Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hellboy: The Storm and the Fury TPB

It is a simple fact: There are no better books on the stands than Mike Mignola’s Hellboy comics. The world he’s created is wonderful, with only BPRD reaching the level of brilliance he’s achieved in this core title. The fact that Mignola has only been writing is a testament to his story and the tremendous skills of Duncan Fegredo. Fegredo is so good, I haven’t missed Mignola’s art, and I love Mignola’s art!

This trade just about brings things full circle. The creatures outside space and time have waited a long time to return to Earth, and they do so by taking over the form of the witch queen Nimue. The design on Nimue is fantastic, and her gradual transformation into the dragon is subtle and chilling. It’s thrilling seeing first her arms elongate, then her tiny little tail. The battle is huge, climactic, and the tremendous destruction gives it some high stakes. I hate seeing innocent bystanders die in comic books, but man, it sort of has to happen when the world is about to end. And things sure look bleak at the close of this chapter. Sure, Hellboy voices his intention to return to the BPRD, but he’s going to have a pretty big obstacle blocking his return to active duty.

The Hellboy vs. Dragon fight takes much of the book, but it is packed with other treasures too. The hedgehog warrior might have been my new favorite character, especially after the scene of his fall. That little guy lying there bleeding... I showed it to my daughters and told them it was “the saddest comic ever.”

The armies of the Dragon get a lot of stirring moments. Having them massed around the Nimue’s castle really gave me a Helm’s Deep vibe. The epic battle between the hordes of creatures and the “honored dead of England” must have been awesome, but Mignola and Fegredo would have needed another 20 pages to do it justice.

So the next arc is Hellboy in Hell. That should be pretty sweet. And we can keep up with the fall of the world in BPRD. Sounds like a plan.


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