Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: The Return of Effie Kolb #2
Following Hellboy's strange encounter with the new residents of the Crooked Man's home, a young spiritual sensitive still feels that something bad is going on in the old Virginia mansion . . . and she's right.
Prepare for monsters and mayhem in the second half of Mike Mignola's return to the story of ''The Crooked Man,'' with artist Zach Howard and colorist Dave Stewart!
After the first issue of The Return of Effie Kolb released back in February, we are finally treated to the second and final issue of the mini just in time for Halloween. I had previously described the start as “another instant classic in the Hellboy saga” and I am thrilled to say that Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: The Return of Effie Kolb #2 confirms that sentiment with a horrifying finale as only Mignola and company could deliver.
There were a handful of introductory narrative elements woven into the first issue with Sara’s presence, the return of the fan-favorite Crooked Man and of course the Witch Effie Kolb. It was a foundational issue that set the stage for the epic conflict we see unfold in issue #2. Hellboy once more finds himself in the right place (or wrong, depending on perspective) with not nearly enough planning to take the fight head on, but as everything comes together we see the complex story become beautifully straightforward. The result is a an issue that gets right to the heart of why the long-running series continues to hold such appeal.
Mignola’s pacing is fine tuned in Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: The Return of Effie Kolb #2, touching on all the right elements at just the right time and pulling off a story that goes downhill quick for pretty much everyone involved, becoming a chaotic fight against the supernatural that sees the magnificently depicted return of Effie Kolb. It feels familiar for the series, with Hellboy taking a beating while putting a stop to the dark forces that plague him, but it also helps to shine a new light on the past lore by bringing back classic characters while pushing Sara into an interesting direction.
It’s difficult still not to feel the visual influence of Richard Corben’s work from The Crooked Man, but Zach Howard handles the frantic nature of this second issue quite well. It’s creepy and makes interesting use of the darkness that fills most of the panels to create an engaging contrast during both the ritual and fight that follows. Dave Stewart’s work takes this to the next level with a palette that is unforgettable. Clem Robin’s letters diligently carry us from one page to the next and never distract from the terrors at hand.
In a classic ending that captures the abrupt yet fulfilling nature that often makes its way into the shorter stories in the Hellboy universe, we find a to the magic shovel from last issue along with some solid one liners from Hellboy himself and a plotline setup for Sara that will have fans eager for more. Although we had to wait for months to get to this exciting resolution due to a global pandemic and other circumstances, it’s great to see this team pull off such a rewarding ending. Effie Kolb steals the spotlight with a half splash you won’t be forgetting anytime soon, but as always, it’s Hellboy’s struggle against evil that makes everything worthwhile.
Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: The Return of Effie Kolb #2 is about as good as it gets for Halloween reading. It’s a great issue for longtime fans, paying a heartfelt homage to so much within the universe thus far and taking it in an interesting new direction, but it also has plenty of fun, creepy moments for new readers just looking for a fun read.
Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: The Return of Effie Kolb #2 is about as good as it gets for Halloween reading, capitalizing on past lore with an exciting new take and artwork that knows how to bring the scares!
Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: The Return of Effie Kolb #2: What the Hell Happened to You?
Writing - 9.5/109.5/10
Storyline - 10/1010/10
Art - 9.5/109.5/10
Color - 10/1010/10
Cover Art - 9/109/10
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