Posted by:
Chris Bushley

Review: Hellboy: Double Feature of Evil


[[wysiwyg_imageupload:100:]]WRITER:  Mike Mignola ARTIST:  Richard Corben COLORS:  Dave Stewart LETTERS:  Clem Robins COVER:  Richard Corben and Dave Stewart PUBLISHER: Dark Horse RELEASE DATE: November 17th, 2011   Corben and Mignola unite once again to bring readers a magnificent double feature of horror that combines the feel of Hollywood's greatest monster films with the quirky fun of a Hellboy book. Separated as two stories, "Sullivan's Reward" and "The House of Sebek," Mignola writes not only a great book but also makes it a tribute to the early days of  Hollywood horror films -- even going as far as having Corben draw classic movie posters of Dracula, The Mummy's Ghost and The Bride of Frankenstein into the opening pages. I cannot comment enough on the way Mignola's writing and Corben's art seem to always make the perfect compliment to each other, it's as if they merge into one being and we get to reap the rewards from their artistic union. The first story, "Sullivan's Reward," is a classic tale of a man becoming a sort of "caretaker" to an ancient house, a house that requires more than just the occasional dusting! It is dark and foreboding, a tale showcasing just how much a person will do to escape their own painful burden -- even if that means causing harm to others to achieve it! The second, and much shorter tale, is called "The House of Sebek"; a look into the folly one makes when they call upon the powers of ancient gods. It is fun, quirky and horrific, giving us the best compliment to the first story. I love the fact that Hellboy really doesn't do anything in this story, everything happens around him and he can just stand back and watch it unfold with the reader.  Even though both tales were terrific, it was the bookend art that was the best thing in this book; it reminded me of Creepshow and was the perfect touch for this tale. With no words, Mignola and Corben entrance the reader, setting the mood for the book in a few simple pages. One cannot help but be lured along into the depths of darkness that opens before our eyes. Every fiber of your being screams to turn back, but you can't close the book, you lumber along, peeking in every corner, looking for what may or may not be lurking just out of sight; and you get giddy with each step. Just like the movie posters that Corben perfectly replicates, this tale is the perfect tribute to the history of horror and a true treat for those that love it. If you are a fan of classic horror or Hellboy or both -- this is the book for you! I have to say, Dark Horse really knows how to make a one-shot comic. Marvel and DC take note, a one-shot is supposed to be a great read, a special treat for readers and a way to bring in those that may not have enjoyed the characters before. It should enthrall the reader, leaving a smile on their face as they close the book -- not some half a$$ed attempt to drag more money out of our pockets with tie-ins and banner tags but little story. Take a look at Dark Horse -- a three fifty book with NO ADVERTISING and a letters column that is on the inside of the back cover because they didn't want to waste a single page! That's how you make readers happy, a one-shot that leaves you clamoring for more!