Re-read this introductory Hellboy collection this weekend, because I missed the big red ape. I can’t say enough about Mignola’s skill when it comes to art and drawing some memorably stylish panels.
There’s also the nice blend of monsters, Nazis, and folklore that is such a signature of his work, and it mostly works. But my problem with Hellboy in general is also my problem with this book: too much monologuing on Rasputin’s part, and while the story starts with great characters and good atmosphere, it throws that aside in the conclusion for monster-mash fisticuffs. I’m just never going to be as involved in those scenes as I might like to be, I guess. At least Mignola keeps it charming throughout with characteristic whit and whimsy.
And, even if the story is a little wooden, it’s still some beautiful, evocative art.