Hellboy’s Posse

Seems like ages since I got to review some horror comics, so let’s hit a couple of Dark Horse Comics’ best.


Hellboy: The Wild Hunt #2

We actually get three stories here. First, after getting betrayed by the Wild Hunt, Hellboy ends up losing consciousness and missing the entire fight — when he comes to, all the Wild Hunters are already dead, killed by the quartet of giants they’d claimed they were going to kill. How did Hellboy escape? A helpful talking sparrow reveals that he’s been temporarily blessed with invisibility. Unfortunately, just because he’s invisible doesn’t mean the giants can’t hear him.

In the second story, we get the history of Gruagach of Lough Leane, a former elf and current broken-down pig monster. While he used to be a powerful shapeshifter, he lost his powers because of love (Ain’t that always the way?), got bested by Hellboy, and trapped in the piggish body he currently resides in. Can he escape his curse and resurrect his former queen?

Finally, we get the story of “How Koshchei Became Deathless” — the story, obviously, of Koshchei the Deathless, a figure from Russian mythology. In this version, Koshchei was originally a common soldier, dying on a battlefield, granted healing by a dragon in exchange for nine years of service. After leaving the dragon’s employ, he is granted a magical shirt that will prevent all injury, which gives him uncommon success on the battlefield. He marries a princess, but she conspires with another suitor to steal away his magic shirt and kill him.

Verdict: Thumbs up. The stories about Koshchei and Gruagach are actually the standouts here — full of the weird lovelorn tragedies and unexplainable magicks that fill all the best mythologies.


B.P.R.D.: The Black Goddess #1

The Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense is still trying to track down Martin Gilfryd, the near-immortal wizard who has kidnapped pyrokinetic Liz Sherman. While a small team led by Abe Sapien and Johann Kraus dig through the files of an abandoned base, Kate Corrigan interviews Harold McTell, an old man who is the last surviving member of Lobster Johnson’s team during the 1940s. Lobster’s investigation of Gilfryd was marked by the mysterious deaths of almost all of his agents. But does McTell still have information that he can offer the BPRD?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Solid characterization and dialogue, with some great pulp elements and random spooky bits tossed in here and there.

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