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June 8, 2013

Dark Horse Reviews: Hellboy Library Edition Vol. 6

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Written by: Dr. Bustos
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HellboyLibraryV6Hellboy, Library Edition Volume 6
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writer: Mike Mignola
Artist: Duncan Fegredo
Colors: Dave Stewart
Letters: Clem Robbins

Hellboy has always been a favorite of mine. I remember sitting in bookstores (this is a hint at how far back this goes) and trying to get the graphic novel collections since I used to just collect the comic book single issues at random. Having these lovely large volumes is a Hellboy fan’s dream since his stories are all over the place, both in the stories and in regards to what new series is coming out. So how does Volume 6 of the collection hold up? Let’s find out.

Volume 6 of Hellboy collects “The Storm and The Fury” and “The Bride of Hell” as its two major stories that are part of the major story arc of Hellboy. It also collects several mini-series and one-shots, my favorite being the one where Hellboy teams up with Luchadores to fight vampires. You should immediately understand why I love Hellboy with that last sentence.

The main story is very large in scale. Ragnarok is on the horizon, and Hellboy has gotten himself entangled in being the bearer of Excalibur. The dead are beginning to walk while Hellboy has to figure out what to do. Things escalate quickly as we learn that a single slight can help bring about the end of the world. The story ends on a downer of an ending, but it was good to know that this was not the end of all Hellboy. It has me anxiously awaiting the next collection.

The art is of course what I have come to expect from Hellboy, which is a dark look at a world where we live among monsters. It gives things like Lovecraftian horrors the perfect look. Anything sinister looks rightfully so, and even though Hellboy is tied to demons, he still has features none of those creatures possess. It’s a lovely little distinction. You will never really get Hellboy and his opponents mixed up even if they have similar features.

The other stories beyond the main one are some of my favorites, I always love short stories about Hellboy because they show you the versatility of the character. They are great ways to get someone into the series without having to be concerned with continuity, and there are nearly a century of stories to tell. Some of the stories feel like Tales from the Crypt, but with Hellboy thrown in to gum up the works. Seeing Hellboy fight a luchador vampire, or what is effectively Batman 66’s King Tut, is great.

If it needs to be repeated, I highly recommend getting this collection if you want to get all of Hellboy. I wait for these to come out and grab them since I don’t want to miss any stories involving the big red guy. There’s also a lot of concept art, and some nice little written pieces for the book by Mignola and others. I anxiously await volume 7 which has the return of Mignola on art.

Alexander Bustos



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