By Nick Banks
Hellboy Winter Special Review
Writer: Mike Mignola, Chris Roberson, Chelsea Cain, Scott Allie
Artist: Michael Walsh, Michael Avon Oeming, Tim Sale
Publisher: Dark Horse
Release Date: January 27, 2016
Rating: 9 out of 10
Synopsis: An all-star cast lends their talents to the Mignolaverse in the form of this winter special anthology!
Our Thoughts: The Hellboy Winter Special satisfies the fans of this Dark Horse series in a number of ways. If you are looking for a Christmas tale featuring a teenage Liz, best-selling novelist Chelsea Cain (Evil at Heart) and Michael Avon Oeming (Powers) are ready to satisfy! This look back at Liz Sherman in her teens is in stark contrast to her recent battles with the Black Flame in BPRD Hell on Earth, but these trips into yesteryear which are so common in the Hellboy cannon, remind us of the human center of all of Mignola’s best characters. The way that Hellboy and the Professor deal with a young Liz, and her subsequent reactions are priceless.
Tim Sale (Batman: The Long Halloween) expands on Mignola’s prehistoric mythology featuring the Conan-esque barbarian with the sword, most recently seen being wielded by Agent Howards. Sale’s art is a perfect fit for this type of story and the Mignolaverse. Once fans see this short story, they will undoubtedly be hoping for more from this most sought after artist.
The longest entry is a set-up to the future sequel to Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1953, as a rookie Hellboy and emerging psychic Susan Xiang explore a mine with a dark past in rural Wyoming. Seeing Hellboy in his early days (while away in Hell in the current continuity) helps to retroactively establish the building blocks for the character.
No fan of Hellboy, the BPRD, or any other Dark Horse Mignolaverse title will be disappointed with this three course meal (not to mention an after-dinner mint in the shape of a lobster…)!