Hellboy Winter Special 2019
Celebrate the season in true Hellboy fashion!
Meet a ghostly miser in an alternate reality, fear the Boogam of rural New York, and embrace the wrath of St. Hagan in this trio of occult winter tales! The familiar faces of Hellboy, Sarah Jewell, and the legendary Knights of St. Hagan will help you ring in the new year with all the shivers you can take--and not all of them from the cold!
Three short stories in one issue!
The 2019 Winter Special edition of Hellboy is here, bringing three downright captivating stories filled with classic terror, both misguided and well-founded, making for yet another must-read entry in the epic Hellboy saga.
We start with what I would describe as the main course of the Hellboy 2019 Winter Special issue titled “The Miser’s Gift” from Mignola, Laszlo and legendary Hellboy colorist Dave Stewart. This story recounts the tale of Tobok the Miser and his apparent ghost who still wanders the streets today. Let’s be honest, any Hellboy story that begins at a table full of drinks and eclectic individuals recounting old tales is going to be a good one. Mignola understands the dynamics of this character on a level where these stories flow with magnificent precision. Everything about the story captures the essence of the long running saga from the use of horror to the heartfelt yet still distant emotional themes.
The artwork from Laszlo and Stewart works quite well considering the nature of the story. The real trick to pulling this story off is the ghost street itself that moves through time, carrying with it the ghostly miser Tobok. The change in aesthetic and overall mood sells the fantasy elements in just the right way. The somewhat blunt ending also demands this distinction, so it’s a significant aspect of the overall storytelling that is executed with near perfection.
All in all, the book would be worth the cost if it only included this short story. It’s what you want in a Hellboy story, both mysterious and deeply rewarding. However, we also get TWO more short stories to make the issue a true special. While neither of them actually feature Hellboy himself, they explore his dark world with a truly noticeable devotion.
The second, titled “The Longest Night”, from Roberson, Del Luca and Madsen, is an exciting and deadly story about a group of people stuck in a cabin telling tales of the demon named the Boogam. It’s an interesting take, especially following “The Misers Gift” because it captures the storytelling similarities often found throughout Hellboy comics. The twist sure is a juicy one though! This creative team pulls off what feels like a revenge story using lore as a vehicle to explore human treachery and emotion. The visuals are solid, with a particularly terrifying demon present, and the lead woman Miss Jewell proves to be a real badass.
The third, titled “The Beast of Ingelheim”, from Allie, Mutti and Loughridge for me was the surprise hit of all three. With aspects of history, religion and mythology all intertwined with a core sense of humanity, this story ends the Hellboy 2019 Winter Special on a real high note. Men of God, inspired by their long fight against darkness, take up arms against a beast let loose nearby only to find not everything is as it seems. It’s a cold yet remarkably striking ending with the reveal of a baby werewolf that sends the men home free from blood on their hands. The line between good and evil is often unclear in Hellboy comics, and everything from the plotting to the visuals in this story was able to capture that foundation remarkably well.
None of these stories would have been successful without letterer Clem Robins, though. Pulling overtime by lettering all three stories, Robins’ letters gives a distinct feel to each of the creative teams while still unifying them all in a cohesive look. It’s a difficult task that absolutely deserves special mention!
The Hellboy 2019 Winter Special edition one-shot is a book that understands what it is and thrives in its simplicity. It doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel, only entertain with some classic Hellboy stories, and it does that in spades. You won’t regret adding it to your collection.
The 2019 Winter Special edition of Hellboy featuring a remarkable list of creative talent including Mignola himself is here, bringing three downright captivating stories filled with classic terror, both misguided and well-founded, making for yet another must-read entry in the epic Hellboy saga.
Hellboy Winter Special 2019: Fires Burning Bright and Doors Shut
Writing - 10/1010/10
Storyline - 9.5/109.5/10
Art - 9.5/109.5/10
Color - 10/1010/10
Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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