BooksOfTheMoon

B.P.R.D., Vol. 1: Hollow Earth and Other Stories

By Mike Mignola

Rating: 3 stars

B.P.R.D. continues the story of the eponymous Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defence after Hellboy quits. The remaining ‘special’ agents, including old favourites Abe Sapien and Liz Sherman step up to the plate and although they don’t have the magnetic personality of Hellboy, they can still carry the stories. There is one long story that introduces new boy Johann Kraus (a sort of disembodied spirit living in a containment suit) as Abe takes charge of a group that has to go and rescue Liz from horror in the centre of the Earth.

The other stories are more inconsequential, although the last one, Drums of the Dead, does linger in the mind a little, as Abe and another new guy have to deal with terror on an Atlantic shipping route.

I did find myself missing Hellboy and his quips and sarcasm. He had a really strong tone although Abe is fun, I don’t know if can carry the title the way Big Red did. Still, this was a fun volume, read quickly, and totally worth the price I paid in the second hand store.

Book details

ISBN: 9781593072803
Publisher: Dark Horse
Year of publication: 2003

Hellboy, Vol. 4: The Right Hand of Doom

By Mike Mignola

Rating: 3 stars

These are short stories about Hellboy, from his early days in the BPRD right up to more mythology stuff about his mighty stone right hand (the eponymous Right Hand of Doom). Mostly based on various mythologies from around the world, the stories are fun if a little short — some of them could do with a bit of expanding. I think my favourite is the first – a very short two-page story about Hellboy’s first encounter with pancakes.

Book details

ISBN: 9781593070939
Publisher: Dark Horse Books
Year of publication: 2000

Hellboy, Vol. 3: The Chained Coffin and Others

By Mike Mignola

Rating: 3 stars

This is a series of short stories featuring the big red guy with the equally big heart. Each story is quite short and mostly self-contained, although one or two do refer to other events in the series. The stories often refer to folklore or mythology and I liked the little introduction to each one. Mignola’s art is present and correct, and is still something that you need to get used to, but now feels very much a part of the Hellboy world. A good collection.

Book details

ISBN: 9781593070915
Publisher: Dark Horse
Year of publication: 1998

Hellboy, Vol. 2: Wake the Devil

By Mike Mignola

Rating: 4 stars

I really enjoyed this short graphic novel, the second in the Hellboy series. Although I wasn’t keen on the art in the first volume, I must admit that it’s grown on me. I very much like the hints of darker stuff to come and Hellboy’s dialogue is wonderfully dry and laconic (“lady, I was gonna cut you some slack ‘cos you’re a major mythological figure… but now you’ve just gone nuts”). Good stuff.

Book details

ISBN: 9781593070953
Publisher: Dark Horse Books
Year of publication: 1997

Hellboy, Vol. 1: Seed of Destruction

By Mike Mignola

Rating: 4 stars

This is the first volume of the Hellboy series, introducing us to the huge red demon with the big heart and his chums. The story is fairly straightforward, with some origin stuff, a froggy demon and a Russian mad wizard. I enjoyed the story, but I’m not yet convinced by the art, which is rather dark with lots of angles and lines. Still, it was a good book and I’m looking forward to reading more.

Book details

ISBN: 9781593070946
Publisher: Dark Horse
Year of publication: 1994

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