In this collection, there are three stories: one from Mignola himself and two others from Mignola collaborators Chris Roberson and Scott Allie. Mignola’s is the strongest of the three and the only one that includes our beloved red devil, but the other two aren’t without their charms.
The great thing about the Hellboy franchise having lived so long is that creators can drop the characters into any setting and explore different genres and styles; because the property deals with mythology and different lore from around the world, tales can be told from basically any time and any place. Essentially, these one-offs feel like the classic comics Tales from the Crypt, The Haunt of Fear, Vault of Horror, and other EC titles. The first here, "The Miser’s Gift," takes place in Budapest in 1989 and deals with a neurotic ghost. The second, "The Longest Night," takes place in upstate New York in the early 1920s and finds it focus in an Agatha Christie-style murder mystery. The third, "The Beast of Ingelheim," takes place in 1412 in Ingelheim, Germany, where a priest faces off against an unexpected evil.
Like those crypts and vaults of horror and fear, no "happy ending" is 100% happy. In fact, these tales tap into the sort of haunted and mysterious feeling of a far-too-quiet first snowfall. They may not have the depth that longer-running Hellboy series contain, but they are an enjoyable throwback to a time when people just loved sitting in their beds, past their bedtime, and devouring strange and wonderful tales.
Man, I love Hellboy.
Creative Team: Mike Mignola, Chris Roberson, Scott Allie (writers), Mark Laszlo, Leila del Duca, Andrea Mutti (artists), Dave Stewart, Michelle Madsen, Lee Loughridge (colors), Clem Robins (letters) Katti O’Brien (editor) Jenny Blenk (assistant editor)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
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