In 1944, Professor Trevor Bruttenholm found a strange creature in the ruins of a Scottish church. He named it Hellboy, and brought him to the B.P.R.D. In 1952, Hellboy went on his first mission with the crew. Since then, he has been granted honorary-human status by the United Nations.
Hellboy and Woodrow Farrier of the B.P.R.D. head out to Fletcher’s Ice Island T-3 in the Arctic Ocean. Professor Bruttenholm has an idea of what could be attacking the researchers up there, and it’s not pretty. Once Hellboy and Woodrow actually see the creature that has been terrorizing the Arctic, they are caught off guard by its sheer size. When they encounter a strange ship half-buried under the snow, Hellboy goes in for a closer look. What he finds is a little bigger than the mere yeti they imagined.
Mike Mignola is one of my favorite writers. He has the ability to say so much with as little words as possible. That being said, this issue is no exception. Mignola and Roberson have crafted an impeccably smooth script that moves along at a comfortable pace. Everything is going well until a HUGE surprise at the end, when Hellboy finds way more than he and Woodrow bargained for. Mignola puts these cliffhangers in his books a lot, and they are super effective.
Hellboy’s dialogue is always really relaxed. This does wonders for his characterization. Even though they’re going up against a mutated creature, Hellboy saves everyone else and keeps his cool throughout the entire encounter. It has only been two years since he started working for the B.P.R.D., and already nothing scares or surprises him. All he does is stand tall, smoke, analyze, and fight when necessary.
All of the Hellboy books have really good artwork. This particular creative team has gone above and beyond with the artwork. Stephen Green’s pencils show so much progression, so much movement—I mean, we can see Hellboy’s coat flutter in the cold wind as he jumps out of the plane the B.P.R.D. landed in. Subtle details like the men’s facial hair or cracks in the ice go a long way in this issue.
What really impressed me, though, are Dave Stewart’s colors. Stewart and Mignola are long-time partners, so he understands the tone that Mignola is going for in virtually every single panel of the pages of Hellboy. The colors in this issue are phenomenal. The warm light sources, like the burn barrels on the island, cast soft shadows across the ice. The red of Hellboy’s skin stands out, not letting us forget who the protagonist of this story is.
Judging by the last page of this issue, we’re in for some real fun. Any Mignola and/or Hellboy fan is going to love the precision with which this issue has been orchestrated. I am beyond impressed with the story thus far, and I’m already at the edge of my seat! You can pick this issue up at your local comic book shop (comicshoplocator.com) to start reading up on Hellboy’s latest mission!
Written by: Mike Mignola & Chris Roberson
Illustrated by: Stephen Green