Things are not well in jolly olâ€™ England
After the very excellent Crooked Man run, and the equally enjoyable In the Chapel of Moloch, itâ€™s time to for a much larger and deep storyline that runs maybe as far back as the first issue in 1991.Â One thing that is a given, with Mike Mignola back, readers are going to be in for one hell of a ride.
Hellboy (the character, not the book – heaven forbid someone out there misinterprets my words – jeesh) has been in a pretty bad state as of late, to the point that when the story opens, heâ€™s hanging with in a run down house occupied by the ghosts of two dead sisters Hellboy helped years ago.Â To make matters worse, heâ€™s been having dreams that are allowing him to peer in on the world of the Fairy folk.Â Readers who have seen the second Hellboy movie, have seen the wee folk get worked up enough to declare war on humans, and it appears as though something similar is happening in this first arc of a huge three arc epic Mignola is working on.
Hellboy awakes to discover heâ€™s been summoned to England by the Osiris Club and soon discovers heâ€™s been called to participate in a very interesting hunt.Â Giants are beginning to awake across the land, and when they do, the Osiris Club gathers to have hunt them down ala ye olde fox hunt.
And while it appears to be on the level, the final pages of the issue reveal Hellboy has been lured to his death, as the grandson of a previous Hellboy adventure rams a spear through the big red guyâ€™s chest.Â Since this is the first of an eight part series, and there are three other story arcs to follow, itâ€™s pretty safe to assume Hellboy didnâ€™t bite the big one here.
Hellboy is a tragic character, and Mignola is the perfect person bring even more tragedy to his life.Â That witch queen that is dismembered and chained in those boxes?Â My guess is it is going to be revealed to be Hellboyâ€™s mother – something heâ€™s probably not prepared to deal with.Â That being said, a few â€œah crapsâ€ and a gun shot or two to the head are how Hellboy is going to deal with the situation.
The Hellboy mythos is so deep and complex, unless you have the companion guide, or unless youâ€™ve committed every Hellboy story to memory, you might have trouble understanding what is going on in this issue.Â But even if you donâ€™t know who Alice is, or whatâ€™s the big deal with the Osiris Club, you do get one big thing out of this story; a war is brewing between those of the natural and supernatural worlds.
Mignola isnâ€™t providing the art for this issue, but Duncan Fegredo still does an awesome job.Â Thereâ€™s a perfect claustrophobic layout that leads the reader through the Osiris Clubâ€™s method of hunting giants that leads up to a huge tapestry 3/4 page reveal that is quite stunning.Â Even the moment when Hellboy gets it is timed perfect to coincide with the page turn so those who scan the page first arenâ€™t let down by the big reveal.
As much as Iâ€™ve followed Hellboyâ€™s adventures over the years, I have to admit there were moments where even i was scratching my head trying to remember what had happened before, and how all the loose threads lead to this moment.Â Still, I found the story enjoyable, ad if nothing else, itâ€™s forced me to track down my Hellboy Companion book to look up timelines, characters, and plot points.Â Hellboy: The Wild Hunt #1 earns 4 out of 5 Stars.