The madness of Mike Mignola

Image via Dark Horse Comics
Image via Dark Horse Comics

‘Hellboy in Mexico’ comic review

By Adam Tatelman, Arts Editor


For those unfamiliar with Hellboy, the concept of a demon trying to live a human life as a paranormal investigator may be a hard sell. Having run for so many years, the series can be difficult for newcomers to unravel, especially considering the bizarre dream-logic of the storytelling, and the anachronic timeline. But for those who wish to brave creator Mike Mignola’s mad menagerie of mirth, mythology and magic, Hellboy in Mexico is a great introduction to the character and his world.

The comic isn’t connected to any of Hellboy’s other adventures. Instead, it is an anthology piece in which Hellboy reminisces on some of his earliest cases. These involve a drunken spree with a trio of luchador brothers, an accidental marriage to a vampire, a graveyard smash with a restless Aztec mummy, and a wrestling match with Frankenstein’s monster.

The art is varied and quirky, each style complementing the tone of its story. Mike Mignola retains his signature heavy shading; Mick McMahon imitates this technique, but with a smoother, more cartoony look. Richard Corben goes for grit and grime, rendering every pit and pockmark in the Mexican landscape. Fabio Moon and Gabriel Bá work with the same shapes, but the disparate colors and textures of their work makes for an interesting contrast when viewed side by side.

Making sense isn’t what Hellboy comics are known for, but if you like campy spook yarns or Universal Studios’ monster movies, then Big Red has the fix you need.