fight monsters or go concerts” to the “you

think I’m moody”  that just plain makes me smile. The art by Michael Avon Oeming adds to the fun element of the story with a cartoony style that reminds me of Mike Parobek back on the Batman Animated book. Colours are by….you guessed it, Dave Stewart, whose versatility is on show throughout the whole book, no more than the differences between this and the previous story.

_20160124_144426Kung Pao Lobster (w,a&c) Dean Rankine

At first glance, I wasn’t impressed by this chapter, but upon reflection I tot get it.  We have all been there and am sure we will no doubt be there again.

Over the course of five stories you get to see the world’s of the Mignola-verse in all its variety. If you have ever wondered what the fuss is about regarding Hellboy and his gang, this is a great opportunity for you to dip your toe in.

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