Things are not well in jolly ol’ England

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After the very excellent Crooked Man run, and the equally enjoyable In the Chapel of Moloch, it’s time to for a much larger and deep storyline that runs maybe as far back as the first issue in 1991.  One thing that is a given, with Mike Mignola back, readers are going to be in for one hell of a ride.

hellboywildhunt1cover.jpgHellboy (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, he’s hanging with in a run down house occupied by the ghosts of two dead sisters Hellboy helped years ago.  To make matters worse, he’s been having dreams that are allowing him to peer in on the world of the Fairy folk.  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 he’s been summoned to England by the Osiris Club and soon discovers he’s been called to participate in a very interesting hunt.  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 guy’s chest.  Since this is the first of an eight part series, and there are three other story arcs to follow, it’s pretty safe to assume Hellboy didn’t bite the big one here.

Hellboy is a tragic character, and Mignola is the perfect person bring even more tragedy to his life.  That witch queen that is dismembered and chained in those boxes?  My guess is it is going to be revealed to be Hellboy’s mother – something he’s probably not prepared to deal with.  That being said, a few “ah craps” 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 you’ve committed every Hellboy story to memory, you might have trouble understanding what is going on in this issue.  But even if you don’t know who Alice is, or what’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 isn’t providing the art for this issue, but Duncan Fegredo still does an awesome job.  There’s a perfect claustrophobic layout that leads the reader through the Osiris Club’s method of hunting giants that leads up to a huge tapestry 3/4 page reveal that is quite stunning.  Even the moment when Hellboy gets it is timed perfect to coincide with the page turn so those who scan the page first aren’t let down by the big reveal.

As much as I’ve followed Hellboy’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.  Still, I found the story enjoyable, ad if nothing else, it’s forced me to track down my Hellboy Companion book to look up timelines, characters, and plot points.  Hellboy: The Wild Hunt #1 earns 4 out of 5 Stars.

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60/60

The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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2 Comments

  1. JB
    December 8, 2008 at 3:57 am — Reply

    I was looking forward to this one ; I’ve always been a fan of Mignola’s Daoine Sidhe, ever since the Corpse, and Darkness Calls had completely blown me away. Needless to say, the idea of the fair folk going at war was a “Oh snap !” moment.

    It’s amazing how Mignola can manage his incredibly rich and complex universe : he keeps bringing back background characters, that you’d never have suspected would return. Gruagach’s been around for a very long time, and I can clearly remember the Osiris Society manipulating and observing Hellboy in the Nature of the Beast. But Alice ? Who on earth is this girl ?

    With the Warning finished and the Black Godess upcoming on the BPRD side, this looks like a storm for the Hellboy universe. Not only are the fair flok gathering for war, but so are the giants, and more, much more than that, Hellboy is talking to a bird ! That bird…this mysterious figure that popped up now and again, in key moments (in the Nature of the Beast, for instance) just to tweet…Gruagach had spoken to it in Darkness Calls, delivering a warning to its mistress. At the time, I had assumed it was Baba Yaga, but I should have known better. Now we finally get to know what that bird is and who it serves…

    I don’t think the Queen of Blood is Hellboy’s mother ; we’ve seen the big guy’s mama in the Chained Coffin, and the poor old lady was on a one-way ticket from old-age death to Hell with Red’s demon daddy, so…she seemed like an “ordinary” witch, nothing like the incredibly old and supernatural thing in that box.

    Anyway, great review, can’t wait for the rest. Viva the Kid from Hell !

    Ah, and PS : I love Hellboy’s newfound habit to sleep in dead people’s houses…with their invitation nonetheless ! It’s three times now, after the sailors on the Island, and Harry Middleton, now it’s the Capobianco sister. I wonder if it’s going to be significant in the plot, or if it’s just a cool detail. Either way, I love it.

    PPS, while we’re at it : I remember who Alice is, now, after some googling helped my memory. Alice Monaghan, the baby from the Corpse, that had been taken by the Sidhe and switched with Gruagach the Changeling. Hellboy did save her from the fairy, but if she’s at the Dagda’s funeral, it means that kidnapping left some mark on her…and from the looks of it, she’s going to play a part in the following issues. Looking forward to that and to all the rest !

  2. Cory
    December 9, 2008 at 2:48 pm — Reply

    I don’t know. This issue feels like the first issue of the last few Hellboy miniseries (The Crooked Man nothwithstanding). It’s all getting far too familiar. Hellboy’s story has been dragging on since the mid-1990’s. I think Mignola needs to inject something shockingly new into his franchise. He should probably amplify his Pulp fiction tendencies (Lobster Johnson = The Spider) (He should create a Doc Savage analog as well). Remember those bizarre fake ads in the Lobster Johnson miniseries? He should inject bizarre ideas like that into Hellboy.

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