2008 wasn’t that great of a year. We lost some fantastic people. Heath Ledger, Sydney Pollack, Charlton Heston, Bernie Mac, Paul Newman, Bettie Page, Michael Turner, Steve Gerber, Isaac Hayes, and George Carlin. Wow, I was going to do one of those “2008 was bad, but not for Hellboy” things, but now I’m just sad. We really did lose a lot of cool people this year. I didn’t even mention the guys and gals you may not know, Vampira (You watch Ed Wood movies, right?), Gary Gygax (Creator of D&D), Eartha Kitt (The Adam West Catwoman who was black), Roy Scheider (Jaws), and Dave Stevens (Creator of the Rocketeer). Man, Bettie Page and Dave Stevens died in the same year? At least I have this. Yeah, I’m totally sad now. Maybe I just love too many people.
Anyway, 2008 was a good year for Hellboy. Most importantly, it began the longest Hellboy epic yet! It’s Hellboy: The Wild Hunt! This is the second issue and it’s marvelous. It’s hard to talk about how great it is without spoiling things, but I’ll do my best. If you’ve ever been turned off by Hellboy because it esoterically wove fetishized tales of mythical creatures or artifacts, you may want to give Big Red another try. It’s quite a simple story on the surface, but like most Hellboy yarns of this nature, the magic lies in the details.
Hellboy: The Wild Hunt can fit into almost any category with this issue alone. There’s drama, action, comedy, romance and horror. Ok, I don’t think I saw anything sci-fi, but after unfortunately viewing the fourth Indiana Jones movie, that seems like a good thing. We’re even treated to an additional adventure featuring Koshchei the Deathless from Hellboy: Darkness Calls. Don’t worry new readers. I’m sure you’ll still find it entertaining. It’s sad that it takes pages away from the main event, but I’m glad Guy Davis (You may know his art from B.P.R.D.) let Duncan Fegredo take a break.
Speaking of Fegredo, if you weren’t sure he was a suitable substitute after the aforementioned Darkness Calls, I’m sure he will change your mind now. Duncan is a tremendous artist and although this may be some form of blasphemy, I have to say that his art may even work better than Mignola’s at times. Fegredo can achieve the epic scope that Mignola often lacks. Think about it, if Mignola were to draw an army, you would only see a few warriors and the rest would be shrouded in mist. However, with Duncan you’ll get the whole army. Wherever your allegiance may lie, it’s safe to say that the art looks fantastic in this series.
Month after month, year after year, Mignola and company (Who could forget Dave Stewart, the best colorist in the biz) consistently produce gold. Just when you think you’ve seen everything Hellboy has to offer, you’ll get another wonderful surprise. Honestly, who was not moved by Gruagach’s origin? Have you ever felt so bad for a pig-monster? I didn’t think so.