Young Hellboy #1
Stranded on a strange island after a mishap on their way to a South American dig site, Hellboy and Professor Bruttenholm are confronted by all manner of monsters! But even when the stranger who rescues them turns out to be one of Hellboy's heroes, they aren't as safe as they think they are!
Join Hellboy creator Mike Mignola as he teams with writer Tom Sniegoski, artist Craig Rousseau, and colorist Dave Stewart to bring you a tale of Hellboy's childhood!
As a longtime fan of the character, I’ll be the first to say a Young Hellboy story wasn’t exactly something I was expecting, but sometimes you don’t know just how much you wanted something until it’s right in front of you. That is exactly what happened in the first issue of this exciting new Young Hellboy miniseries.
The Hellboy tale is a long one indeed and one that is still expanding even today, but aside from a few moments after his birthing into the world and crucial memories with Professor Bruttenholm, there is a significant amount of Hellboy’s life that we haven’t explored yet in his childhood. This turns out to be not only a thrilling premise for longtime readers looking to fondly look back on characters they love and gain new insight into Hellboy himself, but also for new readers who are unsure of where to really begin with such a long-running comic series.
It’s really the simplicity of the story and strong understanding of the characterization that helps everything work here. You don’t really need to know much other than the very basics of the character for everything to land as it should. It’s a classic search for mysterious artifacts story that is accessible to anyone because it doesn’t require much reading at all beforehand. We see a particularly naïve and full-of-questions Hellboy in his childhood being taken on a trip with the Professor when things undoubtedly turn for the worst. While the ending cliffhanger does leave some to be desired with a lack of specificity, there are some exciting moments like the Scarlett Santiago reveal. Mignola and Sniegoski obviously have a charming and endearing vision of a very young Hellboy and that is what keeps you so engaged through the entire story.
He’s just so adorable!
Rousseau’s art with Stewart’s iconic colors brings a youthful aesthetic to the story with a much brighter palette used all throughout. Young Hellboy’s design is cute and even a bit awkward which fits uniquely well in the story unfolding. This is an early mission, and though it has its fair share of violence, it is also one that is easy to have fun with. The artwork is still grounded in a familiar Hellboy look overall, but there is no doubt that the vision to capture a younger vision of the character in all aspects of presentation are clear. Even Robins’ letters add a visual dynamic that contributes to this. As we move from mystery into action sequences in classic Hellboy fashion, it’s difficult not to be absorbed into the issue and that is credit to such a stellar creative team.
Ultimately, if you are a fan of Hellboy this is a story you are definitely going to want to check out. However, for those readers who have maybe always wanted to read a Hellboy book but never made there way into one for whatever reason, this is a great issue to give it a shot. It’s a fairly lighthearted and accessible issue that has fun, but still takes itself serious enough to have you ready for more. Mignola and company have another hit on their hands with Young Hellboy and I can only hope there is much more to come!
Young Hellboy #1 is simply outstanding. Mignola and company have another hit on their hands with this vision of the iconic character and I can only hope there is much more to come! A strong characterization and beautiful artwork that suits the approach perfectly make this a must buy for any fan, longtime or new.
Young Hellboy #1: Fight Them With Everything You Have!
Writing - 9/10
Storyline - 9/10
Art - 9/10
Color - 9.5/10
Cover Art - 9/10
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