Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Hellboy: Winter Special #1
Dark Horse Comics
Mignola, Allie, Sale, Roberson, Walsh, Cain, Avon Oeming, Rankine & Stewart
“Hellboy: Winter Special” is an anthology of sorts that bring a wide range of writers and artists to contribute to shorter stories, most of which feature Hellboy. The general themes are winter and demons. This is a good issue to pick up and get a few snippets of Hellboy but he isn’t really on display for the entire comic. If you skip the issue you aren’t missing anything. This is a decent read.
The first story, written by Mignola and Allie, doesn’t contain Hellboy at all. Basically, two characters interact around a fire and one of the characters is trying to harness a great power from bones of the dead to bring back beauty in the world. The story is a good one and it is helped greatly by Tim Sale’s art. Sale really has a knack for capturing mood and expressions and this is the case with this story. Considering these characters have no apparent history with Hellboy, Sale brings them to life and makes them seem important. I enjoyed this story though I was surprised that there were no ties to Hellboy.
The second story has Michael Walsh on art and is written by Mignola and Roberson. This one sets Hellboy in 1953 while he is still with the B.P.R.D. This story seems to be tied more closely to an existing Hellboy title than the others as the characters seem to bring in some level of history with each other that isn’t established well in this comic. This story seems to involve demons at first but is more of an exorcism story by the end. This is a fine read, but nothing too unique.
The third story is set in the 1970s by Cain and Avon Oeming. This one is more Liz centric than Hellboy. This one is more of a showcase of Liz’s personality as she is hitting puberty and acting a little more unpredictable, which is definitely something Hellboy can relate to. Their interaction makes the story flow nicely and with Liz being so young, the story is fairly unique. The story eventually gets to some demons, fire and scary stuff. The story has a more lighthearted feel to it despite dealing with these elements. If you like Liz then this is the story for you.
The final story is by Rankine and is a humorous look at another Mignola character. The artwork has that MAD Magazine quality to it as its twisted, but cartoon-like. Its only two pages, but it’s a good way to wrap up the comic book.
Anthologies are always a tricky proposition. “Hellboy: Winter Special” offers three short stories and one two-page story. They showcase a wide range of writers and artists and mostly center around Mike Mignola creations, two contain Hellboy. There isn’t a dud in the bunch, but there isn’t anything too memorable either. This is a decent read for four bucks if you like Hellboy and other Mike Mignola ideas.
3 out of 5 Geek Goggles