Images © Mike Mignola.
This is the twelfth collection of Hellboy stories, and it encompasses the big climactic battle that the series has been building to for several years. Does it live up to that? You bet!
Hellboy is in England accompanied by a woman named Alice who he once saved. The ancient warriors of Britain are rising, and Hellboy may have the sword they will all rally around, in the massive battle that’s coming against the army of demons raised by Nimue against them. When Merlin shows up, you know things are getting serious! But Hellboy is not convinced he’s on the right path, and eventually heads out to face Nimue alone. Lots of other plotlines are interwoven through this volume, some from far back in the story, and it gives the tale a great deal of depth and resonance for long-time readers, even those like myself who can’t always remember the previous storylines…
When the battle comes, it is indeed epic and Mignola’s text is almost lyrical against the massive pounding Hellboy is both giving and taking. The resolution was certainly predictable in many ways, but I still felt a bit shocked when it came.
Duncan Fegredo has been doing a wonderful job with the art on this series, capturing Mignola’s approach and some of his style, while preserving enough of his own to make it a good collaboration. If anything, Fegredo adds a layer of detail that enhances the storytelling without cluttering Mignola’s layouts.
If ever you decide to start the Hellboy saga, rest assured you’ll find this climax satisfying. And it’s by no means the end of the story, either. After all, Hellboy is essentially a demon himself, and that will lead things further. If you’ve been reading the series all along, this one will impress and move you.
Very highly recommended.