TitleHellboy: Darkness Calls
Content:Hellboy: Darkness Calls is rated for ages 16+ and contains scenes of horror, violence, and language.
Introduction:This graphic novel collects the Hellboy: Darkness Calls limited series with some additional epilogues drawn by Mignola and Fegredo. This is the first major Hellboy comic another artist at the helm and marks a new chapter in Mignola’s career as he turns over the reins of the art chores over to another. It is a bold move to keep the comics coming, but is it worth it? Can Fegredo’s art hold up to the scrutiny of Hellboy’s fans? Find out.
Story:Longtime foe Baba Yaga, a witch from Russian folklore, is on a vendetta against Hellboy, seeking revenge for her lost eye from a previous encounter. Hellboy is transported to a world controlled by the evil witch, all the while the other witches of the world seek to raise one that will lead them to a new place of power in the world. They rush against friends and foes as their power continues to fade in a world that thinks they are nothing but fairy tales.
Hellboy encounters battles at every turn, facing undead skeleton warriors, and Koshchei, a warrior who cannot die and is in the thrall of Baba Yaga. Hellboy must seek to find a way to get out of the clutches of this mad witch that will stop at nothing to get a piece of Hellboy. He is aided by unusual allies along the way, but Baba Yaga has more than one trick in her bag and a heart that is full of bitterness and anger towards Hellboy.
Review:I must admit a few things before I progress. I am a fan of Hellboy. I love Mignola’s art and feel that his style has set him apart from other artists out there. That being said, I’m not a hardcore fan of Hellboy. I’ve read some of his early stuff and picked up some of the later trades (I’m very glad I did) but I haven’t collected many of the other trades or collectibles that comes with fandom. When I heard that Fegredo was taking over the art duties for Hellboy, I did not rise up in anger or frustration that my sacred item had been tarnished. I was more interested how they would handle what was sure to be a stark difference in artistic styles.
Mignola’s story worked well here, with Hellboy again being given the opportunity to gain power, but instead chooses his own path. This seems to be a common theme among the Hellboy stories, and one I’m sure we’ll continue to see until the final story is told. I liked the twists and turns that Hellboy must travel in order to escape the clutches of this mad witch. Mignola and Fegredo really came together to tell a great Hellboy tale.
Conclusion:For longtime fans of Hellboy, I fell that while things have changed, Fegredo is a solid successor to Hellboy and will continue to show solid work in helping to craft the next chapter of the Hellboy franchise. In talking to Mignola, he states that the stuff coming out for the next series is even better. I look forward to it and think Fegredo is up to the task.
For new fans to Hellboy, this is a solid place to jump in as I’m sure the next series will only continue to weave the fate of this fallen demon who has found a place on earth and is seeking his own path instead of what others would want for him. I liked this series a lot and think that others will take joy in the direction that Mignola is taking his empire even if he isn’t able to draw the majority of the time.