This week, Dark Horse Comics gives us a reason to enjoy 2017 with the Hellboy Winter Special 2017 issue. Three terrifying tales of terror as only Mignola, Roberson, and Allie can weave.
Previously in Hellboy: Evil came to Earth. Then Earth fought back, sometimes winning, and sometimes losing. When Nazi occultists brought forth Hellboy, Earth found an ally who had the power of the Right Hand of Doom.
Recently, I wrapped my review of The Rise of the Black Flame, where I wished we could see the return of Sarah Jewell. The first story in this issue gives us a glimpse into the investigator’s early career in 1891. A spring snow storm has gripped England, and it is up to Miss Jewell and Sir Edward Grey to find out what is causing it. There is a great deal of myth and mystical doodads behind the snowstorm, which the duo quickly put to rest. It is clear that Mike Mignola and Chris Roberson have a lot of other tales to tell with these characters, and I hope her inclusion in this book is an indicator of things to come.
The second story features Hellboy in Connecticut in 1961 where our hero takes on a possessed Saint Nicholas. The BPRD team gets a little help from a mysterious stranger, and though I’m at a loss to who he is, hardcore fans are sure to light up when he appears. Needless to say, Hellboy beats the crap out of Santa…
Finally in 1979, Hellboy, Liz, and Abe hunt the forest for two sisters who have gone missing. What follows is a terrifying tale of a witch seeking her revenge. It is the most horrifying and disturbing tale in this book, and probably not one I want to read again when it it late at night.
While each story is excellent, three stories crammed into 28 pages means each is shorter than you want it to be. That doesn’t mean these stories feel rushed, or cut short; they are exactly as long as they need to be. If BPRD or Hellboy were still ongoing series at Dark Horse, these would probably have shown up as backup stories in one of those issues.
THREE TALES THREE ARTISTS
This volume features the artwork of Paul Grist, Christopher Mitten, and Sebastian Fiumara. Three different styles that align perfectly with the tales being told. The art in the issue ranges from a traditional, to the humorous, to the dark and brooding – again, each aligns with the story being told. While it is easy to think that any artist can work with any story, this book shows why it is important to find the perfect match.
BOTTOM LINE: SOME HELLBOY IS BETTER THAN NO HELLBOY
With a Hellboy’s adventures “done,” getting new stories featuring the big guy is always worth the price of admission. The Hellboy Winter Special 2017 is a great collection of stories that has something for everyone, and gets a Strong Buy Recommendation from me.