Dark Horse Comics 2017
Written by Mike Mignola & Chris Roberson
Illustrated by Christopher Mitten
Coloured by Dave Stewart
Lettered by Clem Robins
Well the chase has led to occupied Paris and we open with our first look at what has become of the ghost of Albert Mayhew. It would seem that Albert is settling into his new body just fine as he makes demands, see requests, of his captors in return for his cooperation. Oh I do so like what we are seeing here it’s got that right amount of German righteousness and that British sense of entitlement to go against each other in ways that sum up the war.
I have been impressed with the writing so far and it just continues here. There’s a certain amount of scepticism, suspending disbelief as well as knowing that Hitler and certain of inner cabal were obsessed with the occult. The boys manage to get all this into a working story where things happen and you don’t think twice you are just along for the ride. This is the kind of stuff that make the feature cinema we crave and the world we want to live in.
Professor Bruttenholm finds himself parachuting into France alone and meets his contact. I was thrilled by the appearance of this man as I found his last adventure to be oh so much fun! Not ironically this very creative team did that book too so woohoo. Still I like that the Hellboy Universe is able to keep expanding and finding ways to interact like this. There’s enough creepy in this world for them to explore without relying upon the big red guy. So I am all for more of these types of limited series.
The dialogue between Trevor and Sandhu is clever, fun and revealing as the younger man presumes too much and must be set straight. This is characterisation at its finest and I have to say it’s far cry from the man Trevor will grow up to be. In the meantime it’s nice to see him in his more formative years as he gains the knowledge and experience that will be required of him later in life. This brash young man is really is more of a know-it-all rather than an experienced man of action, be it in the field or with the occult, and I’ve taken more of a liking to him than I have before.
Christopher and Dave really do some fin work on the interiors here. The use of page layouts through their use of angles and perspective in the panels are marvellously done. The use of backgrounds and backdrops are great when it comes to expanding the mood, tone and feel of what we see. Then the creativity and imagination this time around in the use of Kroenen’s creations has that whole Frankenstein vibe to them that works extremely well here. This is the kind of work that is synonymous with the franchise and with the hairdo’s clothes and everything else we see it’s just a huge treat.
So as things progress here and the story starts taking that spy turn so it feels very Mission Impossible takes the genre mashing to a whole new level. With Trevor learning about Sandhu’s backstory and the adventures he’s been on and taking on a mentor role also serves it’s purpose which seems to be getting him into the thick of things. Letting him know “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
This franchise perhaps more than any other is perhaps one of the most interesting and diverse around. Which is why these will always remain some of the most fun and interesting reads on stands today.